Abortion investigation: GMC bans three from carrying out terminations
A doctor filmed altering paperwork to hide the fact he was agreeing to an illegal sex-selective abortion has been suspended by the General Medical Council, while two others are facing investigations.
Dr Raj Mohan filmed during a consultation in which he agreed not to put down that a woman’s real reason for wanting an abortion was the sex of the child
By Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent
6:34PM GMT 11 Mar 2012
Dr Raj Mohan was suspended from practising by the GMC’s Interim Orders Panel pending a full investigation of his actions, which were captured on video by undercover reporters for The Daily Telegraph.
Dr Prabha Sivaraman and Miss Claudine Domoney have been told by the panel that they “must not authorise any termination of pregnancy or carry out any termination of pregnancy work, either by consultation or surgery”.
It is likely all will face GMC Fitness to Practise panels, which could strip them of their right to practise.
The GMC’s decisions come after The Daily Telegraph obtained video footage of the three agreeing to abort foetuses after being clearly told that the only reason for requesting an abortion was because the babies were the ‘wrong’ gender.
Doctors are allowed to carry out abortions on women if they think their physical or mental health will be at risk if made to go ahead with the birth. However, to do so solely because the developing child is a boy or a girl is illegal, under the 1967 Abortion Act. The potential criminal penalty for flauting the law is imprisonment.
Dr Raj Mohan was filmed agreeing to a pregnant woman’s request for an abortion after she told him she did not want a baby girl. He was also filmed agreeing to falsify paperwork.
The exchange was captured by secret filming during a consultation at the Calthorpe Clinic in Edgbaston, Birmingham.
The woman – who in reality was happily pregnant and wanted her baby – asked him: “Can we put down a different reason?”
Dr Mohan said that to record she did not want a girl was “not a good reason anytime” for an abortion, before telling her: “I’ll put too young for pregnancy, yeah?”
He then signed the paperwork and told her to book the termination with colleagues.
During a consultation at Pall Mall Medical in Manchester, Dr Sivaraman told another woman who said she was “not looking to have this baby at the moment”, because it was a girl: “I don’t ask questions, if you want a termination, you want a termination.”
She then told a colleague to book the woman in for a termination, saying it was for “social reasons”.
Miss Domoney, a Cambridge University trained consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, with a Harley Street private practice, was filmed apparently agreeing to organise a termination after being told by a third pregnant woman that she did not want the baby because it was a boy.
Miss Domoney told The Daily Telegraph at the time that she was “uncomfortable” with the situation, and so referred the case to a colleague.
Pall Mall Medical insisted that abortions were not offered on grounds of gender, while the Calthorpe Clinic declined to comment on the disclosures.