Toronto neurologist’s groin exams left female patients ‘deeply disturbed’

A renowned Toronto neurologist vowed to never practise medicine again after admitting at a College of Physicians discipline hearing that he committed professional misconduct against two female patients who were “deeply disturbed” by his actions.

Dr. Ayoob Mossanen, now 80, has assured the college he won’t practise again here in Ontario or anywhere else, said college prosecutor Amy Block.

Mossanen, who quit in October 2017 after a heart attack, caused two patients distress during their exams when he “palpated” their groin areas without explanation or asking for their consent, said Block.

The sexual abuse allegations levied against Mossanen by the two patients, whose identitites are covered by a publication ban, were withdrawn.

Block told the committee that this result protects the public more effectively than any outcome from a contested, successful discipline hearing because he can’t practise again anywhere in the world.

Dr. Ayoob Mossanen attempts to escape unnoticed to an awaiting vehicle with the assistance of his son after a hearing at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Toronto, on Friday Aug. 10, 2018. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network)

Mossanen was conducting an examination on Patient A — a motor vehicle accident victim — in 2007 when he “asked her to remove her pants and she was cold and upset and didn’t wish to,” said Block, reading an agreed statement of facts.

As Patient A recalled, the doctor helped her to remove her pants.

“Mossanen rolled down Patient A’s underwear exposing her lower abdomen and the upper part of her pubic area,” Block said. “Patient A became increasingly upset, uncomfortable and was crying extensively.”

“Mossanen was sharp and impatient. She didn’t understand why he was palpating near her pelvic area, and why he was pushing and pulling on her legs, as part of his examination. She forced her legs shut,” said Block.

Mossanen terminated the exam and told her he couldn’t finish.

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Patient B, also a motor vehicle accident survivor, required a neurological exam in 2016.
She also felt “considerable distress” after Mossanen exposed her pubic area and “incidentally touched her pubic bone.”

Mossanen had a registered nurse present throughout Patient B’s exam and she “didn’t observe any touching she considered inappropriate,” said Block.

Patient A, now 48, who was a counsellor for rape victims and abused women for more than a decade, said she was disappointed but understood the college’s decision.

“They’ve refused to call this a sexual assault and it’s upsetting, inappropriate behaviour,” said Patient A, who was 37 in 2007.

“I cannot let people touch me since this happened. I cannot be in a relationship. When I try, I go into this rage,” she said. “I used to be a social butterfly, but now I’m afraid of everything.”

Mossanen, whose Jewish family emigrated from his native Iran to England in the mid-50s, passed medical school there in ‘63 and was qualified in Ontario in 1970.

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He had glowing character references, one from an Ontario judge (writing as a friend, not a judge) who called him a “fine, decent man and a good friend, a person of honesty and integrity.”

Another medical colleague, retired Dr. Rosalind Zucker, who has known Mossanen since first year medical school in Leeds 60 years ago, said his “bedside manner is above reproach and he’s well respected in the medical community.”

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies