Doctor had sex with ’emaciated’ cancer patient in hospital bed during treatment

A doctor has been struck off after she started an affair the day after telling a man he had cancer. Theepa Sundaralingam, 37, started messaging her patient after they followed one another on Instagram and swapped telephone numbers. The messages became more graphic and eventually led to them having sex in his hospital bed. She has now lost her licence after a disciplinary hearing in Toronto, Canada.

Speaking about what happened, the patient said: ‘It’s difficult for me to talk to anybody about it because the reality is that I’m a male so for me to say, “Hey, I dated my oncologist,” it wouldn’t be a surprise for someone to say “Cool”. But that’s not cool. ‘That’s not the case because I feel abused, and it’s very difficult as a male to come out and say that about a female. It’s usually the other way around.

‘I was physically emaciated and emotionally exposed and the loss of a critical relationship defeated me. What compounded this toll was her refusal to continue providing medical care at the same time.’ ‘At the time, I was unable to see the ramifications of dating my treating oncologist.

I couldn’t see how vulnerable I was and how much power she had over me.’ Sundaralingam treated the man between January and July 2015 and saw him again in March 2016.

She even went to his family home and asked him about a porn and cheese party. A statement heard that she ‘repeatedly asked Patient A to delete their texts and keep their relationship a secret, as she was concerned the college would become aware of their sexual and inappropriate relationship’.

Chairman of the hearing John Langs said: ‘From virtually the beginning of your doctor/patient relationship, you crossed boundaries and ultimately sexually abused an extremely vulnerable patient suffering from a life-threatening illness.

‘The committee can only hope that this process prompts you to undergo a long, hard searching self-examination of what lies behind your abusive and abhorrent behaviour.’ The panel told her: ‘You were responsible for your patient’s health, care and support, but instead you took advantage for your own personal satisfaction.

‘You then withdrew that support for your own personal preference at a time when your patient was at his lowest point. You have disgraced yourself and the profession.’

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