Because a suicidal trans woman is worthless

December 3, 2008

Because a suicidal trans woman is worthlessI recently posted about the trial of a doctor for the apparent assault and rape of a suicidal trans woman in Melbourne. (Links here and here). I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if the doctor got away with only a smack on the wrist for being a naughty boy.

So I’m saddened but not surprised to learn from the Sydney Morning Herald that Dr Sulieman Hamid has avoided jail: the court gave him a suspended sentence only. And although he’s “currently suspended from practising as a doctor in Victoria”, there’s no mention of whether he’s allowed to practise elsewhere.

I’m just going to post the whole report; the leniency shown a man whose brain is in his penis leaves me too sickened and disgusted to be calm and rational about it. My trans sister goes to him for help and he performs “an indecent act” – we call it ‘rape’ on my planet, btw – she spends 18 months of her life seeking only legal justice – and he walks away from the court with nothing more than a suspended sentence?

Just what do trans women have to do, to get any kind of justice? Because it seems to me that wherever you are in the world, if you’re trans then society has already decided that you’re not worthy of even the most basic human rights.

Doctor touched transsexual, avoids jail

A Melbourne doctor has escaped jail time for indecently touching a suicidal transsexual patient.

Dr Sulieman Hamid, 53, touched the mentally-ill patient’s breasts and neck while treating her for a slashed wrist in a cubicle at Sunshine Hospital’s emergency department in June last year.

The patient, who cannot be named, had propositioned the doctor, asking him for sex.

The next day Hamid went to the patient’s house and had sex with her.

Hamid was charged with raping the patient but a Victorian County Court jury found the sex did not constitute rape.

The jury found Hamid guilty of performing an indecent act on a cognitively impaired person by touching her at the hospital.

Judge Michael McInerney said Hamid abused the trust of a vulnerable patient who had a personality disorder.

He said it was a “serious” crime for a doctor in an emergency department to indecently touch a mentally-ill patient he was treating.

“She was, at this time, in a florid phase of some impairment,” Judge McInerney said.

“An experienced doctor, as you are Dr Hamid, should have been aware of this and should have resisted her.”

He said there was “grave community concern” about sexual offences of this type.

Judge McInerney noted the doctor came to Australia from Eritrea in Africa to seek “a better life” and was admitted into medical practice here in 2003.

But because of a strong accent, the doctor found himself working in country areas or on night shifts in Melbourne, the court was told.

Judge McInerney said Hamid felt his behaviour had shamed his family.

He accepted that Hamid’s career was in doubt and that he was currently suspended from practising as a doctor in Victoria.

Judge McInerney jailed Hamid for two years, wholly suspending the sentence for three years.

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