Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 62

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES DR. PAUL MICHAEL PORTER PRACTICE LOCATION: Grimsby AREA OF PRACTICE: Psychiatry HEARING INFORMATION: Contested Hearing – Eight Days On February 11, 2016, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Porter committed acts of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in sexual abuse of Patient A, and he engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. Patient A was a patient of Dr. Porter, a psychiatrist, between 2008 and 2012. Dr. Porter’s certificate of registration was subject to certain limitations at that time, including the following: “Dr. Porter shall in- stall in his office a video system which will, with the consent of each patient, tape each entire psychiatric session and which can be monitored by the office staff and preserved for inspection.” The Committee found that Dr. Porter engaged in sexual abuse of Patient A by hugging her, kissing her, holding her hand, having her sit on his lap, and mak- ing remarks of a sexual nature, as described below. Patient A testified that Dr. Porter first hugged her about a year and a half after she started seeing him, when she was grieving the death of her relative. She thought Dr. Porter felt bad for her because her relative had passed away and so he said “Here, let me give you a hug.” After that, she said they would hug just before she left. She testified that the hugs were frequent in 2011. At the end of a session, she would stand up and move towards the window and he would hug her there. He said he was hugging her in that location because it was out of the camera’s view. At first the hugs ended when she said “I have to go” and then later on as the relationship developed, they would each say “I love you.” There were 14 hugs documented on video clips. The hugs captured on video were initiated by Dr. Porter by standing and holding his arms open, welcoming Patient A to the embrace. Dr. Porter would generally stand in an area 62 DIALOGUE ISSUE 3, 2017 or move to behind his chair where the video camera was unlikely to fully capture the hug. The hug was a full body hug with their torsos in contact. A rocking motion from side to side was also observed. All the hugs took place in the privacy of Dr. Porter’s office with the door closed in the context of a psychothera- py session. It was clear to the Committee that the hugs that were observed went beyond purported therapeutic hugs. The hugs were of a sexual nature and conveyed Dr. Porter’s romantic interest in his patient. These hugs were wrong, especially in a psychotherapy con- text. The Committee found that Dr. Porter repeat- edly hugged Patient A in a sexualized manner. Patient A also testified that she recalled three occa- sions when Dr. Porter kissed her. The first time oc- curred when they were standing by the window in his office, a second time when she was sitting on his lap and another when they were both in the secretary’s office together. Dr. Porter denied any kissing took place. The Committee carefully reviewed the evi- dence available and considered the credibility of both Patient A and Dr. Porter. The Committee found that Dr. Porter kissed Patient A, that he held her hand in the hallway of his office, and that she sat on his lap in his office on one or more occasions. Patient A further testified that Dr. Porter made sexual comments to her on numerous occasions. These include telling her he loved her; telling her that they would have a future together in two years; complimenting her on her appearance; saying that he would like to hold her hands on an airplane; and telling her that they would look funny making love together because of their bad backs. Dr. Porter denied that he made any of these remarks. The Committee assessed the respective credibility of Dr. Porter and Patient A, and found that Dr. Porter made sexual remarks to Patient A just as she testified he did. The Committee accordingly found that Dr. Porter sexually abused Patient A as set out above, as well as that he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct in sexually abusing Patient A. In addition, the Committee found that Dr. Porter also engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unpro- fessional conduct as set out below: • Dr. Porter disclosed personal information inappro-