I have previously written about a young doctor who was subject to professional discipline for what he wrote online – see Inappropriate online comments: Professional misconduct (April 24, 2019). Another doctor has come to grief for what he posted on his practice website (Health Care Complaints Commission v McGregor  NSWCATOD 13; and I again thank Bill Madden and his health law blog for bringing this case to my attention).
In this case it was not what he said that was the problem, but what it showed about his state of mental health and fitness to practice medicine.
Dr McGregor was a psychiatrist who had become suspicious that his partner was having an affair with another doctor. He filed a complaint with AHPRA against the other doctor and sent details of the complaint to a colleague. ‘Dr McGregor said that he sent the complaint to his colleague to protect his reputation’. The colleague in turn made a complaint to AHPRA about Dr McGregor’s conduct. Whilst investigating the complaint, investigators looked at Dr McGregor’s practice website and found the following two blog posts:
29 January 2018
The following is the sole opinion and request by Dr Russell McGregor, Psychiatrist, and Director/Owner of “The Northern Beaches Psychiatrist and Psychologist Family Medical Practice.”
This post does not represent the opinion of anyone else at my practice.
This message is to all patriotic Australians.
Our world is at an historic inflection point where our freedom is at stake. The next few weeks and months will be critical.
Please spread the word to our blue pilled friends. We MUST stand up and support President Trump in his fight against the global deepstate. Educate yourself with the above, follow Q, and tweet/talk/message!
Once the Devine Nunes memo is released in the next few days there will be a CIA/deepstate backlash on the MSM. They will ramp up the propaganda. It will be ceaseless. You will encounter much resistance. Fight with your keyboard, knowledge and pen. Just fight!
Watch Dr Jerome Corsi on Youtube/Infowars. Follow Q’s breadcrumbs. Understand the FISA wiretapping, M 16 connection, Assassination plots and brace yourself for the unmentionable satanic ritual evidence to follow. The evil truth will be hard for most to bear. Be brave. Seek loved ones and offer compassion to friends and family.
When 9/11 is exposed the world will change. We will finally have the freedom to alter our future for the good. It is at this time that the treason trials will begin in Australia. Rightly, it will be the people who will decide judgement. Let us be fair and humane – but just.
Support white hats/Trump, Assange, Jones, Farage, Corsi, Brian Wilshire.
I have been aware of, and have researched the deepstate for decades. All that which is stated by Q is generally in keeping with my prior knowledge. Indeed there is a great deal more to the story than Q may wish to tell. It may remain untold. However trust Q as Q speaks the truth. I place my reputation at Q’s disposal.
Dr Russell McGregor
30 January 2018
The post below represents the sole opinion of Dr Russell McGregor, Psychiatrist. It does not represent the opinion of anyone else employed or associated with The Northern Beaches Psychiatrist and Psychologist Family Medical Practice.
Thank you to the GOP patriots of the House Intelligence Committee for approving the release of the Memo! This will be the start of the worldwide global awakening to our enslavement by the deep state. Over the course of 2018 there will be regular dumps of information by President Trump which will lay out just how close we have all been to the complete loss of our freedoms. I hope that the Australian people will use this knowledge to wisely transform our political and judicial landscape to prevent this from ever occurring again. It is up to all of us to be involved in this process and to reflect/understand the failings of each of us to have let this happen. Everyone no matter which party or philosophy that we have stubbornly adhered to must learn the lessons of our individual and collective mistakes.
. . .(passages deleted)
Julian Assange is not in the Ecuadorian Embassy. He is either in Switzerland or Washington. Q and the MoD, SVR (Kremlin) confirm this. He is an Australian hero and would make a fine future PM.
When the infant torture, rape and satanic rites cannibalism by elites is provided by Trump on tape – seek the comfort of others.
Pay attention to the news cycle. Follow Q breadcrumbs on 8chan. Message, tweet, post and discuss with friends and family. Be open to new knowledge and cross check information thoroughly.
Await the Australian Treason Trials (TT’s). Good luck John.
Dr Russell McGregor
A further complaint was made on the basis that Dr McGregor was not fit to practice medicine. Dr McGregor failed to take part in the initial hearings into his fitness to practice and he refused to attend an interview with a psychiatrist that the Medical Council required him to attend. The judgement says (at -):
When Dr McGregor failed to attend the appointment with the psychiatrist, the Council decided to convene urgent proceedings under s 150 of the National Law. That provision allows Council to suspend a medical practitioner’s registration or impose conditions on the registration.
Before the scheduled hearing on 5 March 2018, representatives from the Council made numerous phone calls and attempted to contact Dr McGregor by email. Dr McGregor did not cooperate. On more than one occasion he hung up on the caller. On 23 February 2018 a representative from the Council succeeded in having a conversation with Dr McGregor. Dr McGregor told her that regardless of what Council does, it won’t change his political views and he won’t remove the blog from his website. Dr McGregor added that he would not attend the s 150 hearing.
During the hearing (at -):
… the panel attempted to contact Dr McGregor by phone. Eventually Dr McGregor spoke with the three Council delegates on the panel. He repeatedly asserted that it was his politically views, as expressed in his blog that had brought him to the Council’s attention. Despite the Presiding Member telling him that it was concerns about his mental health that had triggered their response, Dr McGregor continued to assert that he was being persecuted because of his political opinions.
At one stage during the phone call, Dr McGregor explained that, “there are great political changes occurring in the world at the moment and um I uh you know I need to uh uh get that across to other people and um ah if you uh feel that because uh my opinion is a little different to yours that you need to take away my registration that’s up to you . . um but . . .” He went on. “Um if you had any understanding of politics um you would understand that that that the beliefs that are actually put on the blog are actually um the uh directives um from ah from President Trump.”
