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Last Updated: Monday, 9 July 2007, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Doctor 'prescribed an exorcism'
A family planning doctor prescribed an exorcism to a woman during a routine appointment, a medical tribunal heard.

Dr Joyce Pratt, 44, allegedly told the patient she was possessed by an evil spirit and suggested she visit a priest who could take the problem away.

The General Medical Council heard the consultation took place at Westside Contraceptive Services in Westminster, central London.

Dr Pratt denies her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct.

She is accused of acting in a manner liable to bring the medical profession into disrepute.

Battered bible

The tribunal heard that the patient, referred to as Mrs K, had attended the clinic for a routine contraception injection.

During the appointment she mentioned she was experiencing pain and bleeding and the doctor told her she had "something moving inside her".

In a statement the patient said: "She grabbed my stomach and said that it was a flabby stomach and that it moves and it wasn't normal.

"She then said that there was black magic inside."

She told Mrs K she knew everything about her family and the patient believed her and became extremely frightened
Stephen Brassington, GMC counsel

The doctor allegedly made Mrs K - a practising Muslim - drink what she claimed was Christian holy water from a bottle in the consultation room.

Dr Pratt then read to her from a battered bible, said prayers over her stomach and gave her wooden crosses and stones to ward off evil, the panel heard.

GMC counsel, Stephen Brassington, said Mrs K was too "anxious and distressed" to give evidence to the Fitness to Practise Panel sitting in Manchester.

Advice to disappear

Mr Brassington said: "She told Mrs K she knew everything about her family and the patient believed her and became extremely frightened - a feeling that persisted for many months."

Dr Pratt is also alleged to have failed to co-operate with inquiries into her behaviour by her manager and the primary care trust.

The doctor chose not to attend the hearing or provide herself with any legal representation.

If found guilty of misconduct she may be struck off the medical register.

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