THE SCOTSMAN, Scotland, 12 July 2004.

Doctors Accused over Circumcisions

By Nick Foley, PA News

Two experienced doctors admitted carrying out circumcisions on two baby boys without the parents' written consent, but denied causing them unnecessary pain, the General Medical Council heard today.

Dr Virinder Madhok and Dr Ayyaswany Vasanthakrishnan also admitted failing to inform the babies' parents about the risks involved in the procedure, during the hearing in Manchester.

The GMC heard that the two babies, referred to only as Master A and Master B, had been taken to Dr Madhok's private surgery in Battlefield Road, Glasgow, to have the circumcisions performed in accordance with Muslim tradition.

Opening the case for the GMC, Nick Braslavsky QC, said that eight-month-old Master A was taken to the surgery on July 6, 2002 by his mother and aunt.

As the family waited to be seen by the doctor they saw another boy who had just been circumcised return to his family.

His body and legs were covered in blood, he was sweating and in a distressed state, Master A's aunt told the hearing.

"He was just crying and crying and just wouldn't stop. He was covered in blood, it got me quite scared," she said.

She told the GMC that she noticed Dr Madhok's hands were also covered in blood and he was not wearing gloves.

The doctor handed back the baby to its parents, telling them he was a "stubborn child who would cause them a lot of problems in the future".

When Aunt A intervened and pointed out he was only a baby, Dr Madhok replied: "I don't need a lecture from you. I've been doing this for 52 years," she said.

Baby A was then taken away for just under an hour for the surgery.

Dr Madhok and Dr Vasanthakrishnan, who was performing the surgery, both admitted they failed to get written consent from the mother or explain that the procedure was to be performed by Dr Vasanthakrishnan, who in fact was never introduced to the family members.

When Master A was returned he was covered in blood, sweating and had scratches on his arms and stomach, his aunt said.

Dr Madhok explained that the scratches had been caused by his fingernails during the circumcision.

"I felt quite angry that this had happened, he was a doctor. I was quite angry and shocked," she said.

She told the hearing that she did not believe the scratches had been caused by the doctor's fingernails.

The worried aunt and mother later took the boy to hospital, fearing the blood on the doctor's hands could have infected the child.

Tests were carried out on the boy, which proved negative.

The GMC also heard that the four-month-old boy, referred to as Master B, was taken to the same surgery for circumcision on October 26, 2002.

The doctors again failed to explain the risks involved in the procedure and failed to gain either the aunt or mother's written consent.

The boy was returned to them in a "very distressed state" and could be heard screaming from the waiting room as the procedure was performed, Mr Braslavsky said.

Dr Madhok, of Dalziel Drive, Glasgow, suggested that he had not been anaesthetised properly or at all during the surgery, it was claimed.

The doctors were also accused of permitting sutures to be inappropriately inserted into the glans (end) of the penis.

Both claims were denied by the GPs who were both present at the hearing.

(File created 12 July 2004)