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15 May 2008

2 doctors, nurse suspended over 'youtube rectum surgery scandal' in philippines

Three medical staff implicated in a video that showed over a dozen staff in an operating room clowning about while a patient lay unconscious on the operating table have been suspended pending an investigation.

Two doctors and a nurse at the government-run Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu have been placed under preventive suspension by the Department of Health in Central Visayas for filming and posting a video of a rowdy operation they were involved in on the Internet.

A nursing student observing the procedure is said to have posted the video on YouTube. In the screen shot, the doctor who removed the canister from the patient's rectum is seen holding up the object after spraying the canister towards a crowd of nurses and doctors in the operating room. Several others are also seen taking photos or recording the surgery.
The nearly 3-minute video showed dozens of people inside an operating room laughing as the surgeons removed an object from a male patient's rectum on Jan 3.

According to a statement issued by Ang Ladlad, the national organisation of LGBT Filipinos, the 39-year-old gay man said he was drunk while his partner inserted a perfume canister into him on New Year's Eve which necessitated an operation.

In the video, a doctor is seen carefully pulling out a 6-inch-long spray canister from the patient as someone calls out, "Baby out!" amid loud cheers and giggles. The doctor then removes the canister cap and sprays the contents toward a crowd of nurses and doctors viewing the procedure.

According to the Cebu Daily News, the trio Dr Phillips Leo Arias, head surgeon of the operation; Dr Joseph Montecillo, assistant surgeon; and nurse Carminia Sapio are among 14 medical staff members who are facing investigation before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas for violating Section 3(3) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The section holds a person liable for "causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions."

The patient, who is said to be a minimum-wage earner in a flower shop, filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas after he found out about the video.

The patient's lawyer Guiller Ceniza says the incident is a gross violation of his patient's right to privacy, confidentiality, and human dignity; and calls into question "the unethical behaviour and misconduct displayed by these medical practitioners over a patient who was unconscious and defenceless."

He added that the issue is further aggravated as the video was uploaded to the Internet.

The patient, who is known a Danilo in this case, has sought P1 million (US$23,400) in moral damages and P5 million in exemplary damages.

Ang Ladlad said in a statement that it welcomed the suspension of the two doctors and one nurse involved in the scandal. Danton Remoto, chairman of Ang Ladlad, said: "This is only the beginning of the end for these callous and inhuman doctors and nurses who turned the operating room of the hospital into a circus. They not only stripped Danilo of his human dignity, but also stained the Philippine medical profession, which has already been besieged by a series of scandals."

The group has also called for the nursing student who allegedly uploaded the video to be barred by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) from taking the nursing licensure examinations and for the PRC to look into the revocation of the licenses of the rest of the nurses and doctors involved.


Reader's Comments

1. 2008-05-15 19:28  
I am from the Philippines so i am really furious about this scandal. As what I posted on our local lgtb mailing list, I am furious on how these "so-called" educated people made fun of an individual. Regardless of a person's sexual preference, what they did is purely blatant violation of his rights as a human being. If these medical practioners value work ethics, they wouldn't ridicule and make fun of their patients especially when they are laying their sedated. These people are truly disgusting.
2. 2008-05-15 21:36  
Was the guy unconscious? Seems odd he would let them do anything with all the people in the room. Also, probably not a great idea inserting the cannister int he first place. Hey do what you want but if have to go to hopsital because of a sexual fetish, think its time to reevaluate the practice.
3. 2008-05-15 21:54  
Being in the medical profession myself, I'm appalled at the behaviour these surgeons displayed. Sure, we have our fair share of out-of-the-ordinary cases where we privately laugh about it (after all, we're all human) but to demean a person publicly in such a manner, it is unacceptable and unethical. So much for taking the hippocratic oath.
4. 2008-05-15 23:15  
I wonder, if its a VIP will they still do a video and post it?
5. 2008-05-15 23:17  
Good! People like that shud be taught a lesson - losing their livelihoods! This serves as a warning to others in responisbility that misbehave!
6. 2008-05-15 23:46  
well, that shows how educated people are uneducated. hehe.

not all educated ones are childish and stupid like that though. while not all uneducated ones are acting that way too.

so its depending on different human for their acts - no one is perfect. :)
7. 2008-05-15 23:46  
Doctors and nurses are just like Policemen and Firemen. They suppose to be life saver and professionals that be trusted but instead make fun of their patients and worst of all, uploading the video clip on youtube. Irregardless the person's sexuality, I think we need a more heftier punishment for all who are involved whether directly or in directly, as long as they are in the operation theatre. This is to serve as a reminder to all doctors and nurses out there to carry out their job professionally and not to make fun of their patients.

A public apology is require from all those involved and the hospital as well.
8. 2008-05-15 23:56  
Talk Cock Sing Song....
9. 2008-05-16 00:41  
i am outraged, this is a shame to all health care workers. i am a nurse and this is way too disrespectful and it is a big disappointment.
10. 2008-05-16 01:09  
What the hell?! How shameful! These are so called professionals who patients give their undivided trust and faith in, yet this is how they treat the patients' rights? What happened to confidentiality? It's appalling what some docs do when in med school I'm being told repetitively to uphold patient's rights & ensure their complete confidentiality..

