Chiropractor operated clinic after arrest for indecent assault

Dr. Jemal Khan
Dr. Jemal Khan

The Cayman Islands chiropractor who was sentenced last week for indecently assaulting nine female patients over a three-year period was allowed to operate a separate healthcare practice in the months after he was arrested and criminal charges were filed against him.

Jemal Abdullah Khan had his chiropractor’s license suspended by the government-appointed regulatory body that oversees chiropractors following his arrest in early June and charges being filed against him a few weeks later, according to the Chairman of the Council of Professions Allied with Medicine, Dr. Clement von Kirchenheim.

However, Dr. von Kirchenheim said Khan apparently opened up another healthcare-related practice that does not currently fall under the council’s power to regulate.

“[The new practice] is out of our purview because it’s not something that we’d license,” Dr. von Kirchenheim said. “We do have some concerns about it.”

A website for the new practice, named Energy Balance – Natural Wellness Through Inner Power, was put up this summer and it is understood from court testimony that Khan continued to see patients in this practice, albeit with strict court rules governing patient waivers.

The website described energy medicine as the practice of discovering imbalances in the body’s “energy field” that if corrected, can lead to restored health. Khan said his studies in eastern medicine had helped him discover the “Chakra centers” and acupuncture points that were located on a patient’s back while he was practicing chiropractic techniques.

“I found that my most effective treatments were those treatments where I attuned myself to the patient and just let my hands glide down the patient’s back,” the Energy Balance site read. “Over time, I learned to feel the area of energy blockage and intuitively learned to release the blockage.”

Khan said he could not bring himself to “make the break” from his chiropractic business, in which he had seen more than 10,000 patients over 20 years. “Then I experienced a dramatic life-changing event,” the statement attributed to Khan on the website read. “My initial response was shock and depression. Many friends counseled me to see this as a chance for a new beginning and opportunities. I realized this was my time to embrace energy medicine.”

Dr. von Kirchenheim said the council members were aware of the energy medicine practice and were advised by attorneys not to revoke Khan’s chiropractor’s license until his court case had completed. Now that he has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to four years imprisonment, the council is expected vote at its Dec. 6 meeting to strike Khan from the practitioners registry and formally revoke his license. “It’s precedent setting, in terms of a Cayman healthcare practitioner being accused of something like this,” Dr. von Kirchenheim said.

Before his guilty plea in October, the Crown had set bail conditions on Khan that required him to obtain written consent from a female patient before treating her. The consent form asked the patients to confirm they were aware of Khan’s suspension from practicing chiropractic services and his charges before the court.

After the plea was accepted by the court, Khan was remanded in custody by Grand Court Justice Charles Quin, so he was no longer practicing energy medicine at that stage.

According to court records, the victims in all the charges were female patients at Khan’s chiropractic practice, with the indecent assaults occurring during a period between 2013 and 2016.

Khan also pleaded guilty to two charges of ‘insulting behavior’ which refers to taking photographs of patients without their consent.

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