Investigation requested of a doctor who operated on immigrant women in detention

WASHINGTON – Two congressional panels call on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to investigate a doctor accused of performing gynecological procedures on immigrant women at a Georgia detention center without their consent or without fully understanding the treatment carried out.

In a December 3 letter, Democrats on the House Homeland Security and Oversight & Reform committees called for Dr Mahendra Amin to be prevented from providing medical treatment to migrants in US immigration and customs detention centers.

They also asked the Department of Homeland Security to describe the measures taken by the agency to provide migrants with appropriate medical care.

Democrats also said they feared Amin “may have performed unnecessary surgeries to defraud DHS and the federal government without consequences.”

“We are also concerned that people in other detention centers are receiving equally inappropriate or inadequate medical treatment,” they said.

Congress was alerted last year to the detention center’s problems by a whistleblower, Dawn Wooten, a nurse who worked at the Irwin County Detention Center.

She said a “large number” of hysterectomies were performed on women at the Georgia facility. A hysterectomy removes the uterus and sometimes the ovaries, which means a person cannot have their period or get pregnant.

In his complaint, Wooten said the doctor who performed the gynecological procedures was known as the “uterus collector”.

The House Oversight & Reform and Homeland Security committees launched their own investigations and discovered “issues regarding issues uncovered during staff visits to facilities, including gaps in the medical, dental and mental health care available to migrants held by the ICE ”.

The committees asked Dr. Tony Ogburn, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine at the University of Texas, to review the detention facility records maintained by the Corrections Department of The room.

LaSalle Corrections is a company that provides correctional staff to immigration detention centers in Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. His contract for the Irwin County Detention Center was terminated and Democrats said DHS was conducting a review.

“While Dr Ogburn could not conclude whether the patients had unwanted hysterectomies, he found that Dr Amin was not meeting acceptable standards of care,” lawmakers said.

Ogburn was so concerned about Amin’s treatment that he wrote a letter of complaint to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the state agency that licenses doctors.

“My concern is that he was not competent and that he just did the same assessment and the same treatment on most of the patients because that is what he knew how to do, and / or he did tests and treatments that have generated a significant amount of reimbursement without benefiting most patients, ”Ogburn wrote in his letter to the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

Democrats have requested a DHS briefing by December 16.

In this briefing, they want to know if DHS has reviewed the treatment Amin provided to women detained by ICE and what those findings are; whether the agency made any referrals to the Justice Department related to Amin; and what efforts have been made to ensure that migrants detained by ICE receive appropriate medical care.

“What steps is DHS taking to ensure that other doctors are not providing substandard care or engaging in unethical practices when treating migrants in ICE detention? ? ” they asked.

Democrats who signed the letter include House Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi; House Oversight & Reform Committee chair Carolyn Maloney of New York; Security, Facilitation and Border Operations Subcommittee Chair Nanette Barragán of California; and Chairman of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee, Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

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