Doctor admonished for unauthorised suppository

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The Independent Online
A doctor who inserted a pain- relieving suppository into an unconscious female patient having teeth extracted has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council. He has been severely admonished.

The consultant anaesthetist, who has with 10 years experience of dental anaesthetics, was charged by the GMC with assault and failure to obtain informed consent.

The patient, 22, had signed a consent form agreeing to dental treatment for four teeth to be extracted, and knew a general anaesthetic was necessary.

However, she had not given specific consent to an anaesthetic or to the use of suppositories intended to relieve pain when she regained consciousness. Such lack of consent is not common practice in dental surgeries but not unusual in day surgery units orhospital in- patients. The woman and her husband were told about the suppository when she was in the recovery room.

The case came to light because the anaesthetist inadvertently inserted the suppository into the patient's vagina, rather than her rectal passage. Resulting symptoms made the woman suspect sexual assault and she reported the case to the police.

The police concluded no sexual assault had taken place, but a report was sent to the GMC.