College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia

Rodrigue G. LEBLANC (01586)

Date of action: April 07, 2009

Nature of Action

The Inquiry Committee accepted a proposal from the Registrant under s. 37.1(3) of the Health Professions Act. Under the terms of the consent order, the Registrant will receive a reprimand from the College, a six week suspension and a fine of $5,000. He must also attend counseling sessions with a psychologist to be designated by the College to address the issue of professional boundaries at his cost and pay investigation costs in accordance with the tariff of costs established under s. 19(1)(v.1) of the Act.

Reasons

A complaint was filed by a female patient alleging that the Registrant had failed to observe professional boundaries. Following an investigation, the Inquiry Committee directed the issuance of a citation alleging that the Registrant had failed to observe proper professional boundaries by starting a romantic relationship with the patient within two days of treating her. The Registrant submitted a proposal acknowledging that he engaged in professional misconduct by having a sexual relationship with the complainant who was a patient. The complainant had attended at his clinic on two previous occasions to purchase products and then scheduled an acupuncture treatment for April 16, 2008. Subsequent to the acupuncture treatment, the Registrant offered to deliver a herbal remedy to the complainant's home. He delivered the product on April 18, 2008 and they went for dinner that night. That evening marked the beginning of a romantic relationship which lasted approximately seven weeks. The Inquiry Committee had regard to the gravity of the admitted conduct, the Registrant's acknowledgment that he breached professional boundaries, the impact on the Complainant, the lack of any prior complaints against the Registrant and the need to promote specific and general deterrence. The Inquiry Committee concluded that the terms of the proposal fell within the range of sanctions that was appropriate to address the nature of the professional misconduct in this case.