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GP ban proposed over cancer miss
[Posted: Fri 16/07/2010 www.irishhealth.com]
The Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Committee has recommended that a Cork GP, Dr Patrick Lee, who admitted skimming over a hospital report advising surgery for a patient now terminally ill with skin cancer, be suspended from practising for three months.
Dr Lee had also admitted trying to cover-up the mistake, which led to vital investigative surgery for his patient not taking place.
The patient would have had a 95 per cent chance of survival had he been sent in time for this treatment. The type of mole found on the patient's thigh is often a precursor to the serious skin cancer, melanoma, from which the patient is now suffering.
The committee found that that Dr Lee's behaviour fell seriously short of the standards expected of a medical practitioner.
It concluded that his dishonesty and deliberate deception and persistent attempts to avoid taking responsibility for his failure to carefully and comprehensively read and follow-up on 50-year-old Martin Dorney's histology report in 2003 constituted disgraceful and dishonourable conduct.
Dr Lee had initially told Mr Dorney that the mole was benign. The GP, when he realised he had misread the hospital report, tried to conceal the truth from his patient and other medical professionals, the Medical Council hearing was told.
The Committee recommended his suspension from the medical register for three months and that he should undergo supervision for a period of two years.
An audit of the results on all tests carried out on Dr Lee's patients for the past five years was also recommended.
A meeting of the Medical Council will consider the recommendations of the committee regarding Dr Lee at a later date.
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