British Columbia

B.C. massage therapist banned from breast massages after admitting professional misconduct

A B.C. massage therapist who exposed the breasts of two patients without their written consent has been reprimanded, fined and permanently banned from providing breast examinations.

Dennis Desrochers was also fined, reprimanded and order to undergo remedial education

Dennis Desrochers has been permanently restricted from doing breast examinations or massages. (Robert Short/CBC)

A B.C. massage therapist who exposed the breasts of two patients without their written consent has been reprimanded, fined and permanently banned from providing breast examinations.

Dennis Desrochers of Enderby signed a consent agreement last month with the College of Massage Therapists of B.C., admitting that he'd committed professional misconduct by exposing the entire upper bodies of the two women, according to two notices posted on the college's website.

As part of that agreement, he'll receive a formal reprimand, complete "extensive" remedial education, be permanently barred from examining or massaging the breasts of female patients, and pay a $1,000 fine and $500 in investigative costs, the notices say.

The public notices provide an outline for what happened during appointments with the two women in 2006 and 2012.

The earlier incident involved a young woman who had significant injuries. She told college investigators that while she was lying face-up on the massage table, Desrochers folded the draping all the way down to her waist and then massaged her breasts and chest.

The woman said Desrochers did not get her consent to leave her entire upper body uncovered or suggest alternative options for draping her.

Desrochers told the college he'd asked the patient at a previous appointment if she'd be fine with undraping her chest next time, to which she'd replied, ambivalently, "Yeah, OK, let's try it," according to the public notice. He did not, however, obtain her written consent or write in his records that he had consent.

The second woman made similar allegations against Desrochers in her complaint, but he said he could no longer remember his appointment with her.

College bylaws state that only the part of a patient's body that is being treated should be uncovered during a massage.

Desrochers has been registered as a massage therapist in B.C. since 2002. There are no previous disciplinary actions listed on his public record.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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