Vancouver, Canada (PressExposure) February 14, 2009 -- Six psychiatrists have either been criminally convicted, stripped of their license to practice or severely reprimanded in British Columbia in the past 3 years, mostly for sexually assaulting their patients or for sexual misconduct with patients. One of the psychiatrists was sentenced to 18 months in jail for his criminal activities.
Most recently, a former Victoria psychiatrist has resigned from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B. C. after admitting to having an intimate relationship with a patient. The college, which serves as the licensing and regulatory body for all physicians and surgeons in the province, has issued a news release saying that Dr. John N. MacTavish acknowledged his inappropriate conduct, which took place " in or around" 2005.
Following the issuance of disciplinary charges, Dr. Anca Ioana Bostinariu, a psychiatrist, has admitted that, given the nature of the pyschotherapeutic relationship, she was guilty of unprofessional conduct in hiring two former patients as employees. A subsequent review of Dr. Bostinariu's practice by the College identified no concerns with respect to her competency or clinical care. Her name has been erased from the Medical Register and transferred to the Temporary Register, effective 2400 hours, March 30, 2007.
Another psychiatrist disciplined was Dr. Carol Elaine Davies. She admitted that she was guilty of unprofessional conduct with respect to her interaction with a former patient who was an inmate with Correctional Services Canada (CSC). In 2003, Dr. Davies provided pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy services in psychiatric clinics at facilities of CSC. Following the termination of such services, Dr. Davies visited the former patient/inmate on frequent occasions over a one year period. Dr. Davies admitted that her conduct involved the creation of a personal relationship with a former patient and that such a relationship was inappropriate and unprofessional given the nature of the prior psychotherapeutic relationship. The College of Physicians and Surgeons ordered (among other things) that Dr. Davies' future professional conduct must be beyond reproach in every respect
In another case, Dr. Bacon, a retired Victoria B.C. psychiatrist, admitted that he was guilty of infamous conduct. The disciplinary charges issued by the College were that Dr. Bacon engaged in sexual touching and sexual intercourse with a female patient whom he had treated in the 1990's. Dr. Bacon denied the allegations of sexual intercourse but admitted the sexual touching. Specifically, he admitted that he had the patient sit on his lap in the office, and sexually touch and fondle him.
A child psychiatrist, Dr. Golden, was stripped of his license to practice and was labeled a sexual predator by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia after they found him guilty of sexual relations with three young female patients between 2000 and 2005. The psychiatrist engaged in kissing, fondling, masturbation and oral sex with one female patient in his office. Another patient was asked about her underwear, how often she had sex and if she was a virgin.
In February 2006, Dr. Larry Anderson, a Penticton psychiatrist was sentenced to 18 months in jail for sexually assaulting female patients under his care. The charges involved three former patients with whom he had sexual intercourse in separate relationships from the late 1970s until 1999. According to evidence given during the Anderson trial, the Doctor once put sexual instructions on what a female patient thought was a prescription for anti-depressant drugs. The prescription read: "Take one erection and put it in an appropriate space. Do what is needed to obtain satisfaction".
Ordinary citizens would be charged, so why not psychiatrists? This question is being asked by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR). The complaint processes carried out by various Medical Boards and Colleges have been compromised in part by the belief that psychiatrists in some way above the law and beyond reproach and as a result they get slapped on the wrist for serious criminal activities.
Brian Beaumont, spokesperson for the British Columbia chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), said "Psychiatric sexual assault is a very common occurrence over the world, but all too often the perpetrator is only slapped on the wrist by being given a fine or suspension from practice for these criminal activities". "There is ample evidence that women are at very great risk of being sexually assaulted while in a psychiatrist's office", he concluded.