Welcome! Sign in to access your account. New user?

Castration of sex offneders

Pour la castration voluntaire des pédophiles

Posted by Orchiectomy on 2002-08-20 10:13:33


Shock doc

Trois-Rivières psychiatrist Dr. Pierre Mailloux pulls no punches when he offers psychiatric advice on his popular radio show By Mark Cardwell

Call him crass. Call him opinionated, outspoken, even outrageous. But don't ever call Dr. Pierre Mailloux timid. Or boring. Renowned across Quebec for his popular AM radio phone-in show, Psy à l'écoute, the feisty psychiatrist is making headlines these days for his fiery defence against charges of professional misconduct. Brought before the disciplinary committee of Quebec's college of medicine last May, the 10 accusations stem from comments Dr. Mailloux made on the air between June and December of 1998. During the Oct. 23 show that year, for example, the Trois-Rivières physician told a caller—the mother of a 15-year-old drug addict and prostitute—that her daughter was "no longer a human being. She's at the stage now where she's human garbage, (which) you have to pick up." He suggested, too, the woman "lock (the girl) up for a good long while . . . (and) arm yourself with a lawyer so the door won't be opened by some imbecile from the (youth) detention centre." The rough remarks are standard fare for Dr. Mailloux, who titillates a provincewide audience (including 259,000 weekly listeners in the Montreal area alone) while fielding calls on psychological-related subjects every weekday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The office of the college syndic, however, was not amused. In an eight-page statement of claim filed in 1999, it accused Dr. Mailloux of, among other things, practising his profession "impetuously . . . in conditions susceptible to compromising its dignity," offering often-erroneous "medical opinions or diagnosis (without) examination (nor) consultation," and of adopting "a reprehensible and unacceptable attitude"—all in contravention of the province's professional code. If found guilty of any one of the charges, Dr. Mailloux faces punishments from fines to revocation of his medical licence. During two days of disciplinary committee hearings in January, one of two expert witnesses called by the syndic testified Dr. Mailloux acts more like a performer on-air than a doctor wanting to help people in need. "(His) conversations are a pretext to boost popularity ratings rather than a demonstration of a helpful relationship," said Dr. Marquis Fortin, a professor of family medicine at the Université de Montréal. The GP also questioned both the propriety and the accuracy of Dr. Mailloux's rapid diagnosis, noting in one conversation with a male caller the psychiatrist concluded in only 20 secondsthe man had been prescribed an inappropriate drug. For his part, Dr. Mailloux is not backing down. Assuming his own defence (a rarity in disciplinary hearings), Dr. Mailloux carried out a relentless cross-examination of witnesses in January. That performance earned him the grudging respect of the syndic's office, which has since dropped one psychiatrist from the file scheduled to testify in May. "I can't say whether Dr. Mailloux is wise to defend himself," said Christian Gauvin, a lawyer and the secretary of the disciplinary committee. "But he certainly is well prepared." At the same time, Dr. Mailloux has succeeded in bringing his case to the court of public opinion. Aided by the intense publicity generated by the timely release in February of his second book, Pour la castration voluntaire des pédophiles, a 90-page treatise in which he advocates castration for pedophiles—and admits to arranging the heretofore unknown castration of three convicted sex offenders in the 1980s—Dr. Mailloux has been a guest on most major news and public affairs programs in Quebec over the past three months. In every appearance, the thickly bearded physician has delivered a virulent yet poised defence against the syndic's charges. The essence of his argument is that, while the language he employs is harsh, the science behind the words is sound. At the same time, he has wrapped himself in a populist cloak, suggesting the popularity of his radio show demonstrates the need for improved psychiatric services across Quebec. As a result, he has shifted the spotlight to the wider issue of the impact of government budget cuts on the provincial health-care system. His Davidian defence against the college's Goliath-like legal machine has also added credibility to his portrayal of the tight-lipped medical establishment as stodgy, secretive and vindictive. "The accusations against me are pure bull$%!