A self-described “mongrel doctor” has been found guilty of professional misconduct after launching a series of “foul-mouthed” comments online, including that “some women deserve to be raped”.
Victorian emergency physician Christopher Kwan Chen Lee, 31, was working for the Tasmanian Health Service in Hobart when he made the first of a series of “offensive” statements in forums where he also posted pictures in uniform.
Dr Lee has been suspended for six weeks after the Health Practitioners Tribunal found him guilty of professional misconduct. The 31-year-old currently works for Eastern Health in Box Hill.
The tribunal’s hearing into Dr Lee last month revealed he had been cautioned by the medical board on July 23 last year related to “his inappropriate access of a patient’s hospital records”.
He accessed Royal Hobart Hospital patient records on 21 occasions between July 2015 and December 2016, which was determined “inappropriate because it was done without consent or clinical need”.
“The applicant submitted the conduct that resulted in the imposition of a caution is not of the same nature as the conduct referred to in this application,” the chairman of the tribunal wrote.
“Nevertheless, it was submitted that in each instance the conduct which Dr Lee engaged in demonstrates he has difficulty appreciating and acting at all times in a professional and ethical manner, as is required, for him to meet the expected and accepted standards of a medical practitioner.”
The tribunal detailed how, even after Dr Lee received notice he was being investigated, he went to online Singaporean forum Hardware Zone again on December 2, 2017.
Referencing an article about an Egyptian lawyer who was sentenced to three years in prison for saying women who wore ripped jeans should be raped in punishment, he wrote: “I’m surprised they didn’t give him a medal instead.”
In a profile created for social media site WikiBot about January 9, 2018, he described himself as a “mongrel doctor who claims to know all manner of s**t on earth”.
He also wrote of himself: “It is rumored (sic) that his hospital in Australia has the highest casualties in the world due to him not attending to his dying patients.”
While that blurb appears to be removed from WikiBot, his profile still reads: “The doctor is the devil … Not dead. Just sleeping.”
The tribunal detailed a series of comments made in 2016 where Dr Lee wrote: “I can just as easily condemn your mother for a whore (if the situation warranted it) as I can save your life or even hers.
“You really ought to meet me in real life. My online personality is exactly the same as my offline one. I don’t just talk big here. I talk big EVERYWHERE.
“What would you rather me say, hmm? That hers was a misguided outburst? That she should be let off the hook? Well that ain’t my style, mister. If I don’t like you, there won’t be any kid gloves. Some women deserve to be raped, and that supercilious little b***h fits the bill in every way.”
“She needs to be abandoned in India and repeatedly raped in order for her to wake up her idea.
“You give her too much credit. She’s too bloody thick skinned to know guilt or regret. If I turn out to be wrong, though, it won’t be any skin off my nose. With her suicide, nothing of value would be lost.”
He said his comments were made in the context of a sociopolitical situation in Singapore and Malaysia where, as a result of certain events, a local female college student made disparaging remarks about servicemen.
Dr Lee conceded his anger over the woman’s comments clouded his judgment.
In January last year he again took to tech site Hardware Zone and wrote that if his marriage fell apart it would not end in divorce but murder.
Dr Lee told the tribunal he was relatively young and inexperienced when he posted the comments.
“He had a brash and opinionated bent to his conduct on social media,” the tribunal’s chairman wrote.
“It is agreed he did not fully appreciate that posting comments on a Singaporean online forum would have consequences on his practice of medicine in Australia.
“He says they were not made in the context of patient care and he has not allowed his views to ever colour his care of patients.
“He has treated many patients from the ethnic and gender groups mentioned in the posts and he has not behaved in a discriminatory fashion towards those patients. He said he understood the posts could be perceived as inflammatory, misogynistic or racist in tone and the posts were clearly associated with him.”
Dr Lee was accompanied at the hearing by former supervisor, Dr Jay Weeraratne, with whom he worked closely as a registrar in Latrobe Regional Hospital’s emergency department in 2018 and 2019.
Dr Weeraratne wrote a letter of support for his colleague, saying he was professional, punctual and he has an excellent work ethic.
The hospital declined to comment to news.com.au.
Eastern Health did not respond.
Dr Lee was imposed with conditions on his registration requiring him to undertake education on ethical behaviour and communications, particularly in the use of social media.