A GP accused of carrying out intimate exams on women’s vaginas and breasts when they weren’t needed has claimed he only did it because they were anxious.
Manish Shah, 53, told police that patients were more anxious following the high profile death of Jade Goody, claiming they asked for the exams.
The reality TV star died from cervical cancer aged 27 in 2009.
‘It is well documented that these cases helped raise general awareness of women’s health issues,’ Shah claimed.
‘It is better to examine the patients rather than sticking to the educated guidelines and failing to check a patient.’
Shah is accused of abusing eight women, some of them teenagers, at a medical centre in Romford, Essex, between October 2009 and July 2013.
The Old Bailey heard today that during police interview Shah said he ‘observed the more proactive rather than reactive approach taken in America.’
‘I only carry out intimate examinations when there is a need to do so,’ he added.
‘I have a thorough and methodical approach and this may mean I am more thorough than my peers.
‘I am deeply shocked by these allegations. I believe that all the examinations I undertook on these patients are clinically justified.’
Shah outlined that it was standard practice for patients being screened to take their clothes off and he would always wear gloves before examinations.
Denying any sexual motivation in touching his patients, Shah said the checks ‘were all a result of requests from my patients who were anxious for their health.
Insisting he did not act in a sexually motivated manner, Shah told police there were instances where he told patients that examinations were not necessary, but they asked for one anyway. Other times he advised examination but patients were not keen so he did not
Shah added: ‘Guidelines are not tramlines that must be obeyed in all circumstances.’
He did accept that ‘in comparison to other GPs I may have a relatively low threshold for asking for a review. My decision to conduct intimate examination is sometimes made to address a patient’s anxieties.
‘My practice may not be typical of all GPs, but as far as I am aware I have never missed cancer in all my years as a doctor.’
Shah, from Romford, h is said to have persuaded women to have invasive vaginal examinations and breast examinations when there was no medical need for them to be conducted, and to have breached the guidelines on use of chaperones.
He denies 23 counts of assault by penetration and 18 counts of sexual assault.
The trial continues with Shah due to give evidence tomorrow.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.