David McWhirter

Los Angeles Times
By Nora Zamichow
July 30, 1992

— Excerpt

A male former patient is suing the medical director of the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital, alleging that Dr. David McWhirter took advantage of his emotional problems to seduce him, and another former patient has filed notice that he intends to sue on similar grounds.

McWhirter, an expert in human sexuality and head of the county’s mental health facility for five years, invited the first patient to his home for dinner, where the patient said he was “forcibly dragged across the floor” and rolled on his back, according to a sworn deposition. He then engaged in oral sex with McWhirter and another male therapist, also a dinner guest, according to the deposition.

The second patient alleged in an interview that, when he called McWhirter because he was suicidal, the psychiatrist came to his home and seduced him. Last month, this patient filed notice of his intention to sue McWhirter for sexual misconduct and medical negligence.

McWhirter “said I needed sex, and that I should get used to having sex with people more easily,” the patient said…

Every major medical and psychological organization forbids therapists to have sex with their patients, saying the involvement can be emotionally devastating for patients. In eight states, including California, it is illegal for therapists to have sex with their patients.