PRESCRIPTIONS could be the downfall of a psychiatrist who is accused of having a relationship with one of his clients.
They could prove how long the professional relationship lasted between Ray Berard and Sylvia Ireland, the woman who says he misused their therapy sessions to have sex.
Members of the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) Medical and Dental Professions Board are expected to make a decision today on whether the documents can be submitted as evidence and whether a pharmacist can be called to testify.
Ireland lodged a complaint with the HPCSA against Berard in August 2008.
She previously told the board that they had had a sexual relationship for two years while continuing psychotherapy sessions.
Francois Grobler, acting for Ireland, asked the board yesterday whether he could submit new documents, pharmaceutical prescriptions, and call a new witness, Saliem Dalvie, a senior pharmacist at Wynberg Pharmacy.
It was suggested by Grobler that the documents would provide a definitive answer on when the professional relationship between the two ended.
Ireland had previously testified that her professional relationship with Berard had started in November 2005 and continued until February 2008.
Graham van der Spuy, acting for Berard, had said Berard had last seen Ireland professionally on February 19, 2007, which Ireland denied.
He had said Berard had realised in January 2007 that the therapy sessions were no longer beneficial and should come to an end.
Van der Spuy objected yesterday and asked the board to rule against the admission of new documents and the calling of another witness.
The board had previously ruled that new evidence should be submitted timeously to both sides and could not be admitted without the agreement of all parties. Van der Spuy said that he could not agree to this new evidence because he had not been given enough time to study the documents.
He said he did not accept that the documents would further Grobler’s case.
Van der Spuy felt that Grobler had intentionally brought up the possibility of the pharmaceutical prescriptions as a means to prejudice the board against Berard. He felt that even by mentioning the prescriptions it would “leave a taint” on Berard.
Grobler said he was well aware of the board’s previous ruling and had made all possible attempts to submit all the documentation timeously.
“We have a responsibility and duty as the pro forma complainant to make sure all the necessary and available evidence is presented to the committee because if this is not done the entire process of the inquiry becomes a mockery.
“We feel that these documents go to the heart of the matter. They are of fundamental importance.”
It was the only evidence that would assist the board to decide between the versions.
“The crux of this matter is when the professional relationship between Dr Berard and Mrs Ireland was terminated.
“We have got this evidence, we have got to deal with this. There is always going to be a cloud of suspicion hanging over this case. Why was he not allowed to answer and give the explanation?”
The inquiry continues today.