On Monday, news broke that a whistleblower was claiming that a doctor at an ICE detention facility was giving a high number of hysterectomies to detained women, often without informed consent from the patients. Today, Prism reported that they have identified the doctor performing the non-consensual hysterectomies as gynecologist Mahendra Amin, who is based in Douglas, Georgia. Amin, who is an immigrant, has a relationship with the Irwin County Hospital in Georgia, where the Irwin County Detention Center takes some detainees for treatment.
Although whistleblower Dawn Wooten declined to name the gynecologist in the report filed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General by human rights organization Project South, she spoke about him at length in the complaint.
“I’ve had several inmates tell me that they’ve been to see the doctor and they’ve had hysterectomies and they don’t know why they went or why they’re going,” the nurse said in the complaint, noting that other ICDC nurses also expressed concern about the gynecologist, whom she referred to as “the uterus collector.”
When The Intercept reached Amin by phone, he confirmed that he conducted procedures on immigrant women from the facility, and claimed that he requires the approval of the detention center before conducting any procedures, denying the allegations that he had performed operations without informed patient consent.
“Amin said that he has only performed “one or two hysterectomies in the past two [or] three years.” When pressed, he did not specify whether those hysterectomies were performed on people detained in Irwin.
Amin said that allegations of performing procedures without patients’ consent were ruining his reputation and affecting his practice. ‘Everything is wrong, and if you want to talk, talk to the hospital administrator,’ Amin said, referring to Irwin County Hospital, and then hung up the phone.”
In a text message, the Irwin County Hospital CEO Paige Wynn said that consent is obtained from both ICE and the patient before performing any surgical procedure, but declined to comment on any specific patient matters due to privacy concerns.
However, a former employee at Irwin claims that Amin is the only OB-GYN at the hospital working with the people in the detention center.
“All I know is, if you go in for anything, the majority of the time, he’s going to suggest surgery,” the former Irwin employee said. “I don’t know why. I just — I don’t know why. He does a lot of surgeries.”
In a statement, ICE said it does not comment on complaints presented to the Office of the Inspector General.