Tuesday September 25, 2012
Some doctors insist rape victims lodge report first
KLANG: Some medical professionals will insist that rape victims lodge a police report before a forensic examination is carried out because they do not want any complications during the investigation, said a gynaecologist.
Klang Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital senior consultant and head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Dr Mohamad Farouk Abdullah said these medical practitioners were in fact looking out for the victims' interests.
“They are concerned that the forensic evidence will not be accepted if a police report is not lodged. They are actually looking out for the interests of the victims,” he said during a seminar on Rape Survivors: Medical and Reproductive Rights of Victims at the hospital here yesterday.
Under the Standard Operating Procedure for the handling of rape cases, Dr Mohamad Farouk said there was no need for victims to lodge a police report before they were examined for evidence and treated.
“The SOP actually stipulated that the medical needs of the person must first be attended to,” he said, adding that the decision to lodge a report solely rests with the victims.
“If they don't want to, they should not be denied medical care and examination,” he said, adding that health care providers should also not impose their moral, religious and cultural convictions in cases of unwed mothers and teen pregnancies.
Hospital Kuala Lumpur senior consultant and O&G head Datuk Dr Ravindran Jegasothy said as opposed to being a legal or moral issue, abortion was a medical issue.
“Probably it's time to take the provision on abortion out of the Penal Code and put it under civil law like other medical-related cases. If a doctor has been negligent, take action against him under civil law,” said Dr Ravindran.
It was pointed out at the seminar that Section 312 of the Penal Code stated that medical practitioners were allowed to terminate pregnancies if they were of the opinion that its continuance would involve risk to the life of the mother or injury to her mental and physical health.