Montreal surgeon suspended for three months for damaging fertility of 10-week-old child

Montreal surgeon suspended for three months for damaging fertility of 10-week-old child
Montreal surgeon suspended for three months for damaging fertility of 10-week-old child

A little girl could have up to 35% less chance of getting pregnant after an error by a Montreal surgeon, who has just been struck off for three months by his professional order.

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“The breach attributed to Dr. [Kenneth] Shaw is at the very heart of the practice of the medical profession and presents a high degree of objective seriousness,” writes the disciplinary council of the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ).

In a recent decision, he endorsed a joint suggestion presented by the CMQ’s deputy syndic and Dr. Shaw, who acknowledged having committed “an act derogatory to the honour and dignity of the profession.”

The surgeon’s experience was noted as an aggravating factor, as he had been practicing his profession for 24 years at the time of the offence.

Dr. Kenneth Shaw had no disciplinary record until he operated on a 10-week-old girl at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in August 2018.

Identification error

She was suffering from an inguinal hernia involving an ovary. This can involve a protrusion in the groin area, for example. No complications were reported after the operation.

However, a few days later, a doctor examining the little girl feared “a recurrence” of the hernia, the disciplinary council described.

An emergency operation revealed “complete necrosis of the tube” [de Fallope] left and left ovary».


Dr Kenneth Shaw has been struck off by his professional body for three months for an error made with a child which could reduce her chances of having a spontaneous pregnancy by a third.

Taken from the Montreal Children’s Hospital website

Dr. Shaw later admitted to the baby’s family that he made a mistake in identification during the procedure, causing him to cut off the blood supply to the fallopian tube and ovary.

Meticulous technique

For this “delicate surgery”, “a meticulous operating technique is required”, argues in a report Dr. Sarah Bouchard, appointed as an expert by the trustee in this case.

“I believe there was a lapse in surgical technique during the operation performed by Dr. Shaw,” she concluded.

In court documents viewed by The newspaperanother expert report suggests that the girl’s chances of having a “spontaneous” pregnancy could be reduced by 30 to 35%.

It is not yet possible to determine whether assisted reproduction will be necessary, it added. There are also fears of effects on the girl’s hormones and early menopause.


The McGill University Health Centre Glen Site (MUHC), in Montreal, Monday June 21, 2021. It is home to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Archive photo, QMI Agency

“The case of the [fillette] was presented and discussed at the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital to remind that the contents of the hernia sac must always be inspected to ensure that no noble structures are tied off,” states the CMQ disciplinary council.

Dr Shaw’s risk of recurrence is considered low as he has changed the way he performs the operation in question and is at the end of his career.

-With the collaboration of Camille Payant

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