National Post

Surgeon who ‘played God’ found guilty

Fake diagnoses, needless cancer operations


LONDON • A prominent breast surgeon whose victims accused him of playing God with their lives faces a life sentence after a jury convicted him Friday of carrying out unnecessar­y operations that maimed some of his victims for life.

The Nottingham Crown Court jury found Ian Paterson guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and three counts of unlawful wounding. Prosecutor­s say the 59-year-old doctor lied to patients or exaggerate­d their risk of cancer to persuade them to have surgery.

“The procedures carried out by Ian Paterson on vulnerable patients were unnecessar­y and caused physical suffering, scars and wounds to the patients,” said Chief Supt. Mark Payne.

“Also, as a result of his greed and arrogance, many of the patients have suffered psychologi­cally, believing they needed to undergo the procedures because they were at risk from breast cancer.

“Of the 11 victims he was charged with in relation to this case, none had breast cancer, and yet he led them to believe they were at risk. This was cruel and unnecessar­ily led to many people suffering and living in fear.”

Paterson owned a luxury home i n Birmingham as well as properties in Cardiff, Manchester and the U. S., West Midlands police said.

Hundreds of Paterson’s patients were recalled in 2012 after concerns about unnecessar­y or incomplete operations. Nine women and one man testified about the procedures during his trial, which dealt with surgeries between 1997 and 2011.

One patient, Frances Perks, who underwent an unnecessar­y mastectomy, hopes he “rots in hell.”

“I think he’s a psychopath,” she said. “Why would anyone in their right mind do operations to people knowing that they didn’t need them?”

Another victim, Carole Johnson, who had six surgeries in seven years, said he manipulate­d his patients into trusting him.

“I, for one, trusted him with my life,” she said after the verdicts. “To realize that I was betrayed makes me question my own judgment and I feel like I cannot trust any doctor.”

Paterson was granted bail until his sentencing hearing scheduled for May.

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Ian Paterson

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