This so-called doctor was caught with images of child porn – how much lower can he sink?
See previous posts on James Latham Peters:
Article from Heraldsun:
SHATTERED victims said their lives have been ruined by James Latham Peters, who is accused of infecting them with hepatitis C as they had abortions. More about this case
With fears for their futures and their children’s safety, and demands for action, the women have broken their silence as police continue an investigation into anaesthetist Dr James Latham Peters.
“What happened makes me want to kill him,” one young woman revealed as she tries to complete school while battling her infection.
“I just don’t understand how Dr Peters is still walking the streets after having infected so many women.”
So far, 41 women who underwent abortions with Dr Peters have been revealed as having a strain of hepatitis C genetically matching his since the scandal was uncovered last January.
More of his patients also have hepatitis C where the exact strain cannot be matched, while another 1000 women are still being tested after attending the Croydon Day Surgery, now called Marie Stopes Maroondah, the Fertility Control Centre in East Melbourne, St Albans Endoscopy Centre and Western Day Surgery in Sunshine where Dr Peters worked.
Police last week raided the clinics but still have not interviewed the doctor.
The security of highly personal health records seized by police from the Croydon abortion clinic last weekend has also become an issue, with Health Services Commissioner Beth Wilson contacting police to ensure the confidentiality of vulnerable patients.
The Herald Sun understands the records are locked away in a special area and are accessible by only 12 people at the centre of the investigation, measures which Ms Wilson said satisfied her.
Their lawyer, Paula Shelton from Slater & Gordon, worries that because of their treatment, many other infected women may never come forward for treatment, let alone justice. But for her clients, the impact has been harrowing. “They are people who have made difficult decisions and to have a reminder of what could be one of the worst experiences of their life is pretty devastating,” she said.
“They do feel there is a level of stigma attached to the procedure, which is making things more difficult. If they were people who had acquired this infection during the normal course of surgery, it would be easier.
“The clients are very worried about their future. A lot of them are people who have children.
“The younger women are very worried about their prospects of having children in the future and the chances of passing this on.”
Ms Shelton said the clients also raised questions about why health authorities let Dr Peters continue to practise. But it could be many months, or longer, before these questions may be answered. The Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria knew of Dr Peters’ history of drug use, had his medical registration restricted by authorities, and made him take drug tests.
He was given a six-month suspended jail term in 1996 after pleading guilty to 20 charges involving providing his wife with a two-year supply of pethidine. Department of Human Services officers found more than 100 prescriptions for the couple at pharmacies.
Some people are suggesting this part of the story is made up – but here are the facts: “Dr Peters was also sentenced on March 15 this year for possessing 113 images of child pornography. He was sentenced to an 18-month community-based order”. Do you honestly think that this sentence is sufficient? For a person in a position of trust?
A Health Department spokesman said investigations into the extent of the Croydon hepatitis C outbreak were continuing. All women who were diagnosed with the infection were offered counselling and treatment, regardless of whether links were found to the doctor.
Police said no charges had been laid and their investigation was continuing.