By The SATimes News Service
Washington, DC: A whistleblower complaint filed in the US has sparked calls for a federal probe after it was alleged that an Indian-descent gynecologist had conducted mass hysterectomies on immigrants without their full understanding and consent at a privately-run detention center in the state of Georgia.
The complaint, filed by an employee of the detention center, did not identify him. But lawyers representing the victims have named the doctor as Mahendra Amin, according to US media reports.
“We are aware of the whistleblower’s allegations as they relate to Dr Amin and we vehemently deny them,” said Scott Grubman, the doctor’s attorney, in a statement. “We look forward to all of the facts coming out and are confident that, once they do, Dr Amin will be cleared of any wrongdoing.”
Amin, 68, is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist. Prism, the news website that first reported the whistleblower complaint, said he is based in Douglas, Georgia and is affiliated with Coffee Regional Medical Center, which has since removed references to Amin from its website.
According to reports, Amin studied medicine at the Government Medical College of South Gujarat University in Surat, India, and also interned there at a hospital.
On Wednesday, 173 Democratic members of the House of Representatives wrote to the US department of homeland security, demanding an investigation into the whistleblower’s complaint.
Pramila Jayapal, Indian-American congresswoman who initiated the joint letter along with senior party leaders, said, “It appears that there may be at minimum 17 to 18 women who were subjected to unnecessary medical gynecological procedures from just this one doctor, often without appropriate consent or knowledge, and with the clear intention of sterilization.”
Dawn Wooten, a licensed nurse employed by Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) operated by private prison company, LaSalle Corrections, had filed the whistleblower complaint through Project South, a non-profit, with the inspector general of the department of homeland security on Monday. Wooten’s complaint alleged the conduct of mass hysterectomies amid rampant disregard for Covid-19 guidelines and unsanitary conditions at the facility.
Project South said it learnt about the hysterectomies in interviews with multiple inmates. One of them reportedly confirmed, “A lot of women here go through a hysterectomy.”
Wooten’s account, in her own words, is chilling. “Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy, just about everybody. He’s even taken out the wrong ovary on a young lady,” Wooten reportedly said, recalling a particular case. “She (the victim) was supposed to get her left ovary removed because it had a cyst. He took out the right one. She was upset, she had to go back to take out the left ovary and she wound up with a total hysterectomy.
The outrage sparked by the allegations was fueled by a well-documented and alarming history of sterilization of people of color in the US aimed at preventing the rapid growth of their population. (Source: hindustantimes.com)