Doctor Loses License After Getting Intimate With A Consenting Patient
Mar 25th, 2020
Theepa Sundarlingam is a 37-year-old doctor from Toronto, Canada. Just recently, her medical license was barred and stripped away from her. This was after she allegedly had sexual affairs with a cancer patient at the hospital.
Sundarlingam is an oncologist. According to reports, she had an intimate relationship with a patient. She was found guilty of the offenses by the disciplinary panel. Because of this, her medical license got revoked.
The patient who was identified as “Patient A” according to the court documents was said to be abused multiple times on his hospital bed. The Star also reported that the oncologist followed the patient to a different medical facility after he was discharged from the hospital where she was at. Then she continued to treat the patient there.
Reports reveal that Sundaralingam’s first met the patient in 2015 when she diagnosed him with cancer. National Post stated that the doctor even shared personal phone numbers and social media accounts with the patient the day after. Soon, they started exchanging flirtatious text messages. Then this developed to hugging, kissing, and even intimate conversations over the phone.
It came to a point when they ended up having sex on the hospital bed. These text messages were revealed during the court hearings to have a better idea of their relationship. And during this time, the doctor was still treating this man for his illness.
Seven months into this ‘relationship’ she allegedly has fallen in love with a colleague and had to break off this affair with her patient. Then she refused to see the said patient for treatment.
During the hearings, the court told Sundaralingam, “Your actions are abhorrent and reprehensible,” Sundaralingam was told by the court. “You crossed boundaries and ultimately sexually abused an extremely vulnerable patient suffering from a life-threatening illness.” The court believes that her behavior was “sexually abusive, disgraceful, dishonorable, and unprofessional conduct.”
The statement from the panel says, “You were responsible for your patient’s health, care and support, but instead you took advantage of your own personal satisfaction. You then withdrew that support for your own personal preference at a time when your patient was at his lowest point. You have disgraced yourself and the profession.”
The Toronto Sun stated that Sundaralingam pleaded no contest to the charges against her in from of the disciplinary committee at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
When asked, the patient said that the doctor was the person who managed his health and also provided him with emotional support during his cancer treatment. He explained, “She was the same person who abandoned me at my most vulnerable point. I feel abused and it’s very difficult as a male to come out and say that about a female.”
The patient also released a statement to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO). It says: “I was physically emaciated and emotionally exposed and the loss of a critical relationship defeated me. What compounded this toll was her refusal to continue providing medical care at the same time.”
According to the Ontario law, punishment for doctors who are found guilty of having sexual affairs with their patients results in a loss of their medical license. The court charged Sundaralingam with a post-credit fine of $16,000. This is to cover the patient therapy charges plus an additional $6,000 for the costs of the disciplinary hearing.