Doctor who failed to curb his abusive behaviour is struck offBMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k352 (Published 23 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k352
A doctor who was suspended by a medical practitioners’ tribunal for writing derogatory emails about a colleague and a patient who complained about him has been struck off the UK medical register after writing “a stream of abusive emails” about the General Medical Council regulators handling his case.
Kamal Hameed Ubaid Al-Any, a former middle grade doctor who worked in the emergency department at the Whittington Hospital in London, was initially suspended for four months by a medical practitioners’ tribunal in 2016.
That case stemmed from a 2013 incident in which he had seen a young patient referred to the hospital for suspected pyelonephritis, who came to the hospital with her mother. A specialty trainee year 1 doctor named Khan saw that the patient had become distressed and went to tell a consultant. Al-Any tried to stop him and told him that he need not involve anyone else.
After the patient’s mother, C, made a complaint accusing Al-Any of being “insensitive, arrogant, and incompetent,” he wrote emails to the hospital calling her an “evil, abnormal, agitated woman,” adding that her behaviour differed little from that of a “professional prostitute.” He wrote that Khan was “a stupid child” and that his “non-medical ethical behaviour might reflect his shallow limited medical experience and might reflect his personal, family, and social background.” He described both C and Khan as “silly, low standard creatures.”
In August 2016, a tribunal found Al-Any’s fitness to practice to be impaired but considered his wrongdoing to be “easily remediable.” It suspended him for four months, setting a review hearing at the end of that period to weigh evidence of any developing insight or efforts at remediation.
The first review hearing in March 2017 found no such evidence, and extended Al-Any’s suspension by a further nine months, to be followed by a second review.
“In a review case,” said James Newton-Price, who chaired the latest tribunal, “the persuasive burden falls upon the doctor to demonstrate that all the concerns which were previously identified have been adequately tackled.”
But, he said, “while Dr Al-Any has engaged with the GMC since the last hearing, it has been in an unprofessional and aggressive way that brings the medical profession into disrepute.”
Four emails Al-Any sent to the GMC in October and November 2017 “accused various individuals of being liars, cheats, and criminals, without any foundation,” said Newton-Price, reading extracts from what he called “a stream of abusive emails which have made outrageous and extreme allegations against the GMC and former colleagues.”
Al-Any, who qualified in Basra, Iraq, in 1978, was neither present nor represented at the Manchester hearing but provided written submissions.
“Dr Al-Any has had 16 months to reflect on his position but he has demonstrated no evidence of remediation, insight, or remorse since the last review,” said Newton-Price. “The content of the emails demonstrates that he is likely to repeat his unacceptable behaviour towards colleagues and patients.
“He has continued to express himself in a way that has only reinforced the original concerns. The tribunal has therefore determined that a further period of suspension would serve no useful purpose.”
Erasure, the tribunal concluded, was a “proportionate and necessary sanction.”