J. Peter Zegarra, a California doctor, has been publicly reprimanded by the state’s medical board after he told a patient to practice oral sex on her husband. The patient had expressed concerns her gag reflex would interfere with an upper-gastrointestinal endoscopy, according to CBS affiliate KOVR.
The patient, an unidentified woman, complained that the Sacramento-based colo-rectal surgeon told her to practice oral sex on her husband “twice a week” prior to the procedure as a way of allaying the reflex.
According to CBS Sacramento, Zegarra made the suggestion in front of the woman and her husband “several years ago.” The station also noted Zegarra had tried twice to expunge the complaint from the public record. Zegarra’s name appears on a summary of administrative actions taken by the California board of medicine in 2007.
CBS Sacramento reports that a spokesperson for the state board of medicine called the doctor’s suggestion inappropriate, even if it was meant as a joke.
As a matter of perspective, doctors have been caught doing much worse than dispensing questionable advice.
In September 2012, an Illinois doctor faced federal charges after he allegedly traded prescription drugs for sexual favors from 30 different patients. According to ABC affiliate KCRG, Dr. David Gierlus’ sexual encounters with patients ranged from “oral sex, both during medical appointments and outside the office in [his] vehicle, to intercourse in the examination room during medical appointments.”
In April 2012, a British general practitioner went before a medical counsel to face allegations from three female patients, who made separate complaints about his conduct between 2003 and 2005. One patient complained that the family doctor had molested her and had sex with her several times on his surgery table during appointments, claiming that it would “help save her marriage.”
Although suspensions are common in cases like these, they aren’t always permanent. In August 2012, a Lodi, Calif., doctor had his license reinstated by a judge, despite the doctor’s admitting to taking mood-altering inhalants and masturbating in his office. Opponents of the decision called it an example of the California medical board’s “lax approach to getting rid of doctors who pose a harm to patients.”