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High Court Confirms Woods Penalty

High Court Confirms Woods Penalty March 4, 2002

The High Court has declined to order that the Medical Council publish the report of its inquiry into Dr Moira Woods, relating to her diagnosis of child sexual abuse in a number of cases. The Council has already said however that it will publish a report of the inquiry, at the conclusion of the proceedings.

Today in court, the finding of misconduct and the penalty against Dr Woods was confirmed, following an application by the Medical Council.

However, as the court deemed the proceedings now to be closed in the case, it did not support a separate application by one of the families involved to have the Council ordered to publish the report of the inquiry

Woods Not to Appeal Misconduct Finding February 20, 2002 by Fergal Bowers

A prominent doctor, who was recently found guilty of professional misconduct for the manner in which she diagnosed alleged child sexual abuse, has opted not to appeal the decision to the High Court. It has also emerged that the Medical Council, which held the inquiry in private has decided not to make the report public, despite being given court authority to do so.

Last month, the Medical Council ruled that Dr Moira Woods, the former head of the sexual assault treatment unit at the Rotunda Hospital was guilty of misconduct on 13 of 55 allegations. The case centred on claims that she had misdiagnosed child sexual abuse in children from a number of families.

She had 21 days in which to appeal the ruling of censure and conditions on her continued practice as a doctor. This deadline has now passed. The Medical Council will now seek to confirm its finding against Dr Woods in the High Court.

While the court has already given it the power to publish the report, with the names of the children and families kept confidential, the Council has decided not to do so. The development is likely to anger some of the families and may lead to further court proceedings to ensure publication.

Also, a promise by the Medical Council to issue an individualised report on the inquiry to each of the five families within a week of the misconduct finding on January 29 has not been kept.

It has also emerged for the first time that Dr Woods opposed plans by the Medical Council to hold the inquiry in public, which she claimed would be 'detrimental to the public interest'. She argued that the identity of the children concerned, some of whom were still minors, would 'become known throughout Ireland and as a result I greatly believe that their physical and mental welfare will suffer'.

The inquiry was held in private after submissions by her and the Eastern Health Board in the High Court.

Woods Not to Appeal Finding of Misconduct

The Irish Times February 20, 2002

Dr Moira Woods, former head of the Sexual Assault Trauma Unit at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin, is not to appeal a finding of professional misconduct by the Medical Council's Fitness to Practise Committee.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Dr Woods said: "I have taken this decision with great reluctance and, in consideration of the views of my family, who feel strongly that as I have lived with this inquiry and its underlying context for 10 years, the serious issues involved must now be addressed by others.

"I am very grateful to my legal team, and to the international experts in child sexual abuse who supported me. I intend this to be my last statement on the matter."