Detained Immigrant Women Say Doctor Performed Procedures Without Their Consent
Buzzfeed News reports speaking to four women or their attorneys who allege that Dr. Mahendra Amin performed gynecological procedures on them without revealing or thoroughly explaining what he intended to do.
- Amin is the doctor who has been accused of performing procedures on immigrant women in ICE custody that they didn’t want or didn’t understand.
- Buzzfeed said one woman, identified by the pseudonym Amanda, thought Amin was draining an ovarian cyst but discovered upon arriving at the hospital that she would be having surgery.
- Amanda said she was scared and confused, because the doctor had not told her to expect surgery and said draining a cyst was a minor procedure.
Amanda said she had asked the nurse if she could have a few moments to notify her immigration attorney, whom she looked to as her advocate while she was in ICE detention, but was told no.
- She said the nurse told her she must agree to the procedure at that moment or she would be sent back to the detention center and considered to have refused treatment. Amanda said: "I felt pressured. I knew I only had a few seconds to make a decision.”
- Another woman, who was 29 at the time, was told she was having the lining of her uterus scraped and a cyst removed. When she awoke from anesthesia, Amin told her he also removed one of her Fallopian tubes.
- Her attorney told Buzzfeed that she was upset by the news, was unclear on what the long term implications were, and would not have consented to the removal had she been asked.
- The attorney said: "People who are in immigration detention are robbed of so much time with their family, and it's a physical and emotional strain. Now … immigrants in detention are being robbed of future opportunities to be able to conceive children."
- Buzzfeed News noted that to date, there is no evidence to support allegations that Amin performed mass sterilizations on detained immigrant women.
- Elizabeth Van Nostrand, associate professor for health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Public Health Practice, said it seems that some of Amin’s patients were unable to give consent, despite signing a form.
- Van Nostrand told Buzzfeed: "Consent implicitly means someone understands and it appears, from what I read, that it's not always what's going on."