- By @nitayuvani
This article gives an in-depth analysis on the witch-hunt and slander of Dr. Mahendra Amin. Sixty-eight year old Dr. Amin has been accused as “the uterus collector”. A man with an otherwise clean record was being hounded and slandered by mainstream media. He is targeted for his religious identity and political affiliations.
On September 14, 2020, the Intercept reported on whistleblower, Dawn Wooten. Dawn Wooten was a nurse at the Irwin County Detention center in Georgia, an ICE facility. She first blew the whistle about the dangerous working conditions for her there. She was often forced to interact with patients without proper PPE by her supervisors. Dawn Wooten has sickle cell anemia, a pre-existing condition which puts her in the at-risk population for coronavirus.
Upon speaking out about the lack of PPE multiple times, Dawn was demoted. The Irwin County Detention is not the only LaSalle-owned ICE facility where lack of proper PPE was noted. In the the Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana, the medical staff wrote a letter to staff about the lack of PPE. This is a known problem, and Dawn whistle blew on the issues related to the facility. This was all that was covered in the first whistleblowing report by the Intercept.
The focus shifting from the lack of PPE to hysterectomies is hard to understand. On September 14, 2020, Dawn whistle blew on the lack of PPE and the implications to her safety. By September 16, 2020, the narrative was proposed that involuntary and unnecessary hysterectomies were being carried out in ICE’s facilities. A single surgeon was named as carrying out all the hysterectomies by the media: Dr. Mahendra Amin.
On September 16, 2020, “Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse employed by the center who’s represented by the Government Accountability Project and Project South, stated in a complaint that while some women may have required a hysterectomy, ‘everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.’” Supposedly, all the women that Dr. Amin saw received some form of surgery. In Dawn’s opinion, while nearly all the patients had complaints about heavy menstruation, severe pain, or cysts, not all of them should have required hysterectomies once being referred to Dr. Amin. However, Dawn is not a doctor.
A young woman, for example, with a cyst on one ovary, had the “wrong ovary” removed then the correct ovary. This woman wanted to have more children with her husband, and this incident was highly traumatic. While the incident is saddening to read about, the issue is that we don’t know if the woman had cysts on both ovaries, a single ovary, or if the wrong ovary was even removed in the first place. While Dawn is a nurse, she was not involved in diagnosing the patient. It is unclear if she as involved in the surgeries. The most that is reported on Dawn’s involvement is talking to patients after surgery.
Dawn said that most of these women wanted to have children. They were not aware that these procedures would cause infertility. However, is this the fault of Dr. Mahendra Amin or the translator? Dr. Mahendra Amin only lists English as the language he uses in his practice. This means that a translator has to be provided by the ICE facilities.
Most of the complaints filed by illegally detained women against him do not have anything to do with the quality of care. They have to do with the fact that he was not able to communicate with them effectively. The complaints come from non-English speakers who were not able to communicate with Dr. Amin. For example, a woman represented by Elizabeth Matherne had a severe infection of the uterus. The woman felt unsafe with Dr. Amin because she was unable to communicate effectively with him. He did not speak Spanish and ended up seeing another doctor who did. “‘If they act like they had no idea there were issues with this doctor, they’re lying,’ Ms. Matherne said.” Dr. Amin has been practicing for 41 years, and most if not all the complaints he has are that he speaks English during consultations.
Then why did he become a pariah? If we look at most of Dr. Amin’s reviews on Google and Healthgrades, he has five star reviews. He is noted for his kind demeanor, efficient manner, and effective diagnosis on Google Reviews.
The one negative review appears to be about someone else as it mentions a “she.” The assumption is a miscommunication between the patient and his nursing staff:
On Healthgrades, he was know for being a very good doctor.
On September 16, 2020, this all changed. Dr. Amin’s Healthgrades was flooded with abuse:
These ratings have been removed by Healthgrades as none of these people are his patients. This influx of poor ratings seems to be linked to this Tweet:
As his Healthgrades were the only website impacted. Abhinaya Govindan is also noted for Tweets like:
His actions were also linked to caste and medical racism which were never mentioned in the report and have no bearing on practicing in America:
The one story that pops up over and over again is the story with the young woman who’d a cyst on her ovary. The issue is that the only witness who has come forward is Dawn Wooten. We don’t know how deeply involved Dawn was with surgeries or with diagnosing patients. We only know that she triaged patients who were admitted to the facility.
We also know that Dr. Mahendra Amin was involved a lawsuit. While the media describes the suit as “Medicare fraud,” the truth is that Dr. Amin and nine other doctors were sued by Medicare for having X-rays done on every patient upon admittance. Medicare deemed this as an unnecessary cost. The suit was settled outside of court and was not malpractice.
This is a post taken out of context by heavy.com. The anti-Indian message is clear. While Dr. Amin is joking, they put that his medical qualifications are from India and posted a joking meme out of context. Please note that all doctors who practice in America must go through the USMLE Steps and go through residency in America. He did his residency at the University Hospital at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey.
The question is why did a report on the uncleanliness and unsafe practices of an ICE facility focus on the testimony of one woman who did not even name the doctor in her deposition. She has said phrases like, “everyone’s uterus can’t be that bad,” “he just empties you all out,” and “People ask you why I got a hysterectomy. I couldn’t explain it. The only thing I have to say is that I am sorry.” Obviously very scientific and professional language. While it is unfortunate that Dawn did not receive proper PPE, the question is what ability does she have to speak on diagnosis made by a doctor for his patients.
What we are observing is a doctor who is an excellent doctor, has 40+ years of medical experience, and is an English speaker. For whatever reason, he has been made the scapegoat for all the wrongs that happened in ICE facilities even though it appears he was just doing his job. While Dawn never named him explicitly, Dr. Amin has been named and shamed by mainstream media sources. Why? Because he is a Hindu.
UPDATE: We have got more information on the slander and witch-hunt of Dr.Amin. Please read the below thread on the organised and co-ordianted attack on Dr.Amin.