London: An Indian-origin surgeon has been banned from practising medicine after a UK medical tribunal found him guilty of abusing his professional position by writing a love letter to a female patient.
Dr Sachiendra Amaragiri was struck off from the UK’s medical practitioners’ register recently after a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing was told that the 59-year-old was infatuated with a woman he treated for a stomach complaint, known only as Patient A.
“You twanged some distant cord which had laid dormant in me for so many years. When you stepped into my clinic for the first time, I was suddenly stunned and taken aback by your presence,” the doctor wrote.
The patient called the police after receiving the letter and said she was very distressed, according to a report in Chronicle Live.
“I thought to myself, he knows my address, he knows where I live, he has my phone numbers,” she told the tribunal hearing.
The tribunal heard that Amaragiri was aware that he had overstepped the mark in his behaviour and even went as far as to say in his letter: “By writing this letter, I strongly feel I am taking advantage of the information I have about you and I am sure you will feel that I have dipped below your expectation and belief in me as a doctor.”
Amaragiri, who was not the MPTS hearing, has insisted he had not taken advantage of Patient A and described his letter to her, which also invited her out for a coffee, as a “moment of madness”.
In letters to the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC), he said: “I was never physically attracted to her, it was a moment of emotional awareness. Not only is this extremely disturbing but distasteful to read. I never had or have any intention of causing any hurt in any manner. I did invite her for a social drink and I acknowledge this was a mistake.”
“I reassure you I’ve not taken advantage of my position as Patient A’s surgeon. My letter can be interpreted in many ways, yes I did confess I did have feelings but these were pure from my heart. I sincerely regret this event happened and it’s sad that my letter has been interpreted so cheaply.”
The doctor has since apologised to the patient and his colleagues at the Russells Hall Hospital at Dudley in the West Midlands region of England, where he worked as a consultant.
He has said he intends to appeal the tribunal’s decision to suspend his medical registration.