Surgeon disqualified for three years

Arthur BosanquetDisgraced Illawarra facial surgeon Arthur Bosanquet has been disqualified from re-registering as a dentist for three-and-a-half years after telling the Dental Tribunal of NSW a “needle fetish” and “underlying homosexual/bisexual interest” led him to take advantage of three teenage patients.

Bosanquet, 58, was convicted in April 2010 of sexual offences against the three patients after devising a bogus university study which tricked the young men into masturbating in front of him.

In a written submission to a Dental Tribunal of NSW hearing in February, the surgeon blamed his behaviour on his needle fetish, sexual interests, and too much work.

“… it was prompted, in part … to my over-investment in work, striving for perfection, always being ‘on call’,” he wrote.

The tribunal heard evidence that, in several cases, Bosanquet offered the young men money to complete the study, which focused on taking blood pressure readings and blood samples before and after masturbation.

The incidents, which spanned an eight-year period, included two occasions where he conducted the “study” at the patients’ homes.

On one of those occasions he fondled the young male’s genitals.

Bosanquet was sentenced in Wollongong Local Court to a minimum six months’ jail for the indecent assault, as well as concurrent nine-month jail terms for inciting two other teenagers to perform an indecent act, and two counts of common assault.

These were changed to three 12-month suspended jail sentences on appeal to Wollongong District Court in October 2010.

While Bosanquet’s name was removed from the Register of Dentists in 2009, his future career remained unclear until the tribunal handed down its decision this month.

The inquiry came about after the Health Care Complaints Commission lodged several complaints detailing how the former facial surgeon “engaged in improper or unethical conduct” by committing the sexual offences.

Hoping to continue with what is left of his tattered career, Bosanquet told the tribunal he had gained insight into his behaviour and was sorry for his actions.

“I have been able to reflect on my behaviour, acknowledge what I did was morally and ethically wrong, and gain an insight into why I offended,” he wrote.

“I am ashamed of what I have done, and will bear the mental scars of my actions forever.”

In determining the three-and-a-half year disqualification, the tribunal was sceptical of Bosanquet’s apparent insight, noting he “has also progressively changed his admission to the complaint before the tribunal”.

“The tribunal [cannot] ascertain whether [Bosanquet] understands the full extent of his damaging transgressions against these vulnerable young men …”

It also noted Bosanquet “attempted to use his intense workload as some sort of mitigation for his behaviour” but still found time to conduct the “study sessions”.

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