Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Panel hearing summary 2012.0153
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Panel hearing summary 2012.0153

Decision of the Medical Board of Australia

Performance and Professional Standards Panel

Jurisdiction: Victoria

Date of Hearing: 11 October 2012

Date of Decision: 1 November 2012

Classification of Notification:

  • Boundary violation – Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Communication – Insensitive or inappropriate comments (not sexual)


It was alleged that the psychiatrist had behaved in a way that constituted unprofessional conduct under section 191(1)(b)(ii) of the National Law in that their line of questioning and discussions with the mother of a patient during a private consultation were inappropriate. In asking questions of the mother the doctor commented on her personal relationships, mode of dress, parenting skills and sexual topics, amongst other things, which were inappropriate or irrelevant to the treatment of the patient.


The panel found that the allegations were not proved and that the psychiatrist had no case to answer. The inquiries and discussions with the mother of the patient were reasonable in that they had appropriate clinical value. The panel did not accept the evidence of the mother that inappropriate sexual comments had been made.


The panel decided that no further action be taken.

Page reviewed 24/04/2014