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ChargeA Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) laid a charge against the Doctor on the basis that he had been convicted of possession of objectionable material and that the offences reflected adversely on his fitness to practice. The Doctor was convicted and sentenced in the District Court on each of the charges.The particulars of the charge were as follows: 25 charges of possession of objectionable material (including material containing child sexual abuse images) under sections 131A(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. Such offences are each punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. One charge of distributing an objectionable publication under sections 124(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. The offence is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. FindingThe Tribunal found that the convictions reflected adversely on the Doctor's fitness to practice and that it warranted a disciplinary sanction. The Doctor made an early guilty plea to the charge.BackgroundThe objectionable material was found on the Doctor's computer and an external hard drive which contained over 400,000 files. It contained child sexual abuse images.The Doctor was charged, convicted, and sentenced in the District Court to 4 months home detention (subject to conditions). He was granted permanent name suppression.The Doctor had a psychiatric diagnosis of paraphilia (involving compulsive masturbation and the use of images when masturbating) that was under the control of medication. The Doctor's offending did not take place at work or impact on his patients.The Doctor elected not to give oral evidence before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.Reason for FindingThe Tribunal severely disapproved of the Doctor's behaviour and said that the offences concerned behaviour which was generally abhorrent to all members of society. The Tribunal emphasised that the public needs to be assured that medical practitioners are of good character and standing in the community, and that a conviction for possession of objectionable material does not place the Doctor within this category.The Tribunal's prima facie conclusion was that cancellation of the Doctor's registration was appropriate. This was based on the: Nature of the offending; The fact that the Doctor was not prepared to appear before the Tribunal for questioning; That there were a number of omissions from the evidence before the Tribunal; and A consultant psychiatrist has identified there was a real risk that when the Doctor's medication for his condition was reduced, there would be an increase in the urge to re-offend. However, the Tribunal considered the need to rehabilitate, and not primarily punish, the Doctor and recognised all of the rehabilitative steps that the Doctor had undertaken (immediate attempts at counselling, psychiatric support, accessing of psychiatric drugs and the Wellstop Programme).PenaltyThe Tribunal censured the Doctor and ultimately concluded that the appropriate penalty was a period of significant suspension from practice. As the Doctor voluntarily gave up his practising certificate on conditions in October 2009, a further suspension of 9 months from the date of the hearing was deemed appropriate by the Tribunal.The Doctor was ordered to practise under the following conditions for a period of 3 years after he resumed practice: (a) Prior to re-registration, undergo a psychiatric/psychological assessment confirming fitness to practice that is acceptable to the Medical Council. (b) Ongoing oversight by the Health Committee of the Medical Council formalised by way of an agreed Voluntary Undertaking for a period of 3 years. (c) Comply with ongoing counselling and/or psychiatric/clinical psychologist input on such conditions as required by the Medical Council for a period of 3 years. (d) Comply with other rehabilitation steps considered appropriate by the psychiatrist and/or clinical psychologist (e.g. medication). (e) Enter into a mentoring relationship, with monthly meetings that will assist in early identification of triggers as established in the rehabilitation programme. (f) Undertake not to access material, images or publications that are deemed objectionable under the Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act 1993. The Doctor is to continue to use the internet access safeguards imposed by the Probation Service. (g) The Doctor is to be responsible for any costs not ordinarily met by the Medical Council in relation to the above conditions. The Doctor was ordered to pay 20% of the total costs of the investigation, prosecution and Tribunal's hearing costs. This discount in costs was awarded due to the Doctor's early guilty plea.The Doctor was given permanent name suppression to give effect to the District Court's order of permanent name suppression The full decisions relating to the case can be found on the Tribunal website at www.hpdt.org.nzReference No: Med10/149P

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

ChargeA Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) laid a charge against the Doctor on the basis that he had been convicted of possession of objectionable material and that the offences reflected adversely on his fitness to practice. The Doctor was convicted and sentenced in the District Court on each of the charges.The particulars of the charge were as follows: 25 charges of possession of objectionable material (including material containing child sexual abuse images) under sections 131A(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. Such offences are each punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. One charge of distributing an objectionable publication under sections 124(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. The offence is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. FindingThe Tribunal found that the convictions reflected adversely on the Doctor's fitness to practice and that it warranted a disciplinary sanction. The Doctor made an early guilty plea to the charge.BackgroundThe objectionable material was found on the Doctor's computer and an external hard drive which contained over 400,000 files. It contained child sexual abuse images.The Doctor was charged, convicted, and sentenced in the District Court to 4 months home detention (subject to conditions). He was granted permanent name suppression.The Doctor had a psychiatric diagnosis of paraphilia (involving compulsive masturbation and the use of images when masturbating) that was under the control of medication. The Doctor's offending did not take place at work or impact on his patients.The Doctor elected not to give oral evidence before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.Reason for FindingThe Tribunal severely disapproved of the Doctor's behaviour and said that the offences concerned behaviour which was generally abhorrent to all members of society. The Tribunal emphasised that the public needs to be assured that medical practitioners are of good character and standing in the community, and that a conviction for possession of objectionable material does not place the Doctor within this category.The Tribunal's prima facie conclusion was that cancellation of the Doctor's registration was appropriate. This was based on the: Nature of the offending; The fact that the Doctor was not prepared to appear before the Tribunal for questioning; That there were a number of omissions from the evidence before the Tribunal; and A consultant psychiatrist has identified there was a real risk that when the Doctor's medication for his condition was reduced, there would be an increase in the urge to re-offend. However, the Tribunal considered the need to rehabilitate, and not primarily punish, the Doctor and recognised all of the rehabilitative steps that the Doctor had undertaken (immediate attempts at counselling, psychiatric support, accessing of psychiatric drugs and the Wellstop Programme).PenaltyThe Tribunal censured the Doctor and ultimately concluded that the appropriate penalty was a period of significant suspension from practice. As the Doctor voluntarily gave up his practising certificate on conditions in October 2009, a further suspension of 9 months from the date of the hearing was deemed appropriate by the Tribunal.The Doctor was ordered to practise under the following conditions for a period of 3 years after he resumed practice: (a) Prior to re-registration, undergo a psychiatric/psychological assessment confirming fitness to practice that is acceptable to the Medical Council. (b) Ongoing oversight by the Health Committee of the Medical Council formalised by way of an agreed Voluntary Undertaking for a period of 3 years. (c) Comply with ongoing counselling and/or psychiatric/clinical psychologist input on such conditions as required by the Medical Council for a period of 3 years. (d) Comply with other rehabilitation steps considered appropriate by the psychiatrist and/or clinical psychologist (e.g. medication). (e) Enter into a mentoring relationship, with monthly meetings that will assist in early identification of triggers as established in the rehabilitation programme. (f) Undertake not to access material, images or publications that are deemed objectionable under the Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act 1993. The Doctor is to continue to use the internet access safeguards imposed by the Probation Service. (g) The Doctor is to be responsible for any costs not ordinarily met by the Medical Council in relation to the above conditions. The Doctor was ordered to pay 20% of the total costs of the investigation, prosecution and Tribunal's hearing costs. This discount in costs was awarded due to the Doctor's early guilty plea.The Doctor was given permanent name suppression to give effect to the District Court's order of permanent name suppression The full decisions relating to the case can be found on the Tribunal website at www.hpdt.org.nzReference No: Med10/149P

