Death investigations

Court process begins for the FAI into the death of a young boy

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has lodged a First Notice to begin the court process for a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Archie Donald.

Three-year-old Archie died at the Royal Hospital for Children at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Campus, Glasgow on 20 November 2019.  

A preliminary hearing is set for 15 May 2024 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.   

The purpose of a Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) includes determining the cause of death; the circumstances in which the death occurred, and to establish what, if any, reasonable precautions could have been taken, and could be implemented in the future, to minimise the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances.  

Unlike criminal proceedings, FAIs are inquisitorial in nature, and are used to establish facts rather than to apportion blame.       

This Inquiry will explore the circumstances of Archie’s death, with an anticipated focus on what role the identification and treatment of a line infection played in his death, the delay in admittance, record sharing and whether the built hospital environment played a role in the contraction of the infection. 

Procurator Fiscal Andy Shanks, who leads on death investigations for COPFS, said:  

“The Lord Advocate considers that it is in the public interest for a discretionary Fatal Accident Inquiry to be held into the circumstances of the death of Archie Donald to ensure there can be a full public hearing of the facts of the case. 

“The lodging of the First Notice enables FAI proceedings to commence under the direction of the Sheriff. 

“Archie’s family will continue to be kept informed of significant developments as court proceedings progress.”