Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NOTTINGHAM: Mother furious at baby cut without her consent

Daily Mail (UK)
August 2, 2015

Mother's fury after doctor circumcises three-month-old baby boy at request of Muslim father WITHOUT her consent

by Ross Slater
Father asked for his boy to stay the night and secretly took him to doctor
Dr Balvinder Mehat carried out the private procedure on request
Baby's mother said: 'I knew this was something my baby's father wanted, but I didn't agree with it at all'

A doctor faces a police inquiry after he performed a circumcision on a three-month-old baby without the mother's consent in Nottingham.

Dr Balvinder Mehat was asked by the child's father's family to carry out the private procedure in accordance with their Islamic faith, but the boy's mother was horrified when she found out.

The unmarried 26-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: 'I knew this was something my baby's father wanted, but I didn't agree with it at all.

'I spoke to my health worker and GP about it, and they said that if it was only my name on the birth certificate there was no way it could happen.'

The parents, who both live in Nottingham, were in a casual relationship when the baby was conceived. After the birth, the father visited his son every week.

When the boy was three months old, the father, whose family originate from Pakistan, asked if his son could stay the night to mark Eid, the end of Ramadan. 'I agreed because it seemed fair,' said the boy's mother.

'The next day I was woken up by a phone call from his grandmother asking me for his GP's details for the circumcision appointment.

'I didn't know what she was on about and gave them to her to avoid a row. I then started ringing and texting them to say that no way should they do anything to my son. I got no response. Then a couple of hours later I got a text saying, 'It's done.' I couldn't believe it.'

The child had been taken to the Bakersfield Medical Centre in Nottingham and given a 'Plastibell circumcision', which is a ten-minute surgical procedure. The mother was horrified by the sight of the wound when she went to collect her child.

She was given a post-operative care sheet warning her that 'common complications can be bleeding and infection'. The furious mother told her health visitor, who in turn informed social services.

'A social worker came to see me,' said the mother, 'but she was only interested in my emotional state and in arranging contact for the father's family as I wouldn't allow them access.

'I rang the medical centre and Dr Mehat later rang me back. He was very aggressive.'

According to General Medical Council guidance, doctors should 'get consent from all those with parental responsibility.

If you cannot get consent for a procedure, for example because the parents cannot agree, you should inform the child's parents that you cannot provide the service unless you have authorisation from the court'.

Dr Mehat qualified as a medic in 1984 and became a GP in 2006. When contacted by The Mail on Sunday, he issued a statement through the Medical Protection Society, saying:
'I am sorry to hear of the concerns that have been raised, but it would be inappropriate for me to comment further due to patient confidentiality. I would like to reassure my patients that I always strive to provide the best possible care.'

A spokesman for Nottingham Police said: 'We can confirm that the matter has been reported to us and that inquiries are ongoing.'

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