Furore in Belgium over psychiatrist's TV sex confession

A Belgian pyschiatrist specialising in eating disorders triggered a national furore Wednesday after confessing on a TV show to "inappropriate" sex with several patients.

Walter Vandereycken, a 63-year-old professor at Leuven university and author of works on , confessed to malpractice on a popular prime-time show on the Flemish VRT channel on Tuesday evening.

"It started 20 years ago when I fell in love with a patient in a private clinc. I stopped her therapy and had a short relationship with her. It happened again and I again fell in love with other patients," said Vandereycken, who is also a sexologist.

He was suspended immediately by the university and fired by the hospital where he worked. On Wednesday, Belgian Laurette Onkelinx filed a judicial complaint against him and urged the country's to take action for malpractice.

Vandereycken confessed to having "gone too far" but said he had "never raped anyone" and that all the women "consented".

One of the women confirmed but said she had felt afraid of him.

Belgian said the case, which headlined the media, smacked of a scandal in the Roman Catholic Church that surfaced in 2010.

Belgium was rocked in April that year with revelations that the then bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe, had abused a nephew for 13 years.

The case opened a floodgate, with a Church-backed report subsequently revealing almost 500 cases of alleged abuse of boys, girls and adults in Catholic institutions since the 1950s, including 13 known suicides by victims.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Text-the-pope service launched in Italy

May 09, 2010

Roman Catholics can send now text messages of support to Pope Benedict XVI, Italian public television said Saturday, as the Church faces an international paedophile scandal.

Irish Church launches app for would-be priests

Oct 17, 2011

The Catholic Church in Ireland launched a new app on Monday for young men who are thinking of joining the priesthood, taking a technological leap to reverse four decades of declining vocations.

Recommended for you

Doctor behind 'free radical' aging theory dies

Nov 25, 2014

Dr. Denham Harman, a renowned scientist who developed the most widely accepted theory on aging that's now used to study cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses, has died in Nebraska at age 98.

Mexican boy who had massive tumor recovering

Nov 25, 2014

An 11-year-old Mexican boy who had pieces of a massive tumor removed and who drew international attention after U.S. officials helped him get treatment in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico is still recovering after ...

New medical device to make the mines safer

Nov 21, 2014

Dehydration can be a serious health issue for Australia's mining industry, but a new product to be developed with input from Flinders University's Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is set to more effectively ...

US family gets $6.75 million in Botox case

Nov 20, 2014

A New York couple who said Botox treatment of their son's cerebral palsy left him with life-threatening complications and sued its manufacturer won a $6.75 million verdict from a federal jury on Thursday.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.