Ontario doctor loses her licence after admitting to a sexual relationship with a patient
Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:10PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2019 7:35PM EST
An Ontario doctor has had her licence to practice medicine revoked after pleading no contest to allegations of professional misconduct.
According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, oncologist Theepa Sundaralingam was accused of professional misconduct for allegedly engaging in sexual relations with a patient.
“It is also alleged that Dr. Sundaralingam engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct including by her conduct involving Patient “A” and altering hospital documents,” the college said on its website.
At a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, Sundaralingam pleaded no contest to the allegations, admitting that she engaged in sexual relations with a cancer patient.
“Almost instantly after diagnosing Patient A with a life-altering diagnosis, Dr. Sundaralingam began to breach well established boundaries between physicians and patients,” Amy Block, a prosecutor for the college, said in a statement.
“The evidence makes clear that she asked Patient A to falsify hospital documents in order to conceal her abuse.”
During the proceedings, Block explained that the contact took place “in the hospital, in the patient’s room, over the phone, in his bedroom … all the while knowing what she was doing was wrong.”
The college argued that the complainant, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, was taken advantage of and left devastated by the affair.
In his victim impact statement, the complainant said he felt abandoned when Sundaralingam ended the relationship.
“I was physically emaciated and emotionally exposed and the loss of a critical relationship defeated me. What compounded this toll was her refusal to continue providing medical care at the same time,” he said.
In the disciplinary panel’s reprimand, Sundaralingam was told that her actions were “reprehensible.”
“You crossed the boundary sexually, abused an extremely vulnerable patient…took advantage for your own personal satisfaction. You have disgraced yourself and the profession,” the college said.
Sundaralingam made no comment as she left today’s hearing.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Austin Delaney