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Friday 23 March 2018

Doctor cleared of wrongdoing in botched circumcision

Mark Hilliard

A DOCTOR accused of asking an "inexperienced" surgeon to perform a circumcision that went wrong was cleared of any wrongdoing at a Medical Council hearing yesterday.

Dr Timothy Buckley, of Mullingar General Hospital in Westmeath, had denied acting in poor judgment before the botched operation on a seven-year-old boy, who has since had three corrective surgeries on his penis.

Yesterday, Dr Buckley was cleared of delegating a procedure to someone who wasn't adequately qualified and failing to give adequate supervision.

The family of the boy -- who was not named to protect his identity -- said afterwards that they were disappointed by the outcome.

On July 6, 2009, Dr Buckley's registrar surgeon Dr Arshad Hussain carried out a circumcision operation on the boy. The patient developed a paraphimosis -- a severe tightening of the foreskin around the glans of the penis.

A fitness-to-practise inquiry at the Medical Council in Dublin yesterday heard claims that Dr Hussain did not have the experience necessary to carry out the procedure alone and that he was not supervised properly.

The registrar surgeon had only been based at Mullingar Hospital for five days before being given the operation. He had assisted in other circumcisions in Ireland but not on an independent basis.

Dr Hussain said he did have prior experience in Pakistan.

At a previous hearing, expert witness Dr Gordon Watson, a consultant surgeon, had said that given the level of Dr Hussain's experience he would not have delegated the procedure to him and, had he, he would have supervised it more thoroughly.

But yesterday an expert witness appearing on behalf of Dr Buckley, consultant surgeon Dr Ronan Waldron, contradicted this and said he felt the registrar was amply experienced.

"I would certainly expect a registrar to be able to perform a circumcision," he said.

The fitness-to-practise committee found that neither charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and cleared Dr Buckley of poor professional performance.

Irish Independent

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