(CMR) A woman has filed a lawsuit against the Health Services Authority (HSA) and a local physician for improper vaginal examination among other things which occurred when she was a minor.
She is also suing for “administrative wrongdoings” and what she claims are missing documents from her medical record.
The Plaintiff claims in her Writ that she was taken to the George Town Hospital in 2004 – 2006 for abdominal pain but they failed to diagnose the cause of the pain. In 2006 another hospital informed her that she has an umbilical hernia which was the source of the abdominal pains.
She was scheduled for surgery at the HSA. However, on the morning of the surgery, it was canceled and she was informed that the hernia had disappeared.
At some point, he requested to speak with her without her mother present but with his nurse. She shared that Dr. Swan was “a trusted friend and family.” On another occasion, he once again asked to speak with the patient without the mother and nurse but another physician was there with him. She claims that it was on this visit that he asked her if she was a virgin, had a boyfriend or if he mother was “touching her”.
She was taken back to her mom and requested a vaginal examination sharing that cysts could be the cause of the abdominal pains. The mother gave permission. The following account is in the Writ:
“The Plaintiff said she was put to lay on a bed inside Dr. Swan's office, Dr. Swan held her legs and instructed the female doctor and she inserted a cotton swab inside her vagina and she twisted it and it was very painful, and after this she gave the swab to Dr. Swan and he toss it inside the bin and told her mother that “her hymen was intact”.”
The document alleges that the following morning he called the mother and said he suspects the child is being molested by her and she should stop. A report of the examination above was requested but supposedly there was no record of it on file.
Later on in the plaint, it's claimed that this examination was a farce and the doctor never suspected a cyst but instead believed the child was being abused from 2003 and wanted to check if her hymen was intact. Instead of notifying the authorities spoke to the mother instead about the matter the following morning.
It goes on to say that he remained silent for over six years about his suspicions of sexual abuse. It claims:
“The Plaintiff said this deception to examine her hymen, keeping silent on his suspicion of abuse for over 6 years is dishonest, asking to check for cyst then examined her hymen is a breach of trust and dishonesty, touching her private area without consent is an offence, deceived to gain consent is all bad faith and examples of bad faith and more.”
The patient's mother restained an attorney but the doctor indicated that both parties had given consent for the examination. The lawsuit claims he filed an affidavit denying the examination took place.
It appears that the police were contacted and the Office of the Department of Public Prosecution was involved. Oddly the suit claims that the ODPP “tasked a medical expert who provided a report that we thought was false.”
In then goes on to claim that she received a vaginal infection from the examination and that she was refused care and the HSA referred her overseas. The allegation is that the HSA refused to provide medical records but did confirm there was no record of a vaginal examination on file.
The plaint claims that the overseas physician said the patient had several vaginal examinations around age 10.
There are no specifications for damages being claimed.