25 Nov 2022
Trigger warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for confidential help. If you are a medical practitioner, please visit the drs4drs website.
Dr Lucian Edouard Lagrange has not practised since 2 September 2019, when the Medical Board of Australia took immediate action to suspend his medical registration.
The Board referred Dr Lagrange to the West Australian State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) alleging eight counts of professional misconduct, specifically that he:
On 17 December 2021, the tribunal stated that '…by his conduct, Dr Lagrange abused the doctor-patient relationship and undermined the trust and confidence of patients, particularly women, in their doctors and of the community in the medical profession, in fundamental breach of his ethical duties and obligations under the Code and Guidelines.'
The tribunal found Dr Lagrange engaged in eight counts of professional misconduct with the first two patients; and professional misconduct, unsatisfactory professional performance and unprofessional conduct with regards to the third patient.
On 22 November 2022, the tribunal handed down its penalty, cancelling Dr Lagrange's registration; disqualifying and prohibiting him from providing health services for 25 years; prohibiting him from using the honorific title of ‘doctor’; reprimanding him; and ordering him to pay costs of $75,943 to the Medical Board of Australia.
Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency CEO Martin Fletcher said: ‘This is one of the most severe outcomes ever imposed on a practitioner In Australia, and the quarter of a century disqualification demonstrates the gravity of misconduct these patients were subjected to. I hope the tribunal’s decision offers some closure to the women directly involved, as well as sending a strong message to the wider public about the standards in place to protect their safety.’
Medical Board of Australia Chair Anne Tonkin said: ‘Women should expect to feel safe when they consult their doctor.'
'Patients trust doctors to act in their best interests, treat them professionally, protect their privacy and never take advantage of them.'
'While the vast majority of doctors in Australia provide the community with excellent medical care, a small number of doctors undermine patient trust when they do not maintain sexual boundaries. In these cases, the Board will take the necessary action to protect the public.’
The tribunal’s full decision was published on Austlii in December 2021.
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