Doctor found guilty of professional misconduct for 'inappropriate comments'

A doctor practising medicine at a walk-in clinic in Bay Bulls will be reprimanded for how he interacted with a patient three years ago.

Tribunal found that Dr. Peter Morry's actions violated code of ethics

The tribunal found that Dr. Peter John Morry, a general practitioner, guilty of professional misconduct for comments he made to a patient during an appointment in 2015. (Shutterstock)

A doctor practising medicine at a walk-in clinic in Bay Bulls will be reprimanded for how he interacted with a patient three years ago.

The adjudication tribunal's written decision, which is dated Oct. 9, was posted on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador's website on Friday.

The tribunal found that Dr. Peter John Morry, a general practitioner, was guilty of professional misconduct.

The decision states that his conduct was in violation of the college's code of ethics, which prohibits "inappropriate comments or questions reflecting a lack of respect for the patient's dignity or privacy."

Morry pleaded guilty to the complaint, which was made last year.

Morry declined comment when contacted by CBC News.

Agreed statement of facts

According to the tribunal's decision, a patient — a 22-year-old male university student — went to Morry's walk-in clinic in October 2015.

He was looking for an assessment of "genital lesions."

Morry took a swab of the lesions to test the patient for herpes and gave him a prescription.

The patient told the tribunal that Morry had advised him that the physicians he previously visited were "idiots" for diagnosing him with scabies.

When the patient said that he had questions about his diagnosis, he recalled that Dr. Morry told him: 'You know what lasts longer than love? Herpes.'- Tribunal written decision, Oct. 9

"He recalled that Dr. Morry asked him how many sexual partners he had and made a comment to the effect that his response was a high number, and that years ago, Dr. Morry would have to ask a girl's father for permission to take a girl on a date," the decision read.

The patient then said the doctor asked him about his sexual orientation, phrasing his questioning like: "I assume from the way that you carry yourself that you have sex with men?"

The patient also said the doctor told him that, as he was "well-endowed," he could not go around and have "sex with men in alleyways."

"When the patient said that he had questions about his diagnosis, he recalled that Dr. Morry told him: 'You know what lasts longer than love? Herpes.'"

Doctor's response

In his response to the tribunal, Morry acknowledged that it was plausible that he had made a comment about the number of the patient's sexual partners as being high in his personal view.

The tribunal ordered Morry to write an apology to the patient, complete a course on doctor-patient relationships, and pay $20,000 in costs to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador. (College of Physicians and Surgeons of NL)

"Dr. Morry also acknowledged that he failed to treat the patient with adequate sensitivity, respect, and dignity in relation to the discussion of the patient's sexual history and diagnosis," the decision read.

The tribunal ordered that Dr. Morry provide a written apology to the patient.

The doctor will also complete a university course about understanding the boundaries and managing risks in the doctor-patient relationship.

He will also pay $20,000 in costs to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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About the Author

Jen White

CBC News

Jen White is a journalist with CBC News in St. John's.