Doc jailed over genital surgery

An Australian doctor who unnecessarily removed a woman's clitoris during genital surgery and indecently assaulted two other patients while conducting pelvic examinations was jailed for two years.

The doctor, 60, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convicted by a jury of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on the widow by cutting out her clitoris without consent during a procedure to remove a lesion in 2002.

He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting two other patients, while carrying out internal pelvic examinations.

District Court judge Greg Woods jailed the doctor for three-and-a-half years, of which he must serve at least two years, describing his conduct - for which he has never expressed remorse - as "reprehensible".

Clinical depression

Defence lawyers told the court the man was suffering from major clinical depression, a personality disorder and impotence at the time of the offences, and judge Wood said he had convinced himself he was "doing the right thing".

But his actions had "very likely" undermined confidence in the system, Wood said, leaving thousands of women questioning the integrity of obstetricians, gynaecologists and other doctors.

The judge ruled he should never again be allowed to practise medicine in a way that brought him into personal contact with patients. - (Sapa, July 2011)

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