Indian origin doctor banned for abusing patients’ rights

July 15th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Neena Bhandari
Sydney, July 15 (IANS) An Indian origin doctor in Australia has been indefinitely banned from practising medicine for secretly taking “up skirt” photographs of women patients while giving them spinal injections. Gurmit Dhillon, 65, of Adelaide was Tuesday banned indefinitely from practice by the Medical Professional Conduct Tribunal for striking at the heart of doctor-patient relations and causing embarrassment, humiliation and great distress to his patients.

According to Australian Associated Press (AAP), Dhillon’s misdemeanour came to light when one of his patients, who was being treated with prolotherapy (pain-relieving injections to the spine), noticed a flash of bright light during treatment and thought she had glimpsed a camera lens between her thighs and reported the matter to the police.

Dhillon was arrested and the police found 70 digital photographs of genitalia on his computers, reports AAP.

In the ruling, the Tribunal said: “It was his habit to ask them to remove their lower underwear even though that was unnecessary. The resulting exposure of the patients’ genitalia was to satisfy prurient interest. He used the occasion of medical consultations to exploit each of these patients for his own sexual gratification.

“Each of them has been greatly distressed by what he did and there has been the added embarrassment and humiliation of having to identify images of their genitalia so that they could be used in the criminal proceedings and in this inquiry.

“For some of them it has led to clinical depression and it is clear from the victim impact statements tendered… that in every case this treacherous behaviour has caused a lasting legacy,” the Tribunal said.

Dhillon is currently serving a two-year jail term after pleading guilty last year to two charges of indecent assault and 15 counts of indecent behaviour in relation to the nine women he treated between January and September 2005, reports AAP.

While the Medical Board had suggested an eight year ban from medical practice, the Tribunal ruled: “There is no sound reason for thinking that disqualification for a period of eight years is sufficient protection for the community.”

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