A Queensland psychiatrist has been reprimanded for having sex with a female patient, who was also married.
A Queensland psychiatrist has been reprimanded for having sex with a female patient, who was also married.

Married psychiatrist had sex with patient

A psychiatrist who had a sexual relationship with a woman, while he was treating her and her son, has been reprimanded for professional misconduct.

The woman needed psychiatric care and time in hospital after the psychiatrist broke off the relationship, after his wife found out about it, a tribunal heard.

The overseas-trained doctor, who was registered to practise as a psychiatrist in Australia in 2012, first saw the woman's son, who had Asperger's syndrome.

The mother, who would accompany her son, and the psychiatrist met up at her business and they had dinner before the woman obtained a referral to see him as a patient.

The psychiatrist was aware that the woman suffered from anorexia and that she was having problems with her marriage and with managing her son's condition, the tribunal heard.

During the first consultation in 2013, she and the psychiatrist hugged and kissed and spoke about having a personal relationship, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

Later that month they met socially and then began having sex on occasions, sometimes at the married psychiatrist's office on weekends.

The psychiatrist would inappropriately discuss information about other patients with the woman, the tribunal heard.

In July that year, the mother ended her marriage and in the following two months she saw the psychiatrist as a patient on eight occasions, while they were still having sex.

In late September, 2013, the psychiatrist's wife discovered the affair and he then transferred care of the woman's son to another psychiatrist and ended the relationship with the mother.

The inappropriate sexual relationship later was reported to the health practitioners' regulatory body by the woman's GP.

The psychiatrist's mental health deteriorated and he voluntarily ceased practising in June, 2014, after he had been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder.

Another psychiatrist who assessed the doctor for the Medical Board in 2015, said he believed at the time of the sexual relationship the doctor was suffering from a hypomanic episode.

It would have led to poor judgment and reckless behaviour and he would have been impaired.

The tribunal accepted the psychiatrist had been suffering from an undiagnosed psychiatric condition which caused him to behave in an uncharacteristic way.

But the evidence indicated that at the time the psychiatrist knew that what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway, the tribunal said.

The psychiatrist, who did not practise for about 15 months, is still on treatment and reporting conditions and previously has been on chaperone and supervision conditions.

The tribunal said as his mental health was now much better controlled, he posed no risk to the health and safety of the public while practising.

Originally published as Married psychiatrist had sex with patient


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