Doctor who preyed on patients banned from working for 25 years

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A doctor who displayed ‘calculated and opportunistic sexual misconduct’ in preying on his patients has been banned from practicing for 25 years.

Lucien Lagrange was found guilty of professional misconduct by the WA State Administrative Court in December 2021 after three women came forward and claimed he had sexually attacked them.

Mr Lagrange was first found to have engaged in “infamous conduct with respect for the profession” after he had sex with a patient in February 1991.

“Council concluded that this was a serious case of nefarious conduct as Dr Lagrange took advantage of a patient at a time when she was particularly vulnerable as she was experiencing marital difficulties,” said the decision of the SAT.

“She was likely due to the pharmacological effect of the therapy to ameliorate her perceived reduction in her libido, all on the pretext that the episode would be beneficial in dispelling her anxieties about her libido.”

Mr. Lagrange was reinstated in 1996 for six years, at which time he was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Tribunal.

Coroners are investigating in Kalgoorlie the death in police custody of Mr Ward who collapsed while being transported through the desert in the back of an unair-conditioned prison van.  Dr Lucien LaGrange, assisted in removing Mr Ward from the van and with resuscitation efforts at Kalgoorlie Hsp
Camera iconDr. Lucien Lagrange has been banned from practicing for 25 years. Photographed in 2009 Credit: Limited News

The board found that Mr Lagrange insisted the patient remove her clothes, despite saying she was uncomfortable, and told him to bend over while he examined her buttocks.

He also lifted his pants and underwear and stared at them, while making “inappropriate comments about his body,” the court found.

The SAT found he was ‘insensitive and disrespectful’ to the client during his sessions with her.

Mr. Lagrange was again suspended for a period of 12 months.

In August 2002, the Tribunal found that he had acted improperly by examining his patient’s medallion while placing his hand on her chest, wrapping her thighs between her legs, exerting excessive pressure on her thighs and touching her breasts.

He was also disbarred in 2003 after the Tribunal found he had squeezed another woman’s breasts and watched her urinate during a meeting in 2000.

Three other women came forward against the former doctor in 2019 as he was investigated by the Medical Board of Australia and led to court action.

Coroners are investigating in Kalgoorlie the death in police custody of Mr Ward who collapsed while being transported through the desert in the back of an unair-conditioned prison van.  Dr Lucien LaGrange, assisted in removing Mr Ward from the van and with resuscitation efforts at Kalgoorlie Hsp
Camera iconThe court concluded that he had shown a “willingness to take advantage of patients”. Credit: Limited News

The court found that Mr Lagrange had shown a “willingness to take advantage of physically or emotionally vulnerable female patients over a period of three decades”.

“Mr. Lagrange was found on numerous occasions to have engineered and manipulated situations to enable him to sexually take advantage of his female patients,” the SAT said.

The court found he had brought such dishonor to the profession that he was no longer allowed to use the honorific ‘doctor’ and concluded that Mr Lagrange would ‘never be fit’ to practice again.

“Mr. Lagrange demonstrated instances of calculated and opportunistic sexual misconduct and demonstrated no insight into his behaviors,” the court was told.

“Doctors are held in a special position of trust by the general public, and Dr. Lagrange no longer deserves to hold that special privilege.”

His registration was canceled and Mr. Lagrange was deprived of any request for re-registration for 25 years.

The court also imposed an order prohibiting the provision of health services.

Mr. Lagrange must also pay the $77,545.50 Medical Board of Australia fee.

He was never charged with a criminal offence.

Medical Council of Australia chair Anne Tonkin said women should expect to feel safe when visiting their doctor.

“Patients trust doctors to act in their best interests, to treat them professionally, to protect their privacy and never take advantage of it,” she said.

“While the vast majority of doctors in Australia provide the community with excellent medical care, a small number of doctors undermine patient confidence when they do not respect sexual boundaries.

“In these cases, the council will take the necessary steps to protect the public.”

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