Durban - A husband told the Health Professions Council of SA on Wednesday how he knew his wife longed for a baby daughter, despite having already had two sons, and that it broke his heart that she would never be able to conceive another child naturally because she had been sterilised by a doctor without her consent.
Sivantharan Pillay was giving evidence at the hearing of uMhlanga gynaecologist and obstetrician Rajesh Mahabir, who is accused of having conducted the sterilisation on Sherryl Pillay without her consent after the birth of her second child.
Pillay’s testimony corroborated that of his wife, which was given the previous day.
Mahabir performed the tubal ligation (sterilisation) on the administration clerk, then aged 31, during a Caesarean section at Umhlanga Hospital on November 5, 2008.
Both Pillays have testified that the tubal ligation was carried out without either of them even knowing about it or giving their consent.
Mahabir has so far been unable to present a signed consent form giving him permission to perform the procedure.
At the time of the operation, a note was made saying: “Patient consented to tubal ligation whilst on the table.” It was signed by Mahabir, as well as by two nurses.
One of the nurses, Irene Read, told the board on Wednesday that although she had signed the note as a witness, she had not seen or heard Sherryl consent to a tubal ligation.
“A colleague asked me to sign the note after the procedure,” she explained.
“I told her that I hadn’t actually witnessed the patient give consent, but I signed it anyway because I trusted her.”
The hearing was postponed until next week, when Mahabir is expected to testify.
In a related civil case, the Pillays are claiming R360 000 in damages from Mahabir, to cover the cost of in vitro fertilisation.