Dr Lachlan Soper - Professional misconduct - Registration suspended and conditions

07 Nov 2019

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against general practitioner, Dr Lachlan Soper before the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’).   The complaint alleged that Dr Soper had engaged in unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct, specifically that he:

  • engaged in inappropriate physical contact and also had a sexual and personal relationship with Patient A, while Patient A was his patient.  In 2017 Dr Soper failed to inform Patient A’s psychologist of their relationship, knowing Patient A was seeing the psychologist for her marriage difficulties;  
  • maintained an inappropriate sexual relationship with Patient B and continued to treat her instead of referring her to another practitioner;  
  • inappropriately treated a family member including by prescribing anti-depressants, and without seeking independent medical opinion for his family member.

Dr Soper admitted the vast majority of the allegations against him. 

In its judgment on 1 November 2019 the Tribunal found all allegations against Dr Soper proved and that they amounted to professional misconduct.  The Tribunal expressed concerns about Dr Soper’s “limited insight regarding professional medical ethics” and concluded that Dr Soper engaged in a deliberate departure from accepted standards, an attitude of indifference and an abuse of his medical privileges of such seriousness that he should be suspended from medical practice for a period of six months, and then practice under conditions restricting him to practice in group practices under supervision. The Tribunal also ordered him to undertake mentoring and engage in psychological treatment. 

A copy of the Tribunal’s judgment can be found at the NSW Case Law website

 

Further Information

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.