An anesthesiology resident dismissed from the Cleveland Clinic for making "inappropriate gestures" during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will appeal the decision.
The dismissal was similar to many incidents involving U.S. physicians born in the Middle East that occurred immediately after the attacks (Sept. 24, p. 14).
Taranjit Singh Sangari, M.D., a Sikh Indian who was identified in earlier media reports as "Middle Eastern," reportedly waved and laughed as he stood in a patient-care area of the clinic and watched televised reports of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He was dismissed that same day after several nurses complained about his gestures.
Sangari, a third-year resident, announced his appeal in two brief interviews with local television reporters. His supporters contend that he was gesturing to a colleague in an adjacent hospital unit and that his demeanor had nothing to do with the attacks. Sangari called the events an "unfortunate misunderstanding" and declined to comment further.
Mark Cohen, the clinic's spokesman, said the resident has 30 days to request an appeal. The hospital still has not officially confirmed the identity of the dismissed resident and has not provided any details about the alleged inappropriate gestures. "We've made every effort not to make this a large public issue out of concern for the individual's safety and security," Cohen said.
In another case, physician Durgarao Parimi remains suspended from 204-bed Oak Hill Hospital, Brooksville, Fla., after allegedly declaring that Americans "got what they deserved" from the terrorists. An internal investigation is under way. One of the doctor's employees said Parimi, an Indian, was referring to the lax security at U.S. airports that contributed to the attacks.
Meanwhile, federal authorities found nothing to link the attacks to a 34-year-old Saudi national in his fourth year of a radiology residency program at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Al-bader M.H. Al-Hazmi, M.D., was released late last month after spending two weeks in custody as a material witness in the bombings.