In October 1994 my little grandson aged 9 months was found dead in his cot.
It was diagnosed as cot death. Like Mrs Clark, my daughter and her partner
were advised to have another baby as soon as possible to get over the grief.
In October 1995 Kilian was born. 9 months later he too was taken ill one
evening and we rushed him to hospital where he died a few hours later
(therefore not cot death!).
On being told that it was the second time, the reaction of the young Belgian
Doctor who had been trying to save him was immediate. "It has to be a
genetic problem". As Kilian was alive they had fortunately been able to
take a blood sample and this revealed that his blood sugar level had become
extraordinarily low, and subsquent analysis and comprison with tissue
samples from Jonathan confirmed the cause as a genetic illness.
What is sickening is the thought that had Kilian died a few hours later,
after being put to bed, and had my daughter and her partner had the
misfortune to be living in England then she would also have faced the same
charges as Mrs Clark, or so it would appear.
After the genetic defects were identified, Belgian doctors told us that
with their new knowledge of genetics, they can identify within 36 hours
after fertilisation whether ovules are affected or not and my daughter was
offered an in vitro fertilization, similar to fertility treatment.
This she accepted. 13 ovules were fertilised and 10 were rejected as being
The two strongest of those that were not affected were implanted. She now
has twins who are a little over two years old.
As a British citizen living abroad I can only contrast with great sadness
the primitive "witch hunts" conducted by members of the British medical
profession with the wholly positive and professional attitude of their
This particular cause of infant mortality is nowhere near as rare as one
would imagine. Apparently it occurs when the two parents share a common
genetic defect and I am informed that there is a one in four chance of the
baby dying, a one in four chance of the baby having nothing at all, and a
two in four chance of the baby being unaffected, but being a carrier - like
the parents. There are several cases a year even in a small country like
Belgium (73,000,000:1? - what rubbish!)
If the possibility of a genetic defect was not even considered by the court
then not all the possiblilties were considered. Personally, I am quite sure
that this has been one of the most grotesque miscarriages of justice ever to
have disgraced the British legal system. and if it can be proved that there
was negligence, inaccurate or incomplete evidence by certain expert
witnesses they should also be called to account. They will have been
responsible for causing unimaginable suffering to the Clark family.
there must be a full enquiry as a matter of urgency.