GP stuck off for agreeing to perform female circumcision

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 06 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:9
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    A general practitioner has been struck off by the General Medical Council in London for agreeing to perform the illegal operation of female circumcision. Dr Abdul Baten Jalal Ahmed's offer was secretly videotaped by a Channel 4 journalist who had herself been circumcised as a young girl in Somalia.

    Dr Ahmed was working in Manchester when he was contacted by an undercover journalist working on the Channel 4 documentary “Cutting the Rose,” which was screened in 1997. The woman, named simply Amina in the film, asked him if he could remove her 8 year old daughter's clitoris and perform similar operations on two daughters of a friend.

    Invited to Dr Ahmed's home for further discussion, Amina brought a concealed video camera. The recorded conversation was shown to the professional conduct committee of the GMC.

    Dr Ahmed was heard apparently suggesting Friday as a good day to perform the operation. He later said: “I will perform the operation at my home today. It will not be free, it will cost £50.”

    Dr Ahmed, who qualified in Calcutta in 1962, told the committee that the tape had been doctored. His counsel, Alan Jenkins, argued that Dr Ahmed was hard of hearing and had believed he was being asked to circumcise boys.

    Professor Denis McDevitt, chairing the disciplinary committee, told Dr Ahmed he did not find this defence credible. Members of the committee, he said, were “appalled by the evidence they have heard of your offer, given in your capacity as a registered medical practitioner, to perform an abhorrent, mutilating, and illegal operation on female children for which it has not been suggested that there was any medical justification.”

    Embedded Image

    Struck off: Dr Abdul Baten Jalal Ahmed


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