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Indian Australian Doctor not to Contest the Allegations

An Indian Australian doctor, convicted last month of illegal abortions, said she will not contest a series of complaints being heard by the New South Wales (NSW) Medical// Tribunal.

Suman Sood, 56, said she would not contest the allegations, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

"I have decided not to contest the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) at the medical tribunal proceedings.

"I have accepted my counsel Mr Phillip Boulten and Mr Michael Fordham's advice that it is inappropriate for me to comment on the particulars in the HCCC case whilst the criminal proceedings are continuing," she said.

The medical tribunal is probing 11 complaints made against Sood over a period of four years from 1998.

The tribunal is also considering allegations that the doctor practised while suspended, made false and misleading statements to an earlier medical board hearing and was not of good character.

After her conviction last month, Sood voluntarily took her name off the medical register, saying she did so in the "best interests" of her patients.

A court hearing for sentencing for the criminal offences is expected this week, where she might get a possible maximum jail term of 10 years.

Sood was charged with manslaughter in November 2005 for allegedly failing to follow the procedures that make abortion legal in the state of NSW.

However, Sood has been acquitted on manslaughter charges related to a dead baby.

Sood is the first doctor in NSW since 1971 to be tried over an abortion case. She was charged with giving a 20-year-old woman, who was about 23 weeks pregnant, an abortion drug at her clinic in Fairfeld, southwest of Sydney, in May 2002.


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