Vancouver Sun
North Shore psychiatrist loses licence for unprofessional conduct
By Pamela Fayerman
January 6, 2015

Psychiatrist Paul Termansen

Psychiatrist Paul Termansen

A psychiatrist who was formerly the head of adult community mental health services on the North Shore and a long-standing clinician at Lion’s Gate Hospital, will have to shut down his medical practice after admitting to hugging one patient and going into business with another.

Dr. Paul Eric Termansen has admitted to unprofessional conduct and has been given until July 31 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons to wrap up his practice. He has also promised to never work as a psychiatrist again, as of the July date.

Although three female patients had complained of receiving hugs and kisses from Termansen and hearing comments of a sexual nature from him, Termansen admitted to only one case and the College did not pursue or attempt to prove the other cases through a disciplinary hearing.

“It is inappropriate to enter into a joint business venture with a patient … and it’s never OK to hug a patient, and this is particularly true for psychiatrists, even if it is intended as a gesture of support,” said Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.

Oetter declined to disclose what kind of business Termansen had invested in with one of his patients, but it was ultimately unsuccessful and the patient who had lost money was threatening to sue the psychiatrist, who is in his 80s.

Last summer, the College had imposed conditions on Termansen’s practice, such that chaperones had to be present during sessions with female patients. As well, there is signage alerting patients to such conditions in his reception area and in treatment rooms.

Termansen had privileges at Lion’s Gate Hospital until last summer when he abruptly resigned, after the College first issued a citation and gave notice of a pending disciplinary hearing.

Until recently, Termansen was an outspoken advocate for mental health services.

In 2013, he was a designated spokesman for nine psychiatrists who were protesting cuts to the mental health budget by Vancouver Coastal Health.

Paul Termansen