Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sodomy medical report not conclusive: Health DG


A doctor cannot make a conclusive medical report in sexual abuse cases, including sodomy, unless he or she completes four important examinations on the victim, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said yesterday. “First, the doctor needs to have a detailed history of the incident as alleged by the victim then he must conduct a full medical examination, complete a thorough examination on the private parts of the patient and do some investigation. “The doctor has to send bodily specimens of the victim to the forensic unit. All these must be completed. You can’t do a preliminary examination and conclude that the patient was sexually abused or otherwise,” he said after opening the National Regulatory Conference here. He was asked to comment on a flyer circulated in public, which is claimed to be the medical report of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, 23, done at the Pusrawi Medical Centre by Dr Mohamed Osman Abdul Hamid. The report was allegedly done a few hours before Saiful lodged a police report alleging that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had sodomised him. “Please do not be swayed by the so called medical report because it is not conclusive. In the first place we do not know if the medical report printed in the flyer is authentic or otherwise. The medical report’s authenticity must be confirmed,” Dr Ismail said. Ismail, who had seen the flyer on the Internet, said: “From a professional point of view, I have to say that it is not conclusive. You can’t take a- preliminary medical report, and say it is conclusive.” He also said that the “release” of the medical report was unethical, incorrect and unjustified as it went against the patient’s confidentiality. He said the Ministry was currently awaiting an investigation report from the private medical centre on how the initial medical report was leaked to the public, including the media. “We also want to talk to the doctor but he seems to be uncontactable. Looking at the flyer, it seems that he had ruled out sodomy but this does not confirmed anything. He made an initial examination and automatically ruled out sexual abuse. “I advise the public not to jump to conclusion or assumption on this matter based on the flyer. To make a conclusive medical report, one must have the experience and expertise in handling such cases. Whether the report is true or otherwise, just let the court decide,” he said. Dr Ismail said he did not want to speculate on the issue as he was only the Director- General of Health speaking from a professional point of view. He said the Ministry was also concerned about how the medical report was leaked. “Our investigation team had visited the hospital and we are waiting for their investigation report. I had given them two weeks to come up with their report and the deadline is up. The hospital should have ensured the security of the medical report. It can only be released on the authorisation of the patient. “We also want to interview the doctor concerned. He must come forward and explain himself but Pusrawi had said that they cannot contact him. “What he did, if at all he leaked the report, goes against the code of conduct for medical practitioners. Action can be taken against him by the Malaysian Medical Council,” he said. - Bernama

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