The issue for the Council delegates at the s 150 hearing was whether Dr McGregor’s registration should be suspended to protect the health or safety of any persons or because the delegates were satisfied that suspension was necessary in the public interest: National Law, s 150(1). Based on several blog posts, the Council delegates concluded that Dr McGregor showed such impaired judgment, that exposure to those views had significant potential to expose his patients to risk of harm.
An urgent order was made and when communicated to Dr McGregor he responded with language that could be described as inappropriate, violent and offensive (see ).
Dr McGregor sought a review of the decision on the basis that he was being suspended for his political views rather than his fitness to practice. He alleged:
The Medical Council of New South Wales is a Paedophile Protection Agency. The operatives who have been involved in Politically destroying me are deranged President Trump haters and those who are Political sycophants of what the Deep State represents. That is, they Sensor and Punish any Patriot who criticises Paedophilia, and other Deep State crimes.
The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission referred the matter to the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal as they, and the Medical Council, are () “under a duty to refer a complaint to the Tribunal if, at any time, either forms the opinion that it may, if substantiated, provide grounds for the suspension or cancellation of a registered health practitioner’s . . . registration” (Health Practitioner Regulation National Law s 145D).
There were a number of complaints relating to Dr McGregor’s conduct including his complaint about his colleague, passing on details of that complaint to another practitioner and self-medication. These were found not to be examples of improper or unethical conduct within the meaning of the National Law. What the tribunal did find () was that the blog publication had ‘the potential to expose Dr McGregor’s patients to harm when accessing the practice website for information or to make an appointment’ and that the publication of the blog content and the abusive language directed to the Presiding Member who advised him of the decision to suspend his right to practice were both examples of ‘improper or unethical conduct’.
There was a report prepared by a psychiatrist that Dr McGregor did agree to see (after initially refusing to comply with an order). That doctor concluded
These ways of responding may represent paranoid personality traits which have become exaggerated as a result of the stresses experienced by Dr McGregor, or they may represent a paranoid personality disorder.
The tribunal said (-):
The evidence supports a finding that Dr McGregor has a psychiatric impairment, disability, condition or disorder, being ‘impaired judgment,” “affective instability”, “a belligerent and ineffective approach to conflict resolution” and “a strong and public adherence to beliefs that are bizarre and possibly overvalued.” It is apparent that Dr McGregor has rigid views and perceives that he is being persecuted because of his political beliefs. Despite being told repeatedly that the concern was with his mental health, not his political views, Dr McGregor persisted in that belief. He wrote repeatedly in his blog and in emails that he was being persecuted because the Medical Council and others disagreed with his political beliefs.
Dr McGregor has not admitted that he has an impairment, but that conclusion is supported by Dr Wright’s evidence with which we agree. It is not necessary to identify a diagnosis in accordance with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) or otherwise. It is sufficient to note that we agree with Dr Wright that he has impaired reality testing. His perception is not the reality. Alternatively, he may have a delusional disorder or paranoid personality disorder. He has a psychiatric impairment, disability, condition or disorder.
… That impairment is likely to detrimentally affect Dr McGregor’s capacity to practise medicine. Dr McGregor is a psychiatrist. His clients, some of whom may be prone to paranoid thoughts or beliefs, are likely to read the blog and be influenced by his bizarre and overvalued ideas. In the clinical setting with patients who have various mental illnesses, conflict is a distinct possibility. Rather than managing and resolving conflict, Dr McGregor’s past behaviour suggests that he is likely to escalate the conflict if he feels under stress.
The conclusion was:
… Dr McGregor does not have sufficient mental capacity to practise medicine. The persistence of impaired reality testing that leads to entrenched misinterpretations of his perceptions and his inability to modify his interpretation of external events produce impairment sufficient to preclude confidence that Dr McGregor can practise safely. The impaired judgment and lack of insight he has displayed over a prolonged period demonstrate the need for public protection while his current impairment persists.
His behaviour in the s 150 hearing discloses a belligerent and unhelpful response to conflict. His vitriolic and somewhat bizarre abuse of Dr Wright and Dr Dore – who he perceived as a threat to his livelihood – is further evidence of impaired judgement and instability.
Although there have been no complaints from patients about his clinical practice since 2013, Dr Wright said that that does not mean that incidents with patients could not occur in the future. Dr McGregor has demonstrated that when under stress, conflict can escalate. That conflict is likely to impact negatively on his clinical practice in the future.
The result was that Dr McGregor’s registration was cancelled for at least 12 months.
The judgment largely speaks for itself. The relevant learning is that what a health practitioner writes online can be evidence of their capacity to practice medicine. In this case the fact that the posts were put on his medical practice website (not an alt-right discussion forum) coupled with his identification as a practitioner () ‘a person with high status and authority in the community’ meant these posts relate to “the practice or purported practice of medicine and were relevant to questions of this fitness to practice.
Whilst no doubt Dr McGregor does not agree with the findings, it does seem clear that the action against him was based on legitimate concern for his welfare and the welfare of his patients. It was not, as Dr McGregor alleged (at ) actions of ‘a Government Institution with bigoted/intolerant socially left wing zealots who conform to groupthink and take political views to further their careers’.
The lessons for readers of this blog is that what you write online can, depending on where you write it and if you use your status as a health professional to give more standing to your views, be used to demonstrate that you are not a fit and proper person to practice. Of course a practitioner who is delusional and suffering from a mental illness will be unlikely to consider that or recognise that what they write demonstrates a mental illness. Those who are simply rat bags (like Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee; the subject of my earlier post Inappropriate online comments: Professional misconduct (April 24, 2019)) will need to consider how they wish to promote their views online.