Public Statement - Mr Edward Chen – Massage Therapist & Chinese Medicine Practitioner

26 October 2020

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (Commission) conducted an investigation into the conduct of Mr Edward Chen. 

The Commission has determined that Mr Chen has breached clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners set out in schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulations 2012 (Code of Conduct), in that he failed to provide care in a safe and ethical manner for a female client (Client A), while providing a massage at Ling Nan TCM Centre.

On 21 December 2018 Client A was undressed to her underwear and lying face down on the massage table when she heard the sound of a mobile phone taking a photograph and saw a flash of light. Client A reported the matter to NSW Police, who attended Ling Nan TCM Centre and located the image on Mr Chen’s mobile phone. 

In an interview with NSW Police Mr Chen admitted he took the image for his own personal satisfaction. Mr Chen further admitted to sometimes taking photographs while massaging clients and not always asking for their consent.

Mr Chen also made statements to the effect that he did not consider consent to be important with respect to the photograph he took of Client A because it was a photograph for himself and did not consider it hurt his client.

Such statements raise significant concerns with respect to Mr Chen’s understanding of, and opinion of, consent, privacy and the trust placed by clients with health service providers.

On 15 January 2019, Mr Chen was charged with intentionally recording an intimate image without consent, pursuant to section 91P(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, and on 9 December 2019 Mr Chen pleaded guilty to the charge at Burwood Local Court.

On 28 January 2020 Mr Chen was convicted and sentenced to a Community Corrections Order for a period of two years pursuant to section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. 

Based on the conduct and criminal conviction of Mr Chen, the Commission has determined that Mr Chen has breached clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct and that his conduct poses a risk to the health or safety of the members of the public.

In providing massage services, Mr Chen was afforded significant trust by his clients to provide a safe environment and deliver appropriate health care. The Commission’s investigation found that Mr Chen deliberately took advantage of Client A’s vulnerability and violated her bodily integrity in order to obtain a photograph for his own personal gratification. This conduct demonstrated a blatant disregard for Client A’s privacy or wellbeing. 

The Commission, therefore, makes the following prohibition order: 

Mr Edward Chen is permanently prohibited from providing any health services to any female in any capacity, either paid or voluntarily.

For the purposes of this order ‘a health service’ carries the same meaning as defined under section 4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.

Further Information

Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here.

Access to the Commission's media release here.

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444

 

Still need more information

If you would like to speak to someone at the Commission for more information before you lodge a written complaint you can contact the Inquiry Line during business hours, Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm on 1800 043 159 or submit an online inquiry.

Online inquiry

Ready to lodge your complaint

All complaints must be made in writing and we aim to assess complaints within 60 days. Your complaint will be allocated to an assessment officer and we will write to you to explain the outcome of your complaint.

Click here to make a complaint

Track my complaint

You can track the progress of your complaint online.

Click here to track your complaint