October 13, 2010

Disciplinary Tribunal - a crock of bull

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal hears and determines disciplinary proceedings brought against health practitioners. To date, there are 11 official complaints before the Tribunal - a 100 per cent increase from the previous year. This is an obvious indication that offences are not only increasing but that perhaps the Tribunal's disciplinary measures are failing to deter crime. And it's not hard to frown upon this profession or what method they use in actually determining punishment.

Case One:
  • A doctor was found guilty of 25 charges of possessing objectionable material - an external hard drive which contained over 400,000 files, 290,000 of which related to images of young girls in explicit sexual poses - and one charge of distributing an objectionable publication.
    • He was granted name suppression
    • His was suspended from practising for nine months 
    • Sentenced to four months' home detention 
    • In addition, he is to comply with ongoing counselling, ongoing oversight by the health committee of the Medical Council, and undergo a psychiatric assessment confirming fitness to practise before he was re-registered. 
    • He was also ordered to pay $6000 costs.

  • A doctor was found guilty of conducting medicals when he was not allowed to.
  • A doctor was found guilty of 26 "indecent assault" charges on 10 female spanning 21 years. 
    • Name suppression was lifted. His name is Thermal Fernando.
    • His license was cancelled
    • He was ordered to pay $6,750 costs to the PCC
    • He was ordered to pay $5,750 costs to the Tribunal.
    • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10548928
    • Unhappy with the "lame" sentencing, the complainants took the matter to Court:
      • Fernando was found guilty on all charges
      • Ordered to pay $29,000 reparation
      • Sentenced to three years, two months (Due to be released January 2010)
      • Fernando was released on December 2008 - 2 years one month short of full sentence 

  • A doctor was found guilty of sexual misconduct. He had an affair with one of his adult female patients whilst acting as the family practitioner. The husband laid the complaint.
In summary:

Four random cases from the Tribunal above. The two doctors that had their license cancelled  - one for indecently assaulting 10 women over a 21 year period and the other for having a consensual affair with a patient - received the same punishment. It seems to be me that the Tribunal frown upon marital affairs with the same vengeance as they do a Doctor who systematically assaults unwilling patients over a 21 year period. In this case, it would appear that a husband's broken trust is equivalent to 10 physically abused women. 

The one case that I cannot fathom is the seemingly brutal (by comparison) punishment of a doctor giving medicals. His punishment was three times more severe than the Doctor caught on 25 charges of containing illegal and offensive sexual material on his computer and selling it. The latter was also granted name suppression so none of those suspecting parents out there will ever know who this offender is. It also begs the question of, if any of these men were NOT doctors, what form of criminal charges would they be given? It seems to be that the white coats are more than just a mere uniform - they're a disguise to whitewash true justice and true consequence.


  1. It sucks a? Yet, why were all those doctors from Centrepoint who were charged with having sex with minors not struck off? Also how about the GP at Centrepoint having sex with her patients while married..... how come she has not been struck off? The doctors turn a blind eye and bend the law to suit themselves.

    But on saying that, sentencing for all sex crimes is a joke in this country.... why would anyone bother to go to the police and lay charges when there is such poor outcomes?

  2. The irony the Centerpoint cronies use the low conviction rate as PROOF that sex abuse is not as bad as - what are we called again? Oh, that's right... not as bad as those Feminists make out. Pmsl.


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