A consultant paediatrician made false accusations against a grieving mother over the death of her son, the General Medical Council (GMC) has said. Dr David Southall accused the mother, referred to as Mrs M, of drugging and then hanging her ten-year-old son, identified only as child M1, who died in June 1996. The GMC has already deemed Dr Southall to have abused his position, and the body's fitness to practice panel will now determine whether he is guilty of serious professional misconduct. Panel chairman Dr Jacqueline Mitton said: "Although Mrs M was not your patient, your action in accusing her of drugging and murdering child M1 by hanging him was inappropriate, added to her distress and was in the circumstances an abuse of your professional position." The panel is also investigating claims that Dr Southall acted inappropriately and added to the distress of a bereaved person.