Guy Turcotte, the former Quebec cardiologist found not criminally responsible for killing his children, told a mental health review board that he wants therapy and eventually wants to return to practising medicine.

He began speaking Thursday morning at a hearing taking place at the Philipe Pinel Institute, a mental health hospital in Montreal.

Last summer, the former cardiologist was declared not criminally responsible for the deaths of his two young children.

Turcotte admitted he stabbed his children, Anne-Sophie, 3, and Olivier, 5, in February 2009, in a rented home north of Montreal. The 39-year-old physician was charged with first-degree murder, but denied intent. In 2011, a jury decided Turcotte was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the killings.

Hearings at the Pinel Institute began last fall to determine whether the former cardiologist should be freed. In November, a psychiatrist who examined him said he should be detained for at least another year for treatment.

Turcotte told the review board Thursday that if he's released from detention, the first thing he wants to do is go into therapy.

He said he would one day like to return to work as a doctor. But he said he realized it would be complicated and it would take a very long time. He said he would live with family members, and that he is not ready for a new romantic relationship.

Turcotte said he's had no communication with his ex-wife or her partner in more than two years, and he does not have any intention of contacting them.

He said he doesn't feel any rage or hatred. He said he just feels sadness.

Mother of Turcotte's children raises doubts

Isabelle Gaston, Turcotte's estranged wife, said the former physician is used to answering medical questions, and he's intelligent enough to know what answers the review board is looking for.

"His promises are like those of an alcoholic saying he won't drink anymore, and that he will seek treatment, but as soon as you leave him on his own, he goes and drinks a case of beer," Gaston said outside the Pinel Institute Thursday.