@," Dr. Mailloux said during an interview with the Medical Post in Quebec City. "There is absolutely no contrition on my part." That, in many ways, would make a fitting epitaph for the colourful iconoclast. Born in 1949 into a poor farming family in a village 50 km north of Lac-St-Jean, Dr. Mailloux's lively intelligence and insatiable curiosity earned him a ticket to a seminary near Quebec City at the age of 11. Like most of his classmates, the young boy flirted with the idea of becoming a priest. In particular, he dreamed of being a missionary in Africa. He changed his mind, however, when a biology teacher suggested he become a doctor. "I'd never thought about that before," said Dr. Mailloux, who entered the faculty of medicine at Laval University at age 19. "But medicine sure looked better than the priesthood. With the vow of celibacy, I would have $%!@ed myself to pieces in no time." Dr. Mailloux discovered psychiatry while training at a Quebec City clinic during his third year of medical studies. It was a revelation that changed his life. "I was amazed, fascinated, to see people with delusions and hallucinations," he said. "I'd never heard of such things. From that moment on, I only wanted to learn how to treat mentally ill people. It became the challenge of my life. It still is." An enrollee in the medical officer training program, Dr. Mailloux donned an army uniform after graduation for a four-year stint with the Canadian Forces. He did his residency at McGill University and was eventually posted to the 16-bed psychiatric unit at Stadacona Hospital in Halifax. Over the next three years, he completed a rotating internship at the busy, Dalhousie-affiliated facility, earned a reputation as a troublemaker in the process. "Oh, Pierre was no shrinking violet, that's for sure," recalled Dr. Jim O'Brien, a semi-retired psychiatrist in Cape Breton, who worked and socialized with Dr. Mailloux in Halifax. "He was a feisty guy, very outspoken, very direct. He'd never back down from a confrontation . . . But he was a good resident. He knew his stuff. And he's still got lots of energy, incredible drive. He's a very generous person, too." After leaving the military in 1979, Dr. Mailloux became the fifth staff member at the psychiatric unit at Hôpital-Ste-Marie in Trois-Rivières. Over the next decade, he worked in the mental-health trenches at the busy 42-bed facility. In addition to his hospital and clinic duties, Dr. Mailloux worked as a consultant for several government ministries and agencies. He also became a regular expert witness in criminal cases (an experience he credits for his ability to defend himself in his current college standoff), appearing in some 500 cases since the early 1980s. Dr. Mailloux also became a familiar face on television in Quebec, readily offering comments on psychiatric themes in the news, particularly masculine violence, sexual predation and castration. Not surprisingly, however, his brash, confrontational manner wore thin on colleagues and hospital administrators at Ste-Marie over the years. He treated dozens of schizophrenics at the hospital with doses of neuroleptics well above the recommended doses in Canada and the U.S. He boldly announced his controversial treatment to media outlets leading to another visit by college officials. Again, no charges were laid. Dr. Mailloux's position at the hospital became most tenuous when, during a labour conflict at the facility in early 1988, he hit and slightly injured a picketer who refused to let the physician drive out of the hospital parking lot. His life changed dramatically later that year, however, when he himself was struck by a car while helping a stalled motorist on a country road near his family's hobby farm just north of Trois-Rivières. Dr. Mailloux was thrown into a nearby field by the impact. To his horror, he discovered his left leg had been completely severed between the knee and the hip, a realization driven home when the woman he stopped to help ran to him, screaming, with the missing limb in her hands. After several months of convalescence and rehabilitation, Dr. Mailloux wanted to return to practice at Ste-Marie. The hospital, however, resisted. For once, he refused to fight back, deciding instead to open an outpatient clinic at a small regional hospital in nearby Louiseville. He continues to practise there two half-days a week. In the spring of 1995, Dr. Mailloux was approached by the program director at CKAC. After refusing twice, he accepted the station's offer to host an open-line show in the company of Manon Lepine, a Montreal radio personality. "Sure, they wanted me because I've got a big mouth and I'm not afraid to say what I think," said Dr. Mailloux, who is paid $85,000 a year for the 121/2 hours he spends each week in the station's Trois-Rivières studio. "And I have to admit that, yes, I do get a kick out of it all, including the fact that I bother some people with my opinions. "Honestly, though, as a medical doctor and a psychiatrist, I believe the show is very important, because it brings psychological knowledge to a very broad range of people. "In many ways, I guess, I've still got that missionary zeal," he added. "I still want to change the world, help to improve things. So I'll keep doing the show until someone or something finally convinces me to shut up. "Even then, though, I'm sure I'll still have something to say." —Mark Cardwell is the Medical Post's Quebec City correspondent.