Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Was Anwar stripped and measured?

Medical examination must be independent and professional

There has been some controversy as to whether PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was made to strip naked and had his private parts examined and measured. It was surprising that Hospital Kuala Lumpur director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain came out to deny that Anwar was made to strip naked for the examination. How can physical examination be done without adequate exposure?

Any doctor will agree that adequate exposure is essential for a proper medical examination.This is a basic lesson for all medical students. In cases of a rape or sodomy, examination of the private parts is imperative and that can only be done if those parts are fully exposed to the examining doctor.

However Dr Zaininah rightly pointed out that the doctors who examined Anwar had clearly explained the procedure and obtained his prior consent before being subjected to the examination. This is definitely in keeping with accepted medical practice. Moreover the examination has to be done in a professional manner and adhering fully to proper clinical procedure. If these are strictly adhered to, it would be perfectly acceptable and will not be considered violating the patient’s decency, modesty or dignity.

A patient cannot be compelled to be examined if he refuses to do so. In the case of Anwar genital examination is a must and there is no way that can be done if he does not agree to undress himself adequately in the privacy of the qualified medical examiner. External or superficial examination of a person involved in sodomy or rape would not be inadequate, unacceptable and would be just a waste of time and resources.

Therefore it would not be right to say that Anwar was not stripped naked for the examination. It has to be done but with his full consent. The question here is not whether Anwar was stripped naked to be examinesd but whether the examination was indicated at that particular time in the first place. What puzzles one is the way it was carried out. Why was the need to rush in for an “emergency” medical examination at night on a person suspected of sodomy that is believed to have taken place more than 2 weeks before?

Medical examination of those involved in rape and sodomy are part of routine police investigations but it should be done professionally and fairly regardless of social status or political ideology. There should be no interference and influence from outside parties. It would be morally wrong to use medical examinations and procedures for desired political motives.

Dr.Chris Anthony


Anonymous said...

Well explained, Doc.

According RPK a doctor was forced to fabricate the medical report, however the said doctor refused to budge to their request. If we have such situation a statement by KLH director is no surprise at all.

Please refer to RPK's article on "HOw, yet again, they are trying to fabricate evidence against AAnwar" .

The authorities have lost their credibility.

Mr. Smith said...

You are one of the very few Malaysians this country needs to prick the conscience of those who place materialism above civil liberties, morality, justice and governance.
I am disgusted with Christians in BN who have nothing to say in this shameful charade of shaming a fellow Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

From the way they sent in SWAT team with 12 police cars to arrest Anwar it all boil dowm to intimidatiom and so the way the medical examination is done is for humilation. So as far as I am concern whatever is the outcome of the investigation/trail. It is not relevant.

amoker said...

Good article. It was a play of words by Dr Zaninah and further skew of the MSMs that did the damage.

At least the christians in PR are speaking out.

Anonymous said...

The statement by the Director of HKL was correct. DSAI fully understood that his consent was required for the medical examination and that is why he did not consent to any specimen for DNA or any photograph to be taken. He gave his written consent for a full medical examination and for his private parts to be examined knowing that he could have refused. Being STRIPED NAKED is too strong a phrase to be used as it implied being forced. He was not striped by the doctors nor was he forced to strip as he had alleged. He UNDRESSED himself for the examination which was carried out professionally according to accepted medical practices. A patient need not be completely naked to be fully examined. The key word here is adequate exposure which does not equate to naked. A patient can be fully examined while still clothed in a hospital gown or underpant and the private parts exposed only during that portion of examination. Similarly, an anal or rectal examination can be done by exposing only the behind but not the genitals by simply pulling the hind portion of the underpant down to the gluteal fold. Certaintly the rest of the examination of heart, lung and abdomen can be completed without the patient being naked. As a surgeon, I am sure you must know that the measurement of a patient's private parts is neither a routine part of any medical examination nor was it included in the protocol for rape victim. Measurement of any injuries - yes. Measurement of private parts - no. DSAI's statement had lead the public to believed that he was FORCED and that he was completely naked and humiliated when he was not. The medical examination had been performed properly in privacy and certaintly with his dignity preserved. His statement had questioned the doctor's professionalism and had affected the credibility of the hospital and that is why the Director of HKL had to come out with her statement in defend of the truth.

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