Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 17°C Sunday 14 August 2022

Hospital seeks suspension of gynaecologist who performed 'exploratory work' without consent

The Kilkenny hospital commissioned a report into the doctor’s behaviour.

Image: Shutterstock/wandee007

A SENIOR HOSPITAL consultant at St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny was the subject of a report by the Ireland East Hospital Group over his failure to obtain consent before carrying out gynaecological “exploratory work” on female patients. 

The Irish Times reported that a report into the behaviour of Prof Ray O’Sullivan is under consideration by the Ireland East Hospital Group. O’Sullivan said he felt he did not need to obtain consent before carrying out the tests on five female patients last year. 

The hospital has reported the issue to the Irish Medical Council and has sought O’Sullivan’s suspension. When contacted by, the Irish Medical Council said it could not comment on individual cases. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Ireland East Hospital Group confirmed to that the group commissioned a review into the incidents and that the report was received last week. 

“The CEO is currently considering the content of the report which will be shared with patients and appropriate parties in accordance with due process,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that this could take up to a month to complete.

The tests involve junior hospital staff flushing women’s vaginas with water and inserting a small scope to monitor pressure. 

O’Sullivan told the Irish Times that he felt consent wasn’t necessary because he was carrying out “exploratory work”.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“I felt I didn’t need consent. I didn’t because we weren’t actually doing the research. We were just seeing if a particular procedure that we were planning on doing as part of the research could be done,” he said.

The issue came to light after nurses raised concern over whether the patients had given consent and the procedures had been obtained from an ethical committee. This led to the tests stopping in September.

A report was initially commissioned from Prof Peter Doran, a medical researcher in University College Dublin, by the hospital. This report was critical of O’Sullivan’s failure to obtain consent from his patients.

About the author:

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel