College defends Winnipeg doc’s suspension after he texted ‘sexualized’ photos with teen patient
The Manitoba College of Physicians and Surgeons is defending their decision to allow a doctor to continue practicing after he sent more than 1,000 text messages and several gifts to a teen patient that were described as “salacious, personal and sexualized.”
The College made the decision Sept. 12 after a hearing on June 18 into the behaviour of Dr. Shamoon Hasham Din, 42. Dr. Din formally practiced in Mississauga, Ont. before starting to practice in Winnipeg in 2015.
The inquiry charged Dr. Din with several counts of professional misconduct, including the exploitation of his patient, a teen girl, “for his personal advantage by becoming involved in an inappropriate personal relationship” with her, giving her medications without proper documentation, misleading the college about the misconduct, and seeing patients without a supervisor.
He pled guilty to all counts and was suspended for a year, ordered to undergo mandatory psychiatric counselling, and fined $29,637.90. His name was also made public and should he return to practice, he will be required to be supervised with all female patients.
Registrar Dr. Anna Ziomek said he was not stripped of his licence, partly because it was “the first time Dr. Din has been disciplined by the College.”
“It should also be noted that there are signage requirements which, combined with the publication of this decision will enhance the effectiveness of the chaperone requirement.
“The supervisor will be aware of the Panel’s findings and the Panel’s Order contains additional safeguards, such as the chaperone requirement, that will be in place to protect the public,” she wrote in a statement to Global News.
A single text message
According to the decision, the inappropriate relationship between Dr. Din and the girl started with a text message sent in the summer of 2016, when she was 16, after she had seen him for ongoing anxiety.
She continued to see Dr. Din, said the college, and he eventually prescribed her Lorazepam, a drug commonly used to temporarily treat anxiety. A few weeks later, on Sept. 4, she filled additional prescriptions, including for Tylenol-3.
Dr. Din couldn’t recall why he prescribed her T3s, and admitted “that he did not create a medical record for those prescriptions,” reads the decision.
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From there, the text messages escalated, said the decision, and became more personal. He visited her at her job in a mall twice, and frequently complimented her “on her personal appearance, advised her he was lonely and gave her various gifts.”
The gifts included clothing, shoes, cosmetics, headphones and tickets he bought for her for a Toronto concert – which he bought during one of their medical appointments together, said the decision.
The teen decided to break contact with Dr. Din that November, including no longer seeing him as a patient.
“Her primary reason for doing so, was a series of texts which he sent her on November 7, 2016, which [she] thought were ‘creepy’ and because he had sent pictures to her of his face, which made her feel ‘uncomfortable’ … they contained profanities, were sexually suggestive and highly unprofessional.”
However, contact resumed the following month and the pair sent a total of 1,001 texts in one three-week period in February, 2017.
The gift-buying also resumed, including a $435 shopping trip at a shoe store and a discussion about him loaning her $4,000 to buy a car, reads the decision.
It all unravels
The pair made future plans to go to dinner and on a trip to Toronto, but the whole thing unraveled on Feb. 22, 2017 when the teen, now 17, took 8 or 9 Lorazepam pills in the space of 12 hours, leaving her “super out of it,” she said in the decision.
She was taken to hospital where she collapsed.
When Dr. Din found out the teen was in hospital, he texted his concern and the pair planned to meet up the next day.
“At the end of that text exchange, Dr. Din sent [her] a photograph of himself and a video of himself with no shirt on, blowing a kiss and saying “miss you,'” reads the decision.
Unbeknownst to them, while she was being treated, her mother discovered the text messages on the teen’s phone.
The College began an investigation and the Winnipeg police were called, reads the decision. However, police told the college on March 17, 2017, there was a “lack of evidence suggesting that he had a sexual relationship with [her] or that he had provided her with prescription drugs outside the clinic where he is employed.”
Read the decision below:
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