Suspended again

The Medical Board has again suspended a doctor who made offensive posts on social media, including encouraging sexual assault against women

In April, Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee appeared before the Health Practitioners Tribunal with regard to a number of posts he had made on the Singapore-based forum Hardware Zone.

These posts included that “Some women deserve to be raped, and that supercilious little bitch fits the bill in every way,” and that “If my marriage fell apart, it would not end in divorce. It would end in murder”.

Dr Lee had been employed by the Tasmania Health Service between February 2016 and February 2018, but at the time of the hearing he had begun a role as emergency registrar at the Box Hill Hospital in Victoria.

At the hearing, the Tribunal noted that Dr Lee had submitted to the hearing that he had not permitted his socio-political and other personal views to colour or influence his medical practice, and that he had not discriminated against or been derogatory to the groups of individuals mentioned in his comments.

At the time Tribunal chairperson Robert Webster said that “a person reading the posts and in particular a woman or a person of a particular race who might present to Dr Lee could be fearful they would not be treated professionally and appropriately”.

At the April hearing, Dr Lee’s registration was suspended for six weeks. This period of suspension was to have finished on 11 June 2019.

The case was extensively covered by The Guardian’s Melissa Davey, who alleged in one article that Dr Lee had shared images of patients, including X-rays, which did not reveal the identity of patients, on the forum.

A number of people responded to the article via Ms Davey’s Twitter account, criticising the leniency of the decision.

“How the medical board thinks this guy is ever fit to be a doctor astounds me,” wrote one commenter.

“Have they given reasons for the slap over the wrist they gave him?”

The Medical Board has now given notice that it has suspended Dr Lee’s registration effective from 6 June 2019.

“The Board has taken this action in the public interest to maintain confidence in the medical profession,” it stated.

“Dr Lee had previously been suspended for a period of six weeks by the Health Practitioners Tribunal in Tasmania. That period of suspension would have ended on 11 June 2019.

“The Board will not be making any further comment in relation to Dr Lee at this time.”

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