A GP who gave patients unnecessary checks has been found guilty of sexual assault including assault by penetration against six women. Dr Manish Shah carried out invasive and intimate examinations on victims, some as young as 17, between May 2009 and June 2013. It was later brought to light that he had previously been found guilty of similar offences against a further 17 women.
Abused his position
Dr Shah persuaded victims to undergo invasive breast examinations by referring to actress Angelina Jolie who had a preventative mastectomy. Prosecutor Kate Bex said: “He took advantage of his position to persuade women to have invasive vaginal examinations, breast examinations and rectal examinations when there was absolutely no medical need for them to be conducted.”
He advised one victim that, following the death of TV personality, Jade Goody, who died from cervical cancer, that an examination would be in her best interests. Kate Bex QC told jurors that “fear is an incredible motivator and few health concerns are scarier than cancer. Dr Shah exploited that and used it for his own personal gratification.”
Patients should be offered a chaperone
When it comes to intimate examinations, guidelines produced by the General Medical Council advise that patients should be offered the ‘option of having an impartial observer (a chaperone) present wherever possible.’ These guidelines apply regardless of whether the medical professional is the same gender as the patient. Dr Shah breached these guidelines and went as far as to leave one of his victims on an examination table entirely naked.
Sentencing has been adjourned until 7 February 2020.
Ally Taft of Medical Accident Group said: “If patients have concerns or are worried about intimate examinations, they should always raise these concerns with the surgery or hospital, or with other staff where that professional is based.”
“Sadly this is not the only case where a GP has abused his position like this, as I have acted for a number of women in similar group action. Surgeries and hospitals must ensure appropriate safeguarding procedures are in place and followed.”
If you or a family member have suffered from poor treatment, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors who will guide you through the process of making a claim.