Beairsto, William Arthur Damian (CPSO#: 30595)

Current Status: Revoked: Discipline Committee as of 05 Oct 2017

CPSO Registration Class: None as of 05 Oct 2017

Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:University of Toronto, 1977

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 12 Feb 1979
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 05 Nov 2010
Suspension of registration imposed: Discipline Committee Effective: 11 Nov 2016
Revoked: Discipline Committee. Effective: 05 Oct 2017

Pending Discipline Hearings

Summary: Allegations of Dr. Beairsto’s professional misconduct have been referred to the Discipline Committee of the College. It is alleged that Dr. Beairsto engaged in the sexual abuse of Patient A, and/or disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct, including by kissing Patient A and blocking Patient A’s way as she left an appointment.

Notice of Hearing: Download Full Notice (PDF)

Previous Discipline Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 05 Aug 2016
Summary:

On August 5, 2016, the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Ontario found that Dr. William Arthur Damian Beairsto committed an act of professional 
misconduct in that he has engaged in the sexual abuse of a patient; and in that he has engaged in 
conduct or an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard to all the 
circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable, or 
unprofessional. 

Dr. Beairsto provided psychotherapy to patients in a converted office in his house in Toronto. 
Between 1997 and 2012, he provided treatment to Patient A in respect of a marital breakdown. 
The Committee found that he engaged in the following misconduct with regard to Patient A 
during their doctor-patient relationship: 

DR. BEAIRSTO INAPPROPRIATELY MASSAGED PATIENT A’S BACK 

Patient A told Dr. Beairsto about her ongoing back pain. Dr. Beairsto suggested that a massage 
might help alleviate her pain, and he then offered to massage her back. She thought this was 
weird but she agreed.  

Patient A put on a hospital gown but left her bra and underwear on. She lay face down on the 
examining table. Dr. Beairsto spent 20 minutes rubbing her neck, her back, her sides – including 
the incidental touching of the outside of both breasts – and her lower legs.  

The Committee found that the nature and extent of Dr. Beairsto’s touching of Patient A could not 
be confused with a back examination. The massage was for the purpose of relaxation and was 
not sexual in nature. 

The Committee found that the back massage was inappropriate in the context of Dr. Beairsto’s 
doctor-patient relationship with Patient A. The massage Dr. Beairsto gave to Patient A was a 
boundary violation that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable 
or unprofessional. 

DR. BEAIRSTO STROKED PATIENT A’S BUTTOCKS AFTER A PSYCHOTHERAPY 
SESSION 

Dr. Beairsto stroked Patient A’s buttocks as she was getting ready to leave the office at the end 
of a psychotherapy session. Dr. Beairsto had quickly come around his desk and positioned 
himself so that he had one hand on her buttocks and one hand in front of her, restricting her 
movement somewhat. Patient A testified that this made her feel “like a deer in headlights.” She 
therefore made efforts to leave the office quickly.  

Dr. Beairsto put one of his hands on her buttocks with no clinical reason to do so. This incident 
occurred sometime in the middle of their doctor-patient relationship. She continued to see Dr. 
Beairsto despite her embarrassment at the time. 

The Committee found that Dr. Beairsto touched and stroked Patient A’s buttocks as she 
described, and that this was not a matter of incidental contact as Dr. Beairsto brushed by her. The 
Committee found that Dr. Beairsto’s stroking of Patient A’s buttocks at the end of a 
psychotherapy session with no clinical reason to do so was touching of a sexual nature, 
constituting sexual abuse within the meaning of the Code. 

DR. BEAIRSTO EXAMINED PATIENT A’S CHEST IN AN INAPPROPRIATE 
MANNER 

In 2011, Patient A had agreed to Dr. Beairsto examining her chest because of her bronchitis. Dr. 
Beairsto rolled up the front of her shirt above her bra near her collarbone, and Dr. Beairsto 
smiled and made a “woo” sound that sounded to her like a sound of “approval” while looking at 
her chest and breasts. 

