April 21, 2024

British surgeon sentenced to 15 years in jail

He performed hundreds of unnecessary operations, leaving patients traumatised and disfigured

Paterson's victims react on the steps of the courthouse / BBC

A British surgeon who operated unnecessarily upon hundreds of patients after exaggerating or inventing the risk of cancer has been jailed for 15 years. Ian Paterson was found guilty (see earlier BioEdge story) of harming nine women and one man, but it appears that there are hundreds of victims. Even after the trial, Paterson’s motives were unclear, although they may have included supporting an expensive lifestyle.  

In sentencing Paterson, Justice Jeremy Baker said, “”Without any regard for the long-term effects, you deliberately preyed on their long-term fears. You can be a charming and charismatic individual but you deliberately used those characteristics to manipulate your patients.”

Crown prosecutor Pamela Jain said that: “He knew the procedures were not needed but carried on regardless, inflicting unlawful wounds on his patients. The impact of Paterson's actions on his victims has been devastating, from the unnecessary distress of undergoing procedures they did not need, to the scars that will always serve as a physical reminder of what their doctor, Ian Paterson, did to them.”

There were a number of complaints about the surgeon, but they were ignored for several years by the National Health Service. He stopped operating in 2011.

Creative commons