Bangsar Doctor Responds To Sexual Assault Allegations Made By Patient In Viral Tweets
A woman recently shared on Twitter how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by a doctor at a popular dermatological clinic in Bangsar
On 16 August, Tashny Sukumaran* wrote that she had visited a dermatological clinic about a skin condition on her shins.
"I was recently diagnosed with a genetic condition called ichthyosis, and went to [Dr] Ruban Nathan for a second opinion," she wrote in the tweet.
Her Twitter thread has since received over 3,500 retweets.
*Permission to use the real names of the parties involved has been granted to SAYS for the purpose of this story.
She revealed that she was touched inappropriately during the consultation
"Without asking or informing me, he grabbed my leg and pulled it onto his lap," she explained.
"This is not proper procedure. Medical professionals must ask/tell before touching you. I was taken aback but before I could react, he started STROKING MY LEG. At this point, you may think he was just inspecting the dry skin on my shins. Not so, dear friends. Not so."
The woman then tried to move her leg away but he continued to "fondle" her knee
"I raised my voice slightly and repeated myself, and managed to sort of forcefully pull my leg away and sit properly," she wrote, adding that he then gave her some generic advice on dry skin and the price of steroid cream.
However, just as she was about to leave, the doctor allegedly began to ask her about her job, employer, and politics.
"My guess is that he was trying to prolong our dialogue to either gauge how pissed off I was, or somehow pacify me. This is speculation," she added.
The patient then quickly paid for the medical bill and left.
As this was her second dermatological visit, Tashny explained that her first doctor did not need to touch her leg in order to explain about her dry skin
Tashny was apparently informed by a senior doctor that a nurse usually stands "chaperone" in the room. However, she claimed that was not the case this time.
The patient added that she has since filed a complaint to the Malaysian Medical Council and cc-ed the Health Ministry.
In a statement to SAYS, Dr Ruban Nathan has denied the allegations made
"A patient has made an unprecedented allegation on Twitter against me. The allegation is without corroboration and claims that a superficial skin examination of her shin to knee was somehow tantamount to sexual harassment," he told SAYS when contacted today, 20 August.
He also revealed that a trained nurse was present during the entire five-minute examination
"Although an initial tweet by the patient had admitted to her (the nurse's) presence, this was later denied," he added.
"In addition, the patient has obscured or failed to clearly reveal that following the clinical examination, we discussed the five therapeutic options available for her. This was followed by a general conversation on her work."
Dr Ruban explained that the patient then paid for the consultation and left the clinic without any complaint.
According to him, the patient's demeanour captured on CCTV is "calm and unruffled".
In addition, he wrote that CCTV footage during the consultation has been submitted to authorities and that legal action will be taken in any event
"All of this plays contrary to the story told on social media, which has resulted in a barrage of unfounded allegations against me and has caused anguish to me, my family, friends, and the wider community that has grown to respect me, my practice, and my practice partners," the statement read.
"Ours is a practice which has served the community for 50 years. It is ironic that it is my reputation and that of the practice, which in the first place led the complainant to seek a second opinion from me on her medical condition."
He added that legal proceedings will be issued soon and urged parties concerned and the public to exercise decency, caution, and patience until the process arrives at its conclusion.
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