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Obstetrician who sterilised woman without consent is suspended for 12 months

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 12 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2932
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A consultant obstetrician who sterilised a woman without her consent in Northern Ireland has been suspended from the UK medical register for 12 months.

David Sim told a medical practitioners tribunal that he had believed, on the basis of previous conversations with the patient, that she wanted sterilisation after her difficult pregnancy resulted in a successful emergency caesarean section. But he acknowledged the lack of a consent form and conceded that his approach “could be justifiably criticised as paternalistic.”

He referred himself to the GMC after an investigation by his NHS trust in Newry. The trust referred him 10 days later.

The patient was admitted near term for minor bleeding to Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital in September 2021. But she was swiftly prepared and anaesthetised for an emergency caesarean—her second—when more bleeding started. Sim told her before the operation that he might need to perform a hysterectomy to …

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