Surgeon 'insisted' on rectal exam despite no consent, doctor claims
A NSW anaesthetist who examined a patient's rectum without consent says he was reluctant to do so but the surgeon tasked with the man's treatment was "insistent".
Anaesthetist Dr Adam Hill rectally examined a 37-year-old male patient at a hospital in November 2018 after the surgeon, who can't be named for legal reasons, discovered a large tumour during a colonoscopy.
Dr Hill is appealing the suspension of his registration by the Medical Council of NSW in March after a complaint was made about the incident.
The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in April ruled Dr Hill could return to work "pending the hearing and determination of the appeal" against his suspension.
His barrister, Arthur Moses SC, told an NCAT hearing on Tuesday that it was a "one-off transgression" and the medical council had sought to attribute the actions of the surgeon to Dr Hill.
"The applicant concedes that he should not have conducted the examination without the express consent of the patient," Mr Moses said.
Dr Hill testified he was "reluctant" to feel the rectal mass - because he didn't "enjoy doing examinations in that vicinity" - and initially declined the surgeon's request.
"He was insistent," Dr Hill said on Tuesday.
Barrister Henry El-Hage, acting for the Medical Council of NSW, asked: "Do you accept that at the time you had no clinical reason to inspect the tumour?"
"I can see that now, absolutely, yes," Dr Hill replied.
One nurse testified she saw the surgeon take out his mobile phone while Dr Hill was examining the patient, point it at the anaesthetist and say: "We finally have evidence of you doing work."
She gave evidence that Dr Hill made "a snigger, a giggle" noise at the joke but, upon spotting the mobile phone, said: "That's not funny. Put that away."
The appeal hearing continues.
© AAP 2019