Doctor accused of sex with 'suicidal' patient

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The Independent Online

A French doctor accused of having sex with a suicidal patient during a night call to her home has been struck off, the General Medical Council (GMC) said today.

Dr Erich Pultar, 65, visited the "mentally fragile" woman after concerns were raised about her state of mind by a university tutor.

She claimed the doctor undressed her and had sex with her at her two-bedroom flat near London Bridge and stayed for three hours.

The Fitness to Practise Panel found that the GMC did not prove he had intercourse with her during the visit on 17 April 2007 but that he did attempt to pursue an intimate relationship.

The panel, sitting in Manchester, ruled that the case was particularly serious because Patient A was particularly vulnerable due to ill health, was only 23 years old and a student, and the medical consultation took place at her home.

The 23-year-old, from Hong Kong, was a fourth-year medical student in London when she began experiencing mental health problems.

Her tutor became very concerned about her welfare after learning she had suicidal thoughts and had been in touch with the Samaritans. She contacted the student's GP, which resulted in Dr Pultar paying her a visit.

A GMC hearing in Manchester was told that Dr Pultar was employed by SOS Doctors Direct Limited, a privately-run out-of-hours GP service, and travelled from his home in France to work for the company one week a month in London.

When he visited the student's flat near City Hall on April 17, 2007 she had drunk herself unconscious and he woke her up and prescribed valium.

Dr Pultar, who worked as a rural doctor in France for 40 years before retiring to New Jersey, in the United States, denied inappropriate conduct and abusing his professional position.

He did not attend the hearing.