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Psychiatrist Ray Berard, accused of having a sexual relationship with a patient, has to wait until October to hear if charges of misconduct against him will be withdrawn.
Berard faces charges of having a sexual relationship with former patient Sylvia Ireland, having sexual intercourse with her more than once, failing to refer her to another psychiatrist or to cease the doctor-patient relationship when the relationship developed, misusing the position of trust and confidence, and acting in a way which was likely to bring his profession into disrepute.
His hearing, before the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA), is being held in Rondebosch.
Ireland previously said she had trusted Berard and that they had sex practically every day for two years.
She also disputed the length of their professional relationship and on Wednesday attempted to bring into evidence scripts from a pharmacy which would prove he was consulting with her after February 19, 2007.
On Thursday morning, the HPCSA disciplinary committee refused to accept the scripts as evidence as there had been a ruling in November that the parties needed to give two weeks’ notice to introduce new evidence.
Ireland’s legal team had given Berard’s team less than a week’s notice.
Ireland was the only witness her HPCSA-appointed lawyer, Francois Grobler, called to testify and they closed their case on Thursday.
Berard’s legal team, headed by Graham van der Spuy, applied for a discharge arguing that: “The content and quality of the testimony of Ms Ireland was such an appalling one, inconsistent and of poor quality, that no reasonable person could convict someone.”
He referred to her demeanour as “inappropriate behaviour” and as “obvious psychopathology”.
Van der Spuy accused her of not telling the truth.
He said it went “beyond belief” that someone who was pregnant after being raped and had gone overseas to have an abortion had not mentioned this in any documentation.
He added that it was a “figment of a monstrously fertile imagination.
“Can we remotely believe this reasoning?
“The psychiatrist she was being treated by and ‘having sex with daily’ wouldn’t know she was suffering from the trauma of rape, getting pregnant and going overseas to have an abortion,” he said.
Countering Van der Spuy’s argument, Grobler argued that Ireland had, in fact , been consistent and her demeanour had to be considered in the context of the hearing and having to face Berard across the table.
Berard had not testified and there was only one version of events, he added.
Her not mentioning the rape, subsequent abortion and her spending habits were irrelevant to the discharge application, he argued.
The hearing will continue on October 19.