Thursday 14 December 2017

Doctor made 'measured decision' in sterilisation of patient

Dr Declan Egan leaves the Medical Council hearing
Dr Declan Egan leaves the Medical Council hearing
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

The doctor who clipped both of a woman's fallopian tubes during a procedure made "a measured decision", according to a gynaecology expert.

Leading consultant obstetrician Dr Mary Wingfield, from the National Maternity Hospital, said she believes Dr Declan Egan made a "measured decision" when he decided to clip both of a patient's fallopian tubes, despite the fact that he had been given permission to clip just the right one.

She told a Medical Council fitness to practise hearing that "different doctors do different things" but remarked that she thinks his decision during a procedure on Lorna McKeogh in 2010 was possibly the right course of treatment.

Dr Wingfield said it is difficult to put every detail on a consent form when you are going to perform a laparoscopy. She was the expert witness during the hearing which entered its fifth day in Dublin yesterday.

Dr Wingfield admitted she probably wouldn't have followed the same line of treatment if she had spoken to the patient beforehand.

But she added: "I think this patient went in thinking it was going to improve her fertility. I think Dr Egan did what he thought was going to do that for her."

Dr Egan, who runs the private Galway Fertility Unit, is before the committee on a single allegation of clipping both left and right hydrosalpinges (fluid-filled fallopian tubes) "in circumstances where this was not consistent with the consent form dated June 2, 2010".

Ms McKeogh was referred to him for treatment after she suffered a number of miscarriages.

Dr Egan previously told the hearing that when he examined the patient during the surgery, he discovered both fallopian tubes showed a "hydrosalpix", a water-filled sac, after initially believing it was just one. He then made the decision to clip both fallopian tubes.


Ms McKeogh, who was 32 at the time of the procedure, previously said she was sterilised without consent. Dr Egan previously said he believed this course of action would improve her chances of becoming pregnant through IVF as, at the time of the procedure, he believed that was the only way she would conceive a child. Dr Egan previously apologised to the couple for the "deep upset" he had caused.

He maintains his decision was "not a sterilisation operation", as an "infection had blocked these tubes" before he got to them. The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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