The College of Massage Therapists of BC received a complaint against Dennis Desrochers of Enderby from a female patient who alleged that during a treatment in 2006, while she was laying face-up on the massage table, Desrochers folded the draping down to her waist to massage her breasts and chest area, such that the complainant’s entire upper body (including her breasts) was completely exposed to Desrochers’ view.
When interviewed during the investigation of the complaint, the complainant stated that Desrochers did not advise her of alternate draping options and did not request or obtain her consent to undrape her entire upper body during the treatment.
Desrochers admitted to performing the massage in the manner claimed by the complainant. He said that at the treatment before the one in question, he asked the complainant, “Would you be okay with doing undraped next treatment [sic]?” and recalls her seeming ambivalent and saying “Yeah, okay, let’s try it.”
He admitted that he did not document in his health care record that consent was obtained from the complainant in respect of the draping or the treatment and that he did not obtain written consent to the draping or the treatment from the complainant.
He acknowledged that by engaging in the conduct described above, he committed professional misconduct by violating section 7(2) of Schedule “D” of the College’s Bylaws in force at the applicable time (in 2006), which stated “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”.
Another woman made a similar complaint against him for a treatment she got in 2012. Desrochers said he could no longer specifically recollect the complainant or the massage therapy session in question.
He, however, admitted that he did not document in the complainant’s health care record that consent was obtained from her in respect of the draping or the treatment provided and that he did not obtain written consent to the draping or the treatment from the complainant. He admitted he had committed professional misconduct.
Desrochers voluntarily entered into a consent and undertaking agreement with the Inquiry Committee of the College.
He agreed to a formal reprimand; permanent limits on his practice of massage therapy (that he cannot provide breast massage or breast examination services to female patients); not to repeat the conduct of draping a patient such that a part of a patient’s body that is not being treated or assessed is exposed; and to comply with the College’s standard of practice on consent, besides other conditions.
He was fined $1,000 in each case and agreed to pay $500 as a portion of the costs of the investigation.