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Incompetent Surgeon Struck Off

Posted on 16th May 2017

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Dr. Lawal Harun, a surgeon in the UK, has been struck off (no longer allowed to practice medicine) after a litany of messed up surgeries.

As detailed in this news report by the Telegraph, he:

  1. Removed a pad of fat, instead of the appendix, from a man suffering from acute appendicitis (which is life-threatening). The patient suffered another month of agony, until his appendix was removed in a second procedure.
  2. Removed an ovary and a fallopian tube, instead of the appendix, from a woman patient (luckily not of child-bearing age).
  3. Removed a skin-tag, instead of a cyst, from a third patient.

The third case occurred after an investigation which recommended that he "be restricted in what operations he carried out".

His excuse: he said he had been suffering from "poor vision" at the time.

There are several things which concern me about this situation:

  • Why did Dr. Harun not voluntarily stop operating, when he knew that his vision was impaired? What he did is the height of irresponsibility.
  • Why was the restriction on what operations he was allowed to perform not enforced by the health authority? What kind of messed up processes do they have, that he was allowed to continue to operate on patients?
  • Why is there no mention of compensation for the patients who were so badly treated? I hope that this is simply a matter of them being handled through a separate process. In the USA, people usually sue, and rightly so, in cases like these; just because health-care is usually free (costs covered by the NHS) in the UK does not mean that patients should in any way be treated less as customers.