TORONTO – An Ontario dermatologist who argued he was too obese to have rubbed his penis against female patients has been found guilty of professional misconduct.
Two patients alleged Dr. Rodion Andrew Kunynetz pressed his genitals against their legs during the course of an examination.
The Barrie, Ont., doctor maintained that it was impossible for his genitalia to come into contact with the legs of the patients because a fold of abdominal fat covered all or part of his genitals due to his overall obesity.
An Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons discipline committee found that the allegations of genitalia contact could not be proved, but determined there was contact with the doctor’s abdomen that was not accompanied by any form of warning, apology or excuse.
The committee said that amounted to disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct.
It found Kunynetz sexually abused another patient when he put his hands inside her bra and fondled her breasts. Kunynetz said he would have stroked the woman’s breasts in an attempt to elicit a sign of an illness, but the committee found no justification for the breast examination in the patient’s chart.
The committee also found Kunynetz guilty of disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct for moving or removing two patients’ clothing without “adequate warning or explanation.”
And it found that Kunynetz saw two female patients alone after he had signed an undertaking to see female patients only in the presence of a chaperone.
However, much of the discipline committee decision dealt with the measures taken by two urology experts who examined the allegations that Kunynetz had pressed his genitals against patients.
Dr. Sidney Rodomski was retained by Kunynetz’s defence to conduct an examination to assess whether it was physically possible or probable that the contact alleged by the patients could have occurred.
The report says Rodomski examined Kunynetz, both without and with an erection, and concluded that it would not have been possible for the doctor to have rubbed his genitalia against the patients.
Dr. Gerald Brock examined Kunynetz for the college and conducted a series of manoeuvres, using himself to represent a patient sitting on the side of an examination couch, and Kunynetz as the physician.
These were conducted at three different table heights and he testified that he was able to feel Kunynetz’s penis at all three heights.
“The committee could conclude only that the impossibility of contact between the doctor’s penis and a patient’s skin (through clothing), was not established,” the decision stated.
The committee said the evidence demonstrates that there was contact “between the patients and that part of Dr. Kunynetz’s lower abdomen at the level of his pelvis, and that the patients were distressed by this.”
It said failure to warn patients of the contact, or to apologize if it occurred accidentally, or incidentally, represented an “unacceptable level of insensitivity” on Kunynetz’s part.