Discipline Committee Decision

Discipline Committee Decisions

Dr. Clint Anthony Redhead; Dr. Sastri Narendra Maharajh; Dr. Jerry Tennen

Nov 26, 2013

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (“the College”) released the results of its most recent disciplinary hearings. The College is the licensing and disciplinary body for physicians in Ontario. Hearings are held to review allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence, and are open to the public. The following are brief summaries of recent discipline hearing results. The Discipline Committee’s full decisions and reasons for decisions are posted on the College’s website as they become available. Full decisions are located by entering the doctor’s name in the All Doctors Search section of the College’s website at www.cpso.on.ca.

Dr. Clint Anthony Redhead, Mattawa. On May 15, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Clint Redhead committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.

Dr. Redhead inappropriately engaged in a sexual relationship with Ms. X, a former patient, only a few weeks after the end of their doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Redhead had treated Ms. X on several occasions while on call at a hospital. He attended on Ms. X in person as a patient on five occasions: twice on November 12 and then on December 27, 28 and 29, 2006. Dr. Redhead was aware of Ms. X's vulnerabilities and he treated her for mental illness, which consisted of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. Although the Committee did not make a specific finding as to the date of commencement of the sexual relationship, the evidence is that the sexual relationship commenced at either the end of January 2007 or early in February 2007.

Dr. Redhead also gave gifts to Ms. X. He knew that she was emotionally and financially needy. The giving of gifts by Dr. Redhead to someone who he knew had such problems, served only to deepen her dependence on him and thus exploited her vulnerability and augmented the power imbalance between them.
On October 30, 2013, the Committee ordered a public reprimand, and a five-month suspension of Dr. Redhead’s certificate of registration, to commence on October 31, 2013.

The following term, condition and limitation was also imposed on Dr. Redhead's certificate of registration, effective immediately:

  • at his own expense, Dr. Redhead shall successfully complete College-facilitated instruction in Professionalism/Ethics no later than one year from the date of this Order.

Dr. Redhead was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $25,000.

Dr. Sastri Narendra Maharajh, Mississauga. On July 29, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Maharajh 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 disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. Dr. Maharajh admitted the allegations.

Dr. Maharajh is a family physician practicing in Mississauga, Ontario. Patient A was a patient of Dr. Maharajh's since approximately 1992. She had several ultrasounds of the breast performed in order to investigate breast masses, which were always benign.

On July 5, 2011, Patient A attended for an appointment with Dr. Maharajh. Her complaints that day included wheezing and ongoing pain in the left breast. Dr. Maharajh examined Patient A's ears, nose and throat first and found that her throat was red. He told Patient A that she likely had a viral infection. Dr. Maharajh next began examining Patient A's chest with his stethoscope. He asked her to take deep breaths, with her head turned sideways towards the wall. At this point, Patient A was lying on the exam table with her left arm under her head. The wall was on her left hand side, and Dr. Maharajh was standing to her right. She was not wearing a gown.

Dr. Maharajh instructed Patient A to breathe deeply, and he placed the head of the stethoscope on her chest. He listened to both lung fields. At this point in the examination, Patient A felt something odd on her right nipple. She noticed that Dr. Maharajh's head was close to her chest. She felt something warm and pinching on her nipple. Dr. Maharajh instructed Patient A to breathe and then quickly put his lips on her nipple. This occurred three times. Patient A turned her head to look and saw Dr. Maharajh cupping her nipple with his mouth.

Patient A said, "What are you doing?" Dr. Maharajh stood up and said "Nothing".

Dr. Maharajh has disclosed to the College that between approximately 2005 and 2011, he engaged in conduct that was similar to the inappropriate conduct engaged in with Patient A, with approximately 10 to 12 other female patients. For each of these 10 to 12 patients, Dr. Maharajh acknowledges that he either placed his mouth on the patient’s breast, or he rested his cheek lightly on the patient’s breast.
On November 5, 2013, the Committee ordered a public reprimand and an immediate eight-month suspension of Dr. Maharajh's certificate of registration. In addition, the following terms, conditions and limitations are imposed on his certificate for an indefinite period of time:

  • Dr. Maharajh's practice shall be restricted to male patients only.
  • Dr. Maharajh shall post a clearly visible sign in his waiting room, and any waiting room where he practises, stating that he may only treat male patients.
  • Dr. Maharajh shall continue in individual psychodynamic psychotherapy with a College-approved psychiatrist who shall provide written reports to the College every six months.
  • Dr. Maharajh shall reimburse the College in the amount of $96,360 for funding for any therapy and counselling under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code provided to up to six of the patients referred to in the Agreed Statement of Facts for Penalty Hearing.

Dr. Maharajh was further ordered to reimburse the College for funding for therapy and counselling provided to Patient A under the program required under section 85.7 of the Code in the amount of $16,060.
Submissions with respect of the costs of the hearing were not made at the hearing, but may subsequently be made in writing by College counsel and defence counsel to the Discipline Committee.

Dr. Jerry Tennen, Toronto. On November 18, 2013, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Jerry Tennen committed acts of professional misconduct, in that he failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession, and he engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct. Dr. Tennen admitted the allegations.

Dr. Tennen, a psychiatrist, treated Patient A from 1997 to 1999. On occasion, he ended his therapy sessions with Patient A by placing his arm around her shoulder or giving her a hug. On one occasion when leaving his office, Dr. Tennen kissed Patient A on the lips. The College expert found that Dr. Tennen failed to maintain a proper frame for the psychotherapy treatment, displayed a deficiency in skill and judgment in the act of kissing the patient on the lips and that his record-keeping was marginal and there was no diagnostic formulation noted.

Dr. Tennen treated Patient B from 1997 to 2009. During their therapeutic relationship, Dr. Tennen exchanged brief hugs with Patient B, provided Patient B a kiss on the cheek, and while Patient B was in the midst of an eroticized transference, Dr. Tennen asked to see her surgical incision on her back. She lifted her shirt and he examined her scar. The College expert found that Dr. Tennen failed to maintain a proper frame for psychotherapy in light of the patient's eroticized transference, displayed a lack of skill and judgment in misjudging the impact of physical attention on this patient and in asking to see her surgical incision, and that his record-keeping was marginal and there was no clear formulation of his patient.

The Committee ordered a public reprimand and a three months suspension of Dr. Tennen’s certificate of registration, on December 1, 2013. In addition, the following terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. Tennen’s certificate of registration:

  • Dr. Tennen shall retain a clinical supervisor, approved by the College, who shall every two weeks review the cases and charts of a minimum of three female patients with potential to experience, or who are actively experiencing, transference in the course of treatment. Dr. Tennen shall abide by all recommendations of his clinical supervisor.
  • Following a 12-month period of supervision, Dr. Tennen shall undergo a reassessment of his practice by a College appointed assessor who shall report the results of the assessment to the College.
  • Dr. Tennen shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his practice and patient charts by College representatives for the purposes of monitoring and enforcing compliance with the terms of this Order.
  • Dr. Tennen shall be responsible for any and all costs associated with implementing the terms of this Order.

Dr. Tennen was further ordered to pay the College costs in the amount of $4,460.