Crossing the line of Doctor-Patient Boundaries

20 APR 2020


A psychiatrist in Western Australia has been the subject of disciplinary proceedings for engaging in an intimate and sexual relationship with a patient over a period of 18 months. During this time, the doctor engaged in sexual acts, including intercourse, with a patient and prescribed her stimulant medication resulting in addiction, disinhibition and elevated libido. 

In a recent decision, the Medical Board of Australia found the practitioner guilty of professional misconduct. Over the course of the relationship, the doctor allowed the patient to groom him by manicuring his fingernails, massaging him with cream and filing his toenails. It was also alleged that throughout the course of the relationship, the doctor smoked marijuana in the company of the patient and provided her with prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medication which he requested that she purchase for his personal use.

It was also alleged that the doctor failed to keep legible and adequate medical records and that he had prescribed medications without any clinical indication.

In addition to these civil proceedings, the doctor was criminally charged for attempting to induce the patient to give false evidence in proceedings. He was subsequently convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 months.

The civil proceedings have been listed at a later date for consideration of penalty and costs.

If you have any questions on the above article please contact Joe Bonura on or Tess Danjoux on or by phoning 02 4626 5077. 

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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