Doctor accused of performing hysterectomies without consent

Federal prosecutors in America are accusing a Virginia physician of performing unnecessary surgical procedures on women without their knowledge or consent, including an operation that removes the patient’s uterus.

A US magistrate ordered 69-year-old Javaid Perwaiz held without bond until at least an upcoming detention hearing. The disgraced doctor was arrested Friday (local time) and charged with health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care matters.

A website profile still online refers to Perwaiz as an obstetrician-gynecologist with “more than 20 years” experience.

Authorities began investigating the doctor after a tip-off from a hospital employee.

The doctor would allegedly scare patients into procedures. Source: Western Tidewater Regional Jail

According to CNN, an FBI affidavit focuses on four unidentified patients and claims Perwaiz repeatedly subjected patients to procedures including hysterectomies and tubal ligation among others.

A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of the uterus while tubal ligation is effectively female sterilisation in which the fallopian tubes are permanently blocked or removed.

The hospital employee who tipped off the FBI told investigators that often “the patients were not aware of the procedures they were undergoing,” according to the affidavit.

Citing documents in the case, NBC News reports that Dr Perwaiz “routinely” told patients they were at risk of cancer to “scare patients into having surgery”.

In arguing against detention, Perwaiz’s lawyer Lawrence Woodward said his client wasn’t a flight risk and knew for about two weeks he was under investigation.

The doctor has been the subject of at least eight malpractice lawsuits, the FBI affidavit reportedly noted. 

- With AP

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