Kissing patients is misconduct, says witness

It is entirely inappropriate for a doctor to kiss a patient following a consultation, a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry has been told.

Former Tipperary consultant Dr Hossam Desoky is accused of kissing a patient, locking her in his hospital residence, and sexually molesting her.

The former anaesthetic registrar at South Tipperary General Hospital is facing 10 allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.

Dr Desoky, aged 47, who is from Egypt and is married with four young children, disputes the patient’s account of events when he was on duty at the hospital on Jul 13, 2010.

The patient, Teri Chamberlain, who was admitted to the hospital for a colonoscopy, claimed the doctor had offered to advise her on her smoking habit and led her to his residence that was on another floor of the hospital.

Ms Chamberlain claimed the doctor locked the door behind them, pulled her onto the bed and pushed his face onto her chest. When she screamed he unlocked the door.

Expert witness Anna Maria Rollin, a consultant anaesthetist at Epsom General Hospital in Britain, was asked about an allegation that the doctor had kissed Ms Chamberlain following a chest examination.

“Kissing is a personal and intimate contact and I would regard that as professional misconduct,” she said. “I would regard it as disgraceful and dishonourable. It is just too close.”

She said calling a patient on her mobile was also inappropriate and unnecessary.

Dr Rollin also said that because Ms Chamberlain was slight and slim, she would not have expected the doctor to handle her breasts when using a stethoscope to listen to her chest.

Dr Rollin also said inviting or allowing a patient to a doctors’ residence on-call room and locking her in was at the highest level of professional misconduct.

Dr Desoky told the inquiry that when he visited Ms Chamberlain in the gynaecological surgery ward to take her medical history she told him she was worried about her smoking habit.

He called her later on her mobile to make sure she had taken pre-operative medication, as she said he could call her anytime.

He said Ms Chamberlain asked him to examine her chest, and when he did so she removed her T-shirt and gown when he had only wanted her to remove her gown.

The doctor told the inquiry he did not touch Ms Chamberlain by hand, just with the stethoscope.

He said he offered to meet her outside the hospital to discuss smoking when he was on a break and that Ms Chamberlain followed him into his room when he went there to get his coat.

He said they chatted for about 10 minutes in the room and he gave her a friendly kiss on her cheek when she left.

The committee adjourned its decision to Mar 15.


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