About this event

  • Date and time Wed 19 Aug 2020 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm
  • Location Online

Register here to join our In Conversation Live with David Sellu

David Sellu FRCS, distinguished Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, will be joining RSM President Professor Roger Kirby for an extraordinary discussion about his trial, his imprisonment, and his subsequently quashed conviction for Gross Negligence Manslaughter. He will be talking about his highly acclaimed and candid book, Did He Save Lives? A Surgeon's Story, patient safety and the practice of defensive medicine, as well as what the future now looks like for him.

Instead of charging for this webinar we are asking you to support the Royal Society of Medicine. Now more than ever, we need your help to continue our work. Please consider making a donation for watching this webinar. Thank you for your generosity.

David Sellu was a Surgeon with a distinguished record extending over 40 years. In February 2010, David operated on a patient with a perforated bowel. Despite David’s efforts, the patient died two days later. David was understandably devastated at the death of his patient.

There followed a sequence of extraordinary events that led to David being tried at the Old Bailey and convicted of Gross Negligence Manslaughter. He served 15 months in prison and was eventually released on licence until the remainder of the two-and-a-half year sentence expired.

Friends and colleagues up and down the country, as well as David’s former patients, were appalled at what happened and the situation turning into a criminal case with one individual, the surgeon, being singled out to take blame for the whole chain of uncontrollable events.

With Dr Jenny Vaughan leading the campaign, he won an appeal against his conviction and is now a free man. But the extensive reputational and emotional damage had already been done.

The thousands of lives David had saved over his 40 year unblemished career as a General and Cancer Surgeon are testimony to his skills. The shock waves caused by the conviction of a Senior Surgeon with a previously distinguished career have led more members of the medical profession to practise defensive medicine. This means that patients who are considered high risk (especially when it comes to operations) may not get the choices they deserve. This could have a huge impact on patient care in the future as our population ages and their health needs become more complex.

Book your free place now


*There may be slight changes to the advertised start and end times of this webinar, subject to David's work requirements.


Join in the conversation online by using #RSMLive 

Follow us on Twitter: @RoySocMed 



Disclaimer: All views expressed in this webinar are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM.


The In Conversation Live webinar series will continue our much loved In Conversation events, giving you the opportunity to get first-hand insights into the lives and thoughts of high profile individuals, bringing an intimate, relaxed and entertaining perspective into your living room.    

The RSM In Conversation Live series form part of our new philanthropic initiative. All donations from this series directly fund the RSM's vision to advance health through education and innovation. 

Please make a donation today.


This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels. 

Man searching computer

Join the RSM and get free access to digital learning resources

The RSM has an extensive digital learning and online e-resources platform. As a member you'll enjoy free access to a wealth of online  resources, including 5,000 subscription and open access e-journals, 2,000 e-books and 5 key medical databases, to support your clinical decision-making and research.

Become a member