In 1997 the British General Medical Council met to decide whether three doctors were guilty of serious professional misconduct. The evidence indicated that certain pediatric heart operations, dating back to the eighties, had gone terribly wrong, leading to unacceptably high mortality rates.
The film describes these events through the stories of two children and their mothers. Julie Johnson and Sharon Peacock became friends when their sons, Max and Andrew, were taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary needing heart operations. In 1994, Max died following surgery by Dr. Dhasmana, while Andrew died following an operation by Dr. Wisheart in 1995. Their parents became aware that their boys were not simply unlucky. Over the years many other children had died or suffered brain damage after the same operations at the BRI.
Alongside Julie and Sharon's stories, the film follows events within the hospital, largely through the eyes of anesthetist Steve Bolsin, who set out in 1990 to stop the operations from continuing. It was his courage that exposed the two pediatric surgeons and led to the General Medical Council hearing that ended the run of deaths.
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