The Committee found that Dr. Beairsto made the aforementioned sounds while conducting a 
chest examination of Patient A, and that this would be regarded by members as inappropriate and 
unprofessional.  

DR. BEAIRSTO MADE INAPPROPRIATE REMARKS TO PATIENT A 

Patient A testified that Dr. Beairsto would compliment her on her hair and/or outfit at every visit.  

Patient A testified that Dr. Beairsto told her “a few times” that she “would be a good lover.” The 
Committee finds that, by making this remark to Patient A, Dr. Beairsto engaged in conduct that, 
in the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as unprofessional. 

DR. BEAIRSTO HUGGED AND KISSED PATIENT A  

Dr. Beairsto routinely ended his psychotherapy sessions with hugs and kisses. The Committee 
did not accept that the routine practice of hugging and kissing every patient in the course of 
every visit is appropriate.  

Although the touching was not of a sexual nature, Dr. Beairsto’s conduct would reasonably be 
regarded by members as crossing doctor-patient boundaries with a vulnerable therapeutic patient, 
and was disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional. 

DR. BEAIRSTO TOUCHED HIS CROTCH INAPPROPRIATELY AND 
SUBSEQUENTLY SNIFFED HIS FINGERS 

Patient A testified that Dr. Beairsto touched himself near his genitals and then smelled his hand 
during an appointment. Patient A said that this incident left her feeling embarrassed. 

Dr. Beairsto testified that he may have moved his hand from somewhere below the desk towards 
his nose as part a demonstration to explain that smelling one’s vaginal discharge could be helpful 
in determining if a vaginal infection had resolved.  

The Committee found that what Dr. Beairsto said and did was unprofessional. It is so outside the 
norm of what is a professional way to communicate medical information that, even if not a 
salacious gesture as alleged, it is completely inappropriate, and the Committee finds Dr. 
Beairsto’s conduct to be disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional. 

PENALTY 

On November 4, 2016, the Discipline Committee granted an adjournment of the penalty hearing 
dates of November 8 and 11, 2016 on terms including that the Registrar suspend Dr. Beairsto’s 
certificate of registration effective November 11, 2016, until such time as the matters currently 
referred to the Discipline Committee in the Notice of Hearing dated November 10th, 2014, are 
disposed of by a panel of the Discipline Committee.   

On March 6, 7 and 31, 2017, the Committee heard evidence and submissions on penalty and costs, and 
received supplementary written submissions on penalty on April 7, 2017. Subsequent to the Committee’s 
deliberations on the oral and written submissions but prior to the release of the Committee’s decision on 
penalty, College counsel requested permission to provide submissions to the Committee on amendments 
to section 51 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 that came into force on May 30, 2017. The 
Committee accepted this request and subsequently received further written submissions from counsel for 
the College and for Dr. Beairsto and written advice from Independent Legal Counsel with respect to the 
issues raised by counsel. The Committee met again on September 25, 2017 and considered these 
additional submissions and written comments on ILC advice.   

On October 5, 2017, the Committee ordered and directed that:  

   -  The Registrar to revoke Dr. Beairsto’s certificate of registration, effective 
      immediately. 
   -  Dr. Beairsto to appear before the Committee to be reprimanded, within three 
      months of the date this Order becomes final. 
   -  Dr. Beairsto to reimburse the College for funding for the patient under the 
      program required under s.85.7, in the amount of $16,060.00, and to post a 
      letter of credit acceptable to the College to guarantee the payment of any 
      amount he may be required to reimburse, within 30 days of the date this 
      Order becomes final. 
   -  Dr. Beairsto to pay to the College costs in the amount of $24,420.00, within 
      30 days of the date of this Order.

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: No Appeal
Hearing Date(s): Hearing Dates: October 19-20, 2015 Penalty Hearing: March 6 -7 and March 31, 2017