22 Jun 2016
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) has reprimanded Chinese medicine practitioner Ms Silvia Russo for professional misconduct and ordered her to continue to participate in her existing mentor arrangement until 1 October 2016.
Ms Russo admitted that she had engaged in a personal and sexual relationship with a male patient which constituted professional misconduct.
Ms Russo commenced administering Chinese medicine treatment to the patient on 31 March 2009. Sometime after 23 July 2010, Ms Russo and the patient started a personal and sexual relationship which ended in March 2012 with significant acrimony. Ms Russo administered Chinese medicine treatment on five occasions while she was in a personal and sexual relationship with him.
The Tribunal was satisfied that the relationship between Ms Russo and the patient was not an exploitative one and that throughout the regulatory process, she had expressed shame and remorse.
They were further satisfied that Ms Russo realised the problem created by entering into the personal relationship with a patient and that she had undertaken courses in ethics and entered into an agreement to be mentored weekly. The mentor reported that Ms Russo had shown herself to be sincere in her desire to deepen her understanding of professional issues, especially professional boundaries.
The Tribunal considered it was most unlikely that Ms Russo would re-offend.
The decision is published on Austlii.