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Couple 'failed miserably' by clearing of gynaecologist


Lorna McKeogh

Lorna McKeogh

Dr Declan Egan who was yesterday cleared of an allegation of poor professional performance

Dr Declan Egan who was yesterday cleared of an allegation of poor professional performance


Lorna McKeogh

A couple who alleged poor professional performance against a gynaecologist after he cut both of the woman's fallopian tubes without consent say the Medical Council "failed us miserably".

Darragh and Lorna McKeogh, who were reacting to a finding that the actions by consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Declan Egan did not amount to poor professional performance, say they feel the judgement may deter other patients from complaining to the council.

The complaint by the couple related to a procedure by the former University Hospital Galway doctor in June 2010.

Ms McKeogh had been referred to Dr Egan after suffering a number of miscarriages. She had a hydrosalpinx (a collection of fluid) in her right fallopian tube. But during the procedure, Dr Egan discovered both fallopian tubes were affected and decided to clip them both, despite having consent to operate on only one.

He told the Fitness to Practise inquiry he had acted in his patient's "best interest" and his defence argued he was covered by a clause in the consent form.

The committee ruled Dr Egan's actions were "not consistent with the consent form" and ruled that the procedure "had not been necessary".

It also ruled Dr Egan's actions did not constitute poor professional performance.

The committee chair Dr Michael Ryan also addressed a number of other "issues of concern" which had arisen during the case.

The committee noted there had been "a communication deficit between doctor and patient" and that the handover process of Ms McKeogh from her original doctor to Dr Egan was "flawed and unsatisfactory".

The committee also said that literature given to the patient relating to IVF after the procedure was "insensitive".

Afterwards, the couple's solicitor Cian O'Carroll said: "We don't see how the Medical Council has in any way allayed patient fears about doctors acting without their consent today."

The McKeoghs said they were "disappointed" by the verdict but glad it was over and said it was now "time to move on".

Irish Independent