An AFL doctor has been stripped of his medical licence after pursuing a sexual relationship with a patient and prescribing her medications she overdosed on.
An AFL doctor has been stripped of his medical licence after pursuing a sexual relationship with a patient and prescribing her medications she overdosed on.

Former footy doctor banned after relationship with patient

A former AFL doctor has been stripped of his medical licence after he had sexual relations with a patient and prescribed her medications she later overdosed on.

Christopher Bradshaw, 58, once the leading physician with Collingwood and Geelong football clubs, was disqualified until October 2025 over his professional misconduct.

A Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ruling revealed Bradshaw breached the medical practitioner's code of conduct by not only having a sexual relationship with a patient but also prescribing her with an array of drugs including oxycodone, diazepam and fentanyl.

Bradshaw, who also worked with Melbourne and Richmond AFL teams, and with English Premier League club Fulham, had been treating the woman, given the pseudonym XY, for a hip injury since 2008.

Their relationship turned intimate between 2011 and 2016 when he continued to treat her.

First registered as a medical practitioner in Victoria in 1985, the tribunal said Bradshaw should have known XY, who had suffered domestic abuse by her ex, was vulnerable and at risk of developing an opioid dependency.

The Medical Board of Australia had also put him on notice at the time about "the importance of maintaining professional boundaries" following allegations he was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with another patient.

He was later cautioned over that incident and underwent mentoring - all while continuing his relationship with XY.

An AHPRA investigation was sparked when XY's brother notified them of his concerns Bradshaw was linked to her death in September 2017.

A Queensland coroner concluded the woman took her own life by ingesting a toxic amount of fentanyl, a drug that she was not prescribed.

In October 2018, the Medical Board of Australia referred the allegations to the tribunal.

The tribunal heard the woman's brother found material relating to her relationship with Bradshaw, including photographs, greeting cards, love notes and records of their communications.

In her diary, she wrote about taking her own life and "expressed the feeling that she had been used by Dr Bradshaw before she was rejected by him and left without medical care".

In a statement to the board, Bradshaw said he was "distraught that (he) played (a) part in (her) taking her own life".

rebekah.cavanagh@news.com.au

Originally published as Former AFL doctor banned after relationship with patient



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