Nature of Action: On April 18, 2019, the Inquiry Committee made an order limiting the practice of massage therapy by Dennis Desrochers pursuant to section 35(1)(a) of the Health Professions Act (the “Act”). The limit on Mr. Desrochers’ practice was that he could not treat female patients in the upper chest area, specifically, the anterior lateral structures inferior to the clavicles superior to the xiphoid, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, or serratus anterior. The reason for this order was that the College received complaints from two female patients alleging that Mr. Desrochers undraped them to the waist without informing them of other draping options, which would be a breach of the College’s standards of practice. When the Inquiry Committee made the April 18, 2019 order, it was satisfied that there was a prima facie case of professional misconduct as well as a real risk to the public which required that the public be protected by an interim order during the investigation. The Inquiry Committee was satisfied that the risk to the public would be protected in a sufficient and proportionate manner through the limit on practice described above.
On July 4, 2019, the Inquiry Committee cancelled its April 18, 2019 order, pursuant to section 35(4) of the Act, on the basis of receiving new information, relating to voluntary actions Mr. Desrochers was taking to change his practice. Those included that he would voluntarily cease undraping the upper body of female patients, and would also cease the practices of providing breast massage and/or breast examinations on patients. He also agreed to seek out continuing education to improve his understanding of the relevant consent and patient treatment standards.
Reasons for Cancellation of Order: The Inquiry Committee concluded, on the basis of Mr. Desrochers’ voluntary undertakings, that the April 18, 2019 order is no longer necessary to protect the public and accordingly, canceled its order dated April 18, 2019.
Important Note: Limits, conditions and suspensions ordered by the Inquiry Committee under section 35(1) of the Act are made to protect the public during an investigation or pending a hearing of the Discipline Committee. Measures taken under section 35(1) of the Act pertain to allegations which are and remain unproven unless admitted by a registrant or determined by the Discipline Committee.