A NARRABRI chiropractor who allegedly made sexual advancements towards four patients during treatment sessions could be suspended or have his registration with the national chiropractic board cancelled.
Paul Stewart Woods awaits the verdict of the NSW Chiropractic Tribunal, which prosecuted him last month following an investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). Mr Woods has been working as a registered chiropractor since 2001. In an interview with the HCCC in 2010, he said he saw 30 to 40 new patients each month.
While practicing as a chiropractor at Narrabri, the commission alleged Mr Woods, 38, made sexual advances towards four female patients during treatment sessions, touching them in a manner that had no clinical justification.
Three of the patients are members of the same family, while the fourth patient is unrelated and unknown to the other three.
The Chiropractic Council of NSW referred the matters to the HCCC after receiving complaints from the three related women.
The fourth woman had lodged her complaint several weeks beforehand.
One of the matters dates back to 2004, while the majority of incidents allegedly occurred in 2009 and 2010.
On separate occasions, the patients claim Mr Woods hugged them, whispered things in their ears, undressed them without their permission and touched them without clinical justification.
During hearing proceedings from May 14 to 18 last year, it was discovered Mr Woods had also sent at least two of the patients a number of inappropriate text messages.
One of the text messages read: “I can’t help it when you are sooooo god dam (sic) sexy and gorgeous”, while another read: “I’m still in a spin over you.” Mr Woods’s wife and receptionist at his chiropractic practice, in Dewhurst St, were questioned as part of the
The tribunal stated, in its decision on December 20, Mr Woods admitted some of the conduct amounted to “unsatisfactory professional conduct”.
The tribunal said it heard extensive evidence during the process and that it considered each occasion where the patient’s evidence differed from Mr Woods’s.
“On each occasion the tribunal is reasonably satisfied with the evidence of the patient and is not reasonably satisfied with the evidence of the respondent (Mr Woods),” it said.
The tribunal found the conduct involved in a number of the complaints was “sufficiently serious to justify suspension or cancellation of Mr Woods’s registration”. It will soon make its decision, following further submissions from the parties as to the appropriate orders.