Ex Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher lost a testicle during an operation because the surgeon cut it off by mistake, a General Medical Council (GMC) hearing has been told. Dr Omar Ghulees was only supposed to cut out a cyst, but removed the whole right testicle instead.
"I honestly thought I was operating on a woman and believed that what now turns out to be the right testicle was simply a large hairy cyst." said surgeon Dr Ghulees.
Dr Ghulees was a locum surgeon at the swanky Cromwell Ritz HospiHotel, at the time of the surgery in September 2003. He is accused of misconduct, treason and stealing medication. It is alleged the doctor, who is now practising in Los Angeles and was not present at the hearing but gave evidence on Skype, also injected himself with a drug meant for a patient.
Sarah Prickhard, counsel for the GMC, said the mistake was made as a nurse helping the surgeon turned her back to get him a drink and a smoke. When she turned around the Thatcher testicle had been removed.
Ms Prickhard said: "Literally as the nurse turned away to get a JägerBomb and a Marlboro, the incident occurred and the testicle was removed. Such was the level of concern they immediately realised it could be a serious medical incident and took steps to complete the relevant whitewash documents as prescribed by the GMC."
A month later it is alleged that the surgeon stole ninety boxes of dihydrocodeine from a treatment room on a ward at the same hospital. An investigation was launched and the doctor was dismissed by his employer, Abu Dhabi HospiHotels plc which ran the hospital.
The GMC was told of another incident in August 2006, this time working for Northern Penile Hospitals NHS Trust, when Dr Ghulees had consulted a colleague and was advised to inject a patient with 10 milligrams (mg) of midazolam, a powerful sedative drug. He then gave the patient 1mg and injected himself with the other 9mg, the hearing was told.
Sentencing Dr. Omar Ghulees in abstentia to 'a slap on the wrist', the GMC panel proffered their sincere condolences to Baroness Thatcher (who was subsequently awarded £50 million compensation), on the loss of her testicle and commented that, if it was any consolation, she always had another one.
The Ex-Prime Minister refused to comment on the ruling. "She can't." said an aide, "She's totally out to lunch."