A certain doctor in the United Kingdom, Mahesh Patwardhan, has been found guilty of molesting his patients. This gynaecologist had his patients strip when this was not needed for any medical purpose. This was done solely for his sexual gratification. He derived erotic glee from seeing a tattoo on a bottom. He conducted some unnecessary breast examinations. Dr Patwardhan was also previously convicted of fraud. He billed insurers for consultations and procedures that were never performed. It is staggering that a man who was already so wealthy would be foolish and greedy enough to jeopardise his whole career for sums such as GBP 195.
This man has been awarded 8 years imprisonment and struck of the medical register. He is 53 years of age. This doctor betrayed the public trust. The Hippocratic Oath states that physicians must not seduce their patients. He did not seduce them but the same principle was breached. He acted in a manner that was about satisfying his sexual desires and not to provide medical care. The reason for the prohibition on any romantic liaison with a patient is patients must not fear that a doctor might make a move on them. A patient would also believe that any instruction to disrobe could be for the titilation of the physician and not for any medical rationale.
This doctor has treated tens of thousands of people in a career spanning almost 30 years. He has done far, far more good than harm.
These women who were patients of this doctor feel ill-used. Their privacy has been invaded. He has seen them in a nude state when he did not need to. He touched them intimately when there was no reason for him to do so. They presumably feel humiliated and aggrieved. It is hard for me as a male to empathise with this sense of invasion. If a female doctor whom I found unattractive were to do this to me I would not mind much. Indeed if a homosexual doctor tricked me into undressing in order to give him a similar thrill again it would irk me only a little. Perhaps I underreact to this chap’s unethical conduct.
How would I feel if this man had carried out similar indecent acts against my wife/girlfriend or sister? I would naturally sympathise with that woman. To some degree I would share her sense of injustice.
It is hard to see how this man can avoid spending some time in prison. 8 years is too long. He did not rape any of his patients. He will be released after about 4 years. He is not a danger to the public. Were he walking down the street at night no woman or man has any reason to fear him. This chap is not a public menace and that is what prison is for. There is no need to protect society from him.
His being struck off is more objectionable. He spent years studying. His education cost the state hundreds of thousands. He can do a huge amount of good. We can ill afford to squander his abilities, training and skill.here is
The public should be informed what this man has done. Then patients would be able to make up their own minds whether or not to see him. Patients could have the option of only being treated by him in the presence of a chaperone or chaperon. Perhaps he could be be barred from treating women. There is no reason to suspect he has any immoral intentions towards children. I would be perfectly content to see this doctor if I had fly, angina, piles or a whole host of medical conditions. Is there no possibility he can be forgiven? Some will say there can be no half-in medical status. No one questions his professional competence. It is his ethics that are found wanting. He should not have been struck off. He can yet heal the sick and pay his debt to society that way.