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Friday 16 November 2018

Doctor struck off after woman's 'disgraceful' internal examination

The doctor was struck off
The doctor was struck off

A doctor who carried out a "disgraceful" sexually motivated internal examination of a female patient has been struck off the medical register by order of the President of the High Court.

The woman had gone for a medical examination and "received anything but", Mr Justice Peter Kelly said.

The victim, in her 20s, said when she asked Dr Stanislaw Franciszek Zulichowski (71), for an explanation, he told her: "Well, I just kind of started liking it and got carried away" and also said: "Well, you know I am just a man, not only a doctor."

The Medical Council, following a fitness to practice (FTP) inquiry which made several findings of professional misconduct against the doctor, applied to the High Court to strike him off its specialist register.

Mr Justice Kelly agreed to cancel the registration of Dr Zulichowski, formerly of Russell Street, Behan Square, Dublin, but who has returned to his native Poland.

The misconduct was of a nature which doctors of good repute would consider disgraceful and failed to respect the patient's rights to bodily integrity and dignity, the judge said.

He considered the sanction of cancellation of registration was appropriate and proportionate.

While the cancellation only applied in Ireland, he was assured the doctor's regulatory body in Poland would be notified and could take such steps as it considered appropriate.

The patient had complained to the council over an examination in December 2014 while Dr Zulichowski was working at EMC Health Care, in Parnell Square West, Dublin.

She was experiencing pain in an ovary and went for a check-up and ultrasound. It was her first visit to the doctor.

Weird

The FTP committee found he carried out an internal examination during which he touched her inappropriately.

It further found he failed to respond adequately when she asked what he was doing and when she asked him to stop by responding: "Are you sure?"

She said: "Yes, I am sure."

The committee found this amounted to professional misconduct, in that the doctor's actions served no end purpose and no rationale or explanation was given for them.

The internal examination was sexually motivated, it held.

It also found misconduct arising from his comments to the patient, including telling her when she asked him at the end of the consultation what was the purpose of the internal exam, "Well, I just kind of started liking it and got carried away" or words to that effect.

The woman said she was fully undressed during the examination and felt very uncomfortable. The doctor also remarked that her breasts could feed twins and she would have no difficulty finding a husband.

During the internal examination, she said she realised it was taking far too long and felt "incredibly weird".

She said Dr Zulichowski said he did not intend to make her feel uncomfortable and then added: "All anatomical reaction good."

She said she "felt sick" and quickly got dressed.

The doctor had denied a digital vaginal exam took place, but the committee found the woman a credible witness who gave "clear and compelling" evidence.

It also noted he had an otherwise unblemished record.

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