I’m not saying that a joint specialist should never ask you about your sex life. I mean who knows, maybe something you’re doing in the old boudoir could be causing you unnecessary harm. It happens. But if a joint specialist is going to ask you about your sex life, it would probably be best if he didn’t go all cocks and pussies and gay magazines on you, otherwise known as the Martin Lee method.
Dr. Lee faces the prospect of having his license revoked after being found guilty of sexually abusing a patient and professional misconduct for not only a bunch of sex stuff, but also because he tried to get a patient to pay cash for prescriptions and to record or photograph other patients he had been told were illegally selling medication. He was in to probes of all kinds, you might say.
The doctor asked the patient if she and her husband had oral sex, and anal sex, and about sexual positions they engaged in.
Except this was not sex therapy.
Dr. Martin Lee, who practised in Mississauga and Pickering, is a rheumatologist, a specialist who deals with disorders involving the joints, such as arthritis.
The patient has fibromyalgia, a condition that includes chronic pain. She was seeing Lee once or twice a week for trigger point injections. She was not only subjected to questions about her sex life, but she also had to listen to Lee volunteer details about his own.
He would talk about “things of a sexual nature that I guess he wasn’t satisfied . . . Frequency, and I guess methods or types of positions that he would engage in with his wife or wanted to,” the woman, identified only as Patient A, testified at Lee’s discipline hearing at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
She also testified that during Gay Pride Week, Lee showed her a gay pornographic magazine and asked “What is S&M? What do they get from it? How could two men do that?”
Earlier this year, a discipline panel found Lee guilty of the sexual abuse of a patient due to his remarks to Patient A, as well as for making sexual remarks and rubbing his groin up against another woman, Patient C.
Update:As of November 2nd, Dr. Lee no longer has a licence and will have to find another platform from which to be creepy and gross.
Despite amendments by the provincial government last spring to the law around sexual abuse of patients by health-care professionals, Lee’s conduct would still not have fallen in the category of sexual abuse acts requiring mandatory revocation of his licence.
However, in its decision to revoke, the five-member discipline panel acknowledged that courts have recently been critical of the CPSO’s independent discipline committee for failing to adequately respond to society’s views of sexual abuse of patients, by handing down more lenient penalties.
“The Divisional Court recently held . . . that the committee’s prior penalty ranges in cases of physician sexual abuse are out of step with present day society’s values and expectations,” says the discipline committee decision. “The committee recognizes that changing societal values speak to a need for more serious penalties in cases such as this one.”
The committee sided with the college’s request for revocation, and also ordered that Lee post a letter of credit for $32,000 to cover potential therapy costs for the patients, as well as pay $20,500 for the cost of the college proceedings.
“The committee hopes that its order in this case will send a clear message to other victims of sexual abuse by physicians that reporting such behaviour is encouraged and will be taken seriously,” says the decision.