News Professional Discipline 18th Jan 2021

Gudrun Young acts for Dentist completely exonerated in Fitness to Practice Hearing before the General Dental Council

Gudrun represented MH, a dentist alleged to have behaved unprofessionally and in a sexually motivated manner towards a patient.

A man with 36 years of professional experience who had never been the subject of a complaint before, MH faced allegations that he had put his arm around the waist of a patient in the course of an emergency appointment and squeezed her in a sexually motivated manner, as well as making personal remarks about her appearance. MH denied having put his arm around her, but accepted complimenting the patient’s appearance.  He also accepted writing a note to her usual dentist asking her to discuss “how we can make her look absolutely drop dead gorgeous”, but maintained that this was done simply in order to bolster the patient’s confidence and elevate her mood when she became distressed about the cosmetic appearance of her teeth.

The patient was cross-examined extensively.  At the close of the GDC’s case the Committee upheld Gudrun Young’s submission that there was “no case to answer” in respect of the majority of the allegations on the basis that there were significant inconsistencies and contradictions in the patient’s account across a range of issues.

The Committee went on to hear evidence from the defence, including evidence from a number of witnesses to the effect that MH was a dedicated dentist with a friendly and jovial manner who always sought to put patients at their ease and would never intentionally say anything inappropriate.

The Committee found that MH was open and sincere in his evidence and had done nothing unprofessional or improper in the course of the appointment at all.  At the conclusion of the case, the Chair addressed MH directly stating that his friendly manner towards patients had stood him in good stead for 36 years and the Committee hoped that he would continue to conduct himself in the same way, apologising for the fact that he had had to suffer the stress and ignominy of being brought before his Regulator.

The Chair indicated that the Committee would be providing written feedback to the GDC as to whether or not the proceedings should have been brought.

Gudrun Young was instructed by Ravi Gupta of the Medical Protection Society.

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