A leading paediatrician wrongly accused a grieving mother of drugging and murdering her son, a conduct hearing has been told. The future of Dr David Southall now hangs in the balance. The General Medical Council's fitness to practice panel in London has yet to decide whether he is guilty of serious professional misconduct which could lead to him being struck off. He was found to have added to the distress of the mother - identified only as Mrs M - whose 10-year-old son hanged himself in June 1996. Dr Southall made the claim in an interview with Mrs M about the safety of her surviving son, the panel was told. At the time he had been instructed by Shropshire County Council to provide an independent expert report to the court.