Melvinpool --> The article said he was drunk, I don't think it's a fetish. Unless his partner wasn't drunk and thought it was funny (stupid is more like it)
11. 2008-05-16 01:18  
A blessing in disguise for the u-tube video though.
When things got published, drew attention & awareness, followed with the condemnation, result in deserved punishment as an 'education'. Im sure there are more unethical acts on tables of others surgeons somewhere....Let them be reminded.
12. 2008-05-16 01:37  
Well it sounds like their New Year's Eve was a lot more interesting than mine. As if any of us would not have found this situation even slightly humorous? True... they're doctors, but the one who really displayed bad taste is whoever uploaded the thing to the net... not the ones who did their job and managed to have a little humor about it.
13. 2008-05-16 09:40  
Come on, the jokes were harmless after all. What was really mean was uploading it to the Internet.
14. 2008-05-16 13:13  
the people involved to that scandal especially the doctors are so unprofessional they didnt think that even that patient is a gay they should respect them. that's why many foreigners are scared to the health care services in the philippines.. i wish that it will be the last.......
15. 2008-05-16 14:44  
finally their license will be revoked..hahahaha
16. 2008-05-16 20:17  
Geez! Where's the Medical Etichs of these guys. Or At Least Humanity. What If This Happens to Ur Sons or Grandsons. OMG!! Docs Shame on you guys..
17. 2008-05-16 20:35  
these professionals have certainly broken their oath with regards to confidentiality, which resulted to breaking the law. whatever the outcome of the investigation is, i hope that justice would prevail and justice be given to the victim of this entire issue. let this be a lesson to all professionals out there, who seemed to have gone astrayed and forget all about professional ethics...
18. 2008-05-16 23:31  
What was the brand involved?

Maybe its a promotion for them?

Doubt it tho.

The guys partner seem like a bit of a shit.
19. 2008-05-17 13:23  
This really sets back the good work that some hard-working gay activists are trying to build up for gays. Now this cements public opinion that gays are perverted, shameless, decadent assf**kers and c**ksuckers. But really some gays should have better sense of decency and dignity.
20. 2008-05-17 17:58  
i agree with the poor ethics of these medical professionals.
However, they also mentioned about "causing any undue injury to any party,... evident bad faith or GROSS inexcusable negligence. "... this is also applicable for shoving up a perfume canister in your behind.
Apparently, playing it safe is more than just wearing condoms.

21. 2008-05-18 21:07  
As a medical doctor I think the action of these medical staff is tantamount to unethical, they should face the appropriate penalty including possible criminal charges, but certainly should face disciplinary measures including revoking licenses because of the damage caused to the medical and nursing professions. The effects go beyond the country where the incident occurred, and has global implications.
22. 2008-05-19 13:56  
I believe the sanction of suspension to those involved is too light and insensitive to the victim. The license of all those resposible either perpetrator or accessory (as they claimed) must be revoked and they must be barred from working in hospitals locally or overseas. They are a shame to their country and fellow filipinos.
23. 2008-05-19 14:37  
Frankly I am disgusted in thier unethical behaviour. I am in the health industry in Canada and those involved should if they intend, be barred from immigration or practice in Canada. I believe they have brought dishonour to their fellow country men and women who are world famous for their compassion and caring in health care, shame on you.
24. 2008-05-19 17:32  
oh get over it, thankfully no one was hurt or injured by what had happened only a bit of pride. It was a joke joyce. Lighten up, as usual poor sin takes it all so seriously
25. 2008-05-20 06:18  
People make dumb mistakes. Now it's going too far. Barring a nursing student from getting his license because he uploaded the video? You can't be serious. That's why I never support these so called LGBT non profits. They take things way too far. Complain way too much. They think they're victims of everything. Stop with all the drama already.
26. 2008-05-20 10:04  
To those who think this is a harmless joke, I hope you'll continue laughing if you see your video (ass and balls included) posted online by your friendly doctor as he performs a prostate exam or some other medical procedure on you.
27. 2008-05-20 18:05  
to tonythetiger:

i'm sure if it was you on the operating table you wouldn't just say "stop with all the drama already." have some respect.

so unless you become the victim, i don't think you should take this situation so lightly.
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33. 2008-05-20 19:03  
Think it reflects on the standard of these medical staff more than anything else.
If anything, they should be 'man' enough to face possibility of suspension from their medical licenses. Let's see who's the real sissy here- the gay man they so crudely made fun of... or the doctors themselves ;>
34. 2008-05-20 19:26  
US$ 23,400 (moral damages) + US$ 117,000 (exemplary damages) = US$ 140,400
That perfume canister may well go into the Guiness Book of Records as the most expensive perfume canister in the world if the guy wins his case in court.
In the Philippines you can go quite a long way with that kind of money.
Sure I feel sorry for the guy and shocked by the attitude of the medical staff but hey, this is now about money and not so much about dignity, ethics etc.
35. 2008-05-21 17:10  
The worst aspect to this case is the frank betrayal of trust and the poor moral code of the medical staff. It would be aweful if other patients felt that they could be subjected to similar disrepectful or humiliating behaviour. It could cause them to deliberately avoid essential treatment in fear of public embarrassment. Every patient can expect a reasonable level of privacy.
36. 2008-05-21 21:35  

If it had been a woman there would have been much more of an outrage!
37. 2008-05-24 09:26  
unprofessional, childish and utterly shameful.... they deserve what they get
38. 2008-05-26 22:53  
post no 29....$140,400 is NOTHING if that happened here in the states! Id say at least $10 million.
Them docs and nurses needs to have jail time on top of taking their lisence away. The student too...with that kind of mentality who knows what other "funny" things they've done..and will do....
39. 2012-07-02 20:26  
is there such law that would punish those doctors criminally?

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