Psychiatrist gets vulnerable patient pregnant

A Melbourne psychiatrist got a patient pregnant after she was referred to him following a workplace sex assault.

The patient saw Dr Luke Ainsworth five times during 2016 and a personal relationship unfolded between them. A sexual relationship ensued and she soon discovered she was pregnant. She alleged she felt pressure by him to terminate the pregnancy, which she did.

The Medical Board of Australia was notified of his conduct in August 2016 and referred the matter to the tribunal. After this, Dr Ainsworth gave an undertaking not to practise and allowed his registration to lapse.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct and disqualified him from applying to register as a medical practitioner before December 31.

The Tribunal noted “We regard it as appropriate to take into account Dr Ainsworth’s period of non-practice when he was fit to practice and reject the submission of the Board that this was not relevant as he did not seek to practise during this time. We are of the view that it demonstrates some insight into the seriousness of his conduct. We felt that a period of three years of non-practice was warranted to reflect the seriousness of the conduct and to send a message to Dr Ainsworth and other practitioners and thus determined that Dr Ainsworth should be disqualified until 31 December 2019.”

http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2019/734.html

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