Brown, Peter John (CPSO#: 70143)

Current Status: Revoked: Discipline Committee as of 17 Aug 2015

CPSO Registration Class: None as of 17 Aug 2015

Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:University of Ottawa, 1996

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available

Postgraduate Training

Please note: This information may not be a complete record of postgraduate training.

University of Ottawa, 01 Jul 1996 to 30 Jun 1997
PostGrad Yr 1 - Family Medicine

University of Ottawa, 01 Jul 1997 to 30 Jun 1998
PostGrad Yr 2 - Family Medicine

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Jul 1996
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 27 Jun 1998
Expired: Failure to Renew Membership Expiry: 13 Aug 2015
Revoked: Discipline Committee. Effective: 17 Aug 2015

Previous Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 20 May 2015
Summary:

On May 20, 2015, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Peter John Brown 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. Brown admitted to the allegation of disgraceful, 
dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. 
 
In September 2010, Ms A, a university student, began counselling to deal with ongoing stressors 
in her life, which caused significant anxiety, with Dr. Brown, a family physician who provided 
psychotherapy at the Student Health Services.  
 
Initially, Ms A had a difficult time opening up to Dr. Brown, but by December 2010, she was 
willing to talk and share more. By the spring of 2011, Ms A had developed significant trust in 
Dr. Brown and began experiencing different feelings in that she had become attracted to him and 
cared what he thought about her. She had some insight into her feelings for him as she had some 
knowledge of transference and was aware that transference can arise in counseling situations. Dr. 
Brown recommended yoga to her as part of therapy but went on to disclose his personal 
experience and details about where he went. They shared music interests and she gave him a 
“gift of music” in the summer of 2011. He responded by email and included a message on the 
jump drive, which he gave back to her. The professional relationship now had a significant 
personal aspect as illustrated by late night emails sent by Dr. Brown to Ms A.  
 
The nature of the professional relationship changed suddenly on a day in September 2011, when 
after a yoga session they attended together, Dr. Brown sat in her car and professed that he had 
feelings for her. The Committee found that Dr. Brown’s declaration was an expression of 
romantic feelings and sexual interest towards Ms A and as such, found that Dr. Brown engaged 
in sexual abuse of his patient by making remarks of a sexual nature. 
 
The next day, there were numerous text messages between Ms A and Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown 
arranged to see Ms A in the office for an appointment two days later. The last office appointment 
was on a scheduled appointment date the following week. 
 
In between the yoga date and the date of the last office appointment, the Committee found that 
Ms A and Dr. Brown went for walks in the neighbourhood, went to yoga together, held hands, 
hugged, were affectionate during a hiking trip and, on either the day of the hiking trip or the next 
day, first engaged in oral sex. The Committee found that Dr. Brown engaged in sexual abuse of 
Ms A both by touching her in a sexual manner and by engaging in oral sex with her prior to Ms 
A’s last appointment in September 2011.  
 
Dr. Brown admitted that he had sexual intercourse with Ms A on the date of the last office visit 
and on the next day. The Committee found that Dr. Brown was no longer attending or actively 
treating Ms A after the date of the last office visit, however, the Committee concluded that the 
last office visit did not end of the professional relationship in the circumstances. The Committee 
stated that the duration of the professional relationship will depend on the potential for the 
physician to exploit the trust or emotions of the patient or otherwise use the influence of their 
previous physician patient relationship. In such circumstances, the physician patient relationship 
 endures and the physician remains accountable, whether or not the service provided has ended. 
 The Committee found that the professional relationship between Ms A and Dr. Brown endured 
 beyond the last office visit of September 2011, and was still alive at time of the last 
 communication between them. Based on these facts, the Committee found that Dr. Brown 
 engaged in sexual intercourse with Ms A after the date of the last office appointment while she 
 was still his patient. 
  
 Also, the Committee found that Dr. Brown’s inappropriate behaviour and numerous boundary 
 violations clearly supported a finding of disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct, as 
follows: 
 
-  Dr. Brown shared personal information with Ms A between January and April 2011; 
-  Dr. Brown engaged in encouraging a personal relationship with Ms A by responding to her 
   gift of music, involving her in yoga (a sport he was involved in) and providing her easy 
   access to his personal email. He texted her late at night regarding the usefulness of certain 
   yoga activities which was an inappropriate intrusion into her personal time. These actions 
   fostered a familiarity and personalization of the professional relationship and made her feel 
   special; 
-  That they mutually agreed to meet at yoga on a date in September when Ms A returned from 
   a trip. The Committee found this to be a clear and significant boundary violation; 
 -  Dr. Brown encouraged Ms A to keep a journal of her dreams and later asked if he would get 
    to know what she wrote about him - an example of the progressive and gradual change to a 
    more personal relationship; 
 -  After the September yoga date, Dr. Brown walked with Ms A, sat with her in her car and 
    disclosed feelings for her. He had a duty to his patient and to the profession to put a halt to 
    this and he did not;  
 -  The relationship was now influenced by a romantic and sexual interest which was mutual. It 
    was Dr. Brown alone who instigated this change; 
 -  After the final September office visit, Dr. Brown had the opportunity to act in his patient’s 
    interest and he did not. Not only did he invite her to his house where they engaged in sexual 
    intercourse, but he later informed her that there relationship must end only to recant; and 
 -  Dr. Brown deluded himself into thinking that her emotional problems were lessening in the 
    face of obvious stressors. He failed to recognize her urgent need to see another therapist and 
    ignored the welfare of his patient.  
  
 On August 17, 2015, the Committee ordered and directed that: 
  
 -  the Registrar revoke Dr. Brown’s certificate of registration effective immediately. 
 -  Dr. Brown appear before the panel to be reprimanded. 
 -  Dr. Brown reimburse the College for funding provided to patients under the program 
    required under section 85.7 of the Code, by posting an irrevocable letter of credit or other 
    security acceptable to the College, within thirty (30) days of this order in the amount of 
    $16,060.00. 
 -  Dr. Brown pay costs to the College in the amount of $17,840.00 within thirty (30) days of the 
    date of this Order. 

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Appeal: No Appeal
Hearing Date(s): July 14-17 , 2014 Penalty hearing August 17, 2015