North Okanagan massage therapist barred from breast examinations | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan massage therapist barred from breast examinations

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
October 15, 2019 - 11:33 AM

An Enderby massage therapist has been fined $3,000 and barred from conducting breast examination services to female patients following two incidents where female patients were treated while their breasts were exposed.

The disciplinary action comes after two women complained to the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. that Dennis Desrochers had exposed their entire upper body while they were lying face-up during treatment. Desrochers had not informed the complainants of other draping options, which is a breach of the College’s standards of practice.

Desrochers admitted committing professional misconduct in the two incidents and signed a consent and undertaking agreement with the College of Massage Therapists on Sept. 19.

The consent agreement has placed restrictions on Desrochers banning him from providing breast massage or breast examination services to female patients and mandating him to complete "extensive remedial education," as well as several fines totalling $3,000.

Desrochers works from the Sage Massage Therapy in Enderby and has been a Registered Massage Therapist since 2002.

According to the College of Massage Therapists' consent agreement notices, the two incidents took place in 2006 and 2012.

According to the agreed statement of facts, one incident involved a young woman with significant injuries.

During the inquiry, Desrochers said he asked the complainant whether she was OK with doing an undraped treatment at her next appointment, and remembers her "seeming ambivalent" saying "Yeah, okay, let’s try it."

"While the complainant was face-up on the massage table, he folded down the draping to her waist, such that her entire upper body (including her breasts) was completely exposed to his view," reads the document.

Desrochers admits in the consent agreement that he did not document on health care records that consent was obtained from the complainant, nor did he obtain written consent to the draping or the treatment from the complainant.

The second woman said she also received treatment while the sheet was at her waist, but Desrochers said he could not remember the complainant or the therapy session.

The College document says that Desrochers acknowledged he committed professional misconduct by violating College bylaws that state, "during treatment, a Registrant shall arrange the draping so that only the part of a patient’s body that is being treated is exposed and all other parts are appropriately draped."

According to the College's public records, Desrochers has no other disciplinary actions listed.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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