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

ChargeA Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) laid a charge against the Doctor on the basis that he had been convicted of possession of objectionable material and that the offences reflected adversely on his fitness to practice. The Doctor was convicted and sentenced in the District Court on each of the charges.The particulars of the charge were as follows: 25 charges of possession of objectionable material (including material containing child sexual abuse images) under sections 131A(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. Such offences are each punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years. One charge of distributing an objectionable publication under sections 124(1) and (2) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. The offence is punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years. FindingThe Tribunal found that the convictions reflected adversely on the Doctor's fitness to practice and that it warranted a disciplinary sanction. The Doctor made an early guilty plea to the charge.BackgroundThe objectionable material was found on the Doctor's computer and an external hard drive which contained over 400,000 files. It contained child sexual abuse images.The Doctor was charged, convicted, and sentenced in the District Court to 4 months home detention (subject to conditions). He was granted permanent name suppression.The Doctor had a psychiatric diagnosis of paraphilia (involving compulsive masturbation and the use of images when masturbating) that was under the control of medication. The Doctor's offending did not take place at work or impact on his patients.The Doctor elected not to give oral evidence before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.Reason for FindingThe Tribunal severely disapproved of the Doctor's behaviour and said that the offences concerned behaviour which was generally abhorrent to all members of society. The Tribunal emphasised that the public needs to be assured that medical practitioners are of good character and standing in the community, and that a conviction for possession of objectionable material does not place the Doctor within this category.The Tribunal's prima facie conclusion was that cancellation of the Doctor's registration was appropriate. This was based on the: Nature of the offending; The fact that the Doctor was not prepared to appear before the Tribunal for questioning; That there were a number of omissions from the evidence before the Tribunal; and A consultant psychiatrist has identified there was a real risk that when the Doctor's medication for his condition was reduced, there would be an increase in the urge to re-offend. However, the Tribunal considered the need to rehabilitate, and not primarily punish, the Doctor and recognised all of the rehabilitative steps that the Doctor had undertaken (immediate attempts at counselling, psychiatric support, accessing of psychiatric drugs and the Wellstop Programme).PenaltyThe Tribunal censured the Doctor and ultimately concluded that the appropriate penalty was a period of significant suspension from practice. As the Doctor voluntarily gave up his practising certificate on conditions in October 2009, a further suspension of 9 months from the date of the hearing was deemed appropriate by the Tribunal.The Doctor was ordered to practise under the following conditions for a period of 3 years after he resumed practice: (a) Prior to re-registration, undergo a psychiatric/psychological assessment confirming fitness to practice that is acceptable to the Medical Council. (b) Ongoing oversight by the Health Committee of the Medical Council formalised by way of an agreed Voluntary Undertaking for a period of 3 years. (c) Comply with ongoing counselling and/or psychiatric/clinical psychologist input on such conditions as required by the Medical Council for a period of 3 years. (d) Comply with other rehabilitation steps considered appropriate by the psychiatrist and/or clinical psychologist (e.g. medication). (e) Enter into a mentoring relationship, with monthly meetings that will assist in early identification of triggers as established in the rehabilitation programme. (f) Undertake not to access material, images or publications that are deemed objectionable under the Films, Videos and Publications Classifications Act 1993. The Doctor is to continue to use the internet access safeguards imposed by the Probation Service. (g) The Doctor is to be responsible for any costs not ordinarily met by the Medical Council in relation to the above conditions. The Doctor was ordered to pay 20% of the total costs of the investigation, prosecution and Tribunal's hearing costs. This discount in costs was awarded due to the Doctor's early guilty plea.The Doctor was given permanent name suppression to give effect to the District Court's order of permanent name suppression The full decisions relating to the case can be found on the Tribunal website at www.hpdt.org.nzReference No: Med10/149P

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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