A U.K. surgeon is under investigation after he allegedly removed a woman’s ovaries without her consent. The woman committed suicide four years later.
Lucinda Methuen-Campbell, then 54, went to the private Spire Hospital in Bristol, England in 2014 for surgery to repair a bowel disorder. The surgeon, Anthony Dixon, allegedly decided to take out her ovaries during the procedure because they were “in the way,” reports BBC News.
Methuen-Campbell told BBC News before her death that Dixon never mentioned anything about removing her ovaries before the surgery, but if he had, she at least would have been “vaguely prepared.”
“He said he thought he’d done me a favor. And he said, ‘I thought you know, a woman of your age wouldn’t really need her ovaries,’ ” Methuen-Campbell previously said. “I said ‘Why did you remove them?’ and he just said ‘They were in the way.’ ”
She added that while she was in pain from the bowel disorder before the surgery, what came after was much worse — both from the removal of her ovaries and from what she believes to be a botched surgery.
“My life is absolutely ruined but you know, I can’t say that it’s Mr. Dixon [that's] ruined my life,” she said.
Four years later, in January 2018, Methuen-Campbell committed suicide. The assistant coroner, Aled Gruffydd, believes that the pain she was in following the surgery led to her decision to take her life.
“The operation on Mrs. Methuen-Campbell was unsuccessful and made her pain worse and it affected her mental health,” he wrote in his report, according to BBC News. “I’m satisfied without doubt that she intended to take her own life. The pain she was in led to her taking her own life.”
Her son Angus, 19, also believes that the surgery led to her suicide.
“She was in a great deal of pain after the operations and she was very upset that her ovaries had been removed,” Angus said.
Methuen-Campbell’s partner, Philip Chatfield, added that she also underwent a follow-up operation that “made things even worse.”
“The pain continued to get worse and nobody seemed able to solve the problem,” he said.
Dixon is now suspended from two hospitals in Bristol, and under investigation by the U.K.’s National Health Service for his surgery methods, according to BBC News. In a statement to PEOPLE, Spire Hospital confirmed that he is restricted from working.
“We were shocked and deeply saddened by Lucinda Methuen-Campbell’s death and offer our sincere condolences to her family at this extremely difficult time,” they said. “Mr. Dixon is currently suspended from practicing in our hospitals, and we have been fully supporting and cooperating with North Bristol NHS Trust while it conducts its investigation into his practice. Due to these on-going investigations, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
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