Friday 22 September 2017

Doctor cleared of improper sexual conduct

Grainne Cunningham

A GP accused of carrying out an inappropriate internal examination on a female patient and asking her intimate questions for his own sexual gratification has been cleared of all charges against him.

Dr Hashim Abdullah Mukhtar Eisa appeared before a Medical Council Fitness to Practise committee yesterday to answer allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional treatment in his treatment of Elaine McGrane of Naas, Co Kildare, on September 29, 2009.

Ms McGrane told the committee that Dr Hashim had carried out an internal examination on her and asked her a number of questions regarding her sexual relations with her husband.

In particular, he asked her if she became aroused during sex, whether she achieved orgasm through clitoral stimulation or penetration and whether she and her husband engaged in foreplay.

The 35-year-old mother of one said she first went to Dr Hashim at the Basin Street Medical Centre in February 2009 because she was anxious to have a baby. She had already had one miscarriage and had a second miscarriage in April 2009.

Dr Hashim initially carried out hormone tests and on September 9, prescribed the fertility drug Clomid. She returned for a review on September 29.

On that day, Dr Hashim, who stressed that he always left the door of his surgery ajar, said he checked Ms McGrane's blood pressure, eyes, mouth and chest and conducted a visual inspection of her breasts.

Complaint

He denied carrying out any internal examination or asking her any intimate questions.

He also denied a further allegation that he had squeezed and cupped her breasts in an inappropriate manner.

Under cross examination, he insisted that his "line of management" was perfect. He said he first heard of the complaint in a letter he received in February 2010.

An independent expert witness Dr Peter Wahlrab said that while a visual examination of a patient's breasts, in the circumstances described, might be "unnecessary and inappropriate", he could not say it would constitute poor professional conduct.

Eoin McCullough, for the Medical Council, questioned why Ms McGrane would make up "such a story" and said there was no reason why she "would be doing anything other than telling the truth". But Esmond Keane, for Dr Hashim, said "allegations of a scandalous nature" had been made against his client and he had offered an "absolute rebuttal". Legal adviser to the committee Kevin Cross said the standard of proof was "beyond all reasonable doubt".

After 40 minutes of deliberations, the committee found that all allegations against Dr Hashim were "not proven as to fact".

Speaking after the verdict, Ms McGrane, who was accompanied by her husband Justin, said she was "too upset" to comment. Asked if he would like to comment on the verdict, Dr Hashim remained silent.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News