Doctor faces more than 100 allegations
A consultant dermatologist has said he believed that a short course of treatment with ultra violet (UV) light in a tanning shop, would not create a significant risk to the health of a patient with psoriasis.
Dr John A Cotterill told a Medical Council fitness to practise inquiry that while he accepted ultra violet light represented a grade one carcinogen, a short course to relieve the skin symptoms of psoriasis was “neither here nor there”.
Dr Cotterill was giving evidence by video link from Manchester yesterday in the Medical Council inquiry which is hearing more than 100 separate allegations of poor professional performance and professional misconduct against Dr Adam Jacobus Smith.
The allegations relate to 12 patients who attended Dr Smith’s treatment rooms in the Whitfield Clinic, Waterford, from 2006 to 2009.
The inquiry was told Dr Cotterill has written a number of articles in medical journals on the subject of the treatment of psoriasis. He has been called as an expert witness by Dr Smith’s legal team.
Dr Cotterill said he understood Dr Smith had inquired into treatment for a patient’s psoriasis with “narrow band” ultra violet light provided by a local hospital. However as the treatment would require a lengthy waiting period and the patient’s family could not afford an ultra violet light machine of their own, Dr Smith had discussed the possibility of the patient attending “a sun parlour”, Dr Cotterill said.
Under cross-examination from barrister JP McDowell, representing the chief executive of the Medical Council, Dr Cotterill accepted that UV light was listed by the World Health Organisation as “a grade one carcinogenic”. But he said “to go to a sun parlour for two to three treatments” would not represent a significant risk to the patient’s health. He said he did not think this would significantly elevate the risk of developing cancer decades later.
But Dr Cotterill said in his opinion Dr Smith had displayed poor professional practice in not keeping records of proper monitoring of the patient when treating him with an aggressive form of drug therapy.
The case continues.