Intended for healthcare professionals


“Mass hysterectomies” were carried out on migrants in US detention centre, claims whistleblower

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 16 September 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3615
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York, USA

Detainees held in an immigration centre in the US have been subjected to potentially unnecessary hysterectomies performed without informed consent, a nurse whistleblower has alleged.

Dawn Wooten, who filed a whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, says she was demoted and her hours slashed after she complained about substandard medical care, questionable surgeries on women, and failure to protect detainees and staff from covid-19.

A report of the charges1 was filed by four non-profit rights and welfare groups on behalf of the detained immigrants at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, which is operated by the private prison company, LaSalle Corrections.

The complaints come on the heels of charges against two other immigrant centres, one of which, Richwood in Louisiana, was shut down following an investigation.

One detainee at the Irwin centre said she knew of five women who had been subjected to hysterectomies …

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