Doctor explains why he gave Kennedy Agyapong medical excuse in contempt trial
Doctor of NPP legislator, Kennedy Agyapong, has justified his decision to grant the politician standing trial for contempt, a medical excuse, which led to his absence from court.
He said it was not a ploy to get the lawmaker to skip court.
The MP standing trial for hurling insults at another judge, Justice Frank Rockson, who gave a default judgement him in a land case. The MP made the derogatory remarks on a live show on Net 2 TV.
When he took the witness stand on Tuesday, Dr. Kennedy Kwabena Addo justified the excuse duty he gave his patient which permitted him to skip his date with the court on September 28 until October 10.
Dr. Addo stated that patients with the kind of complication the MP had are put on antibiotics but Mr. Agyapong’s condition did not require one.
So he fell on the alternative—a 14-day excuse duty.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin representing his peer in Parliament told the court that he would prefer that the doctor’s justification for the medical excuse was given in chambers.
The lawyer explained that per doctor-patient confidentiality, the doctor might stray into Mr. Agyapong’s medical history.
“He cannot speak to the excuse duty without straying into my client’s medical history,” he said, urging the judge to send out the dozens of media personnel in the courtroom.
He argued that the issue was now political because the running mate of the NDC in the 2020 election, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman had said that the MP should be punished.
But Justice Amos Wuntah Wuni, who dragged the lawmaker to court for allegedly insulting him over a judgment he gave in a land case, declined the request.
He asked for the duty.
With his spectacles as a microscope, he scrutinized the document and took issues with the doctor’s failure to write the age of the patient (Ken Agyapong) on the document but rather ‘adult.’
The doctor said he had no reason for not stating the patient’s age.
“What will be your answer if you are told that the 14-day excuse duty given on Saturday 25th September 2020 was calculated to cause a delay in Honorable Kennedy Agyapong’s contempt proceedings which was adjourned from Friday,24th September 2020 to Monday,28th September 2020.” the judge asked.
Doctor Addo, in his response, wanted to explain the two terms on the form.
“If I am to prove to the court that the excuse duty was genuinely given, I would have to explain what I wrote on the form and it will actually make sense,” he told the court.
But the MP’s lawyer stepped in, urging the doctor not to explain the term in open court.
The judge sought to find out how long he had been practising medicine.
Touting his credentials, the doctor told the court he had practised medicine for 18 years and was trained outside the country.
The case has since been adjourned indefinitely.
Read excerpts of the exchanges below:
Justice Wuni : You are here not to speak about Honorable Kennedy Agyapong’s medical condition. You are here to speak to the medical duty form you signed which gave him 14 days to stay away. Can you tell the court what led you to issue the excuse duty 25th September to 10th October?
Dr. Addo: With regards to the excuse duty it was given on the account of the side effect of a particular medication which has an adverse effect and the medication was for the period in which the excuse duty was given.
Judge Wuni: How long have you been a medical doctor?
Dr. Addo: 18 years, my Lord, I am a general practitioner
Judge Wuni: On Friday,25th September 2020, this court adjourned contempt proceedings against Honorable Kennedy Agyapong to Monday,28th September 2020, only to be informed by his lawyers that you had given him an excuse duty, when did you attend to him?
Dr. Addo: My lord, I attended to him on 25th September 2020 around 10 pm.
Judge Wuni: On the excuse duty form there is no Out Patient Department(OPD) number but the indication you gave was that he was an outpatient.
Dr. Addo: The excuse duty was given on an outpatient basis after I had discharged the patient. I actually detained him from 25th-26th September 2020.
Judge Wuni: What time on the 25th was he detained?
Dr. Addo: He was detained around 10:15 pm
Judge Wuni: It is common knowledge that the age of a patient is very relevant when dealing with COVID_19 and complication
Dr. Addo: Yes my Lord
Judge Wuni: Why then did you write an adult on the excuse duty form where it required his age?
Dr. Addo: It is a very common practice among medical practitioners but I would have stated the age if the patient was a child but I do not have a specific reason for not putting his age there.
Judge Wuni: I am surprised you did not put his age there when the form required that.
Dr. Addo: Yes my Lord, I agree with you
Justice Wuni: Your excuse duty gave him 14 days without any periodic review. Is that the normal practice with outpatient?
Dr. Addo: Usually depending on the type of condition you are monitoring, you would definitely have to review the patients. Normally antibiotics are given up to 5-7days but in honorable Kennedy’s case, it was necessary to give him the 14days because his condition was not one that you would put him on antibiotics.
Justice Wuni: Do you know that on 26th September 2020 when you wrote the excuse duty parliament was in recess?
Dr. Addo: I had no idea.
Justice Wuni: I take it that your medical excuse duty form was not meant to excuse the Member of Parliament from his parliamentary duties?
Dr. Addo: I know honorable Kennedy Agyapong is an MP, but the excuse duty was not given to him to excuse himself from Parliament. It was given to him to exempt him from any activity irrespective of where the excuse duty was going to end up. In that sense, I want to explain that the excuse duty was not given for a particular reason. The excuse duty was given because of the undesirable complications he had from the medication, that is, whether he was going to parliament or coming to the court which I had no idea.
Justice Wuni: What will be your answer if you are told that the 14-day excuse duty given on Saturday 25th September 2020 was calculated to cause a delay in Honorable Kennedy Agyapong’s contempt proceedings which was adjourned from Friday,24th September 2020 to Monday,28th September 2020?
Dr. Addo: If I am to prove to the court that the excuse duty was genuinely given, I would have to explain what I wrote on the form and it will actually make sense but it was not written to delay any court proceedings.
Justice Wuni: In the interest of this dear country of ours we all need to do what is right to lift this country to a higher height.