by Brendan Farrer March 27, 2018 2 min read

In advance of a recent discipline hearing before The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, College counsel served a patient, Patient “A”, with a summons to appear to give evidence before the Discipline Committee.

What Happened?

The hearing was related to a Registrar’s investigation following a mandatory report regarding alleged sexual abuse between a physician and a patient. The patient had not wanted to disclose her name to College. After Patient “A” was served with the summons to appear before the Discipline Committee, she hired a lawyer to try to quash the summons, presumably because she did not want to testify before the College’s Discipline Committee. The Discipline Committee refused to quash the summons and Patient “A” was required to testify at the hearing, which she did. If she had failed to attend, the College’s lawyer had previously indicated that she would have the Court to enforce the summons, meaning that a judge could have ordered that the police arrest and bring Patient “A” to the hearing. The Discipline Committee’s reasons are not yet available, but were reported in the Toronto Star.

Broader Implications

According to the Toronto Star, the Discipline Committee stated it “is concerned that depriving the college of its ability to fully investigate and prosecute serious sex abuse allegations, based on a mandatory report from a physician, would risk rendering the mandatory reporting requirement by health care professionals toothless in eradicating sexual abuse by physicians”. This decision may have implications for other regulatory bodies where patients are unwilling to testify, but the College wants to proceed with the investigation in the public interest. Valerie Wise will be presenting on the topic of reluctant complainants at College proceedings at the upcoming Medico-Legal Society of Toronto's Spring Bouquet event taking place on April 11, 2018. Further information about the event can be found here. At Wise Health Law, we help regulated health professionals who are facing a complaint, investigation, or disciplinary hearing at their respective Colleges. We help clients understand their options, outline potential risks, guide them through the process, and represent them at proceedings. If you have questions about how we can help you, contact us online, or at 416-915-4234for a consultation.


Also in Blog

Health Care Professionals in Ontario Begin the Restart

by Valerie Wise May 28, 2020 3 min read

The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario has issued an updated Directive #2 (dated May 26, 2020) for Regulated Health Professionals in the province. 

Pursuant to the updated Directive #2, all deferred non-essential and elective services by health care providers may be gradually restarted – subject to the rest of the requirements set out in the Directive.

The updated Directive #2 does not provide particularly detailed guidance to health professionals on how to proceed, likely because it applies to such a broad spectrum of health care and health professionals. It does, however, provide some principles to assist health care providers in making decisions as we enter this transitional period.

International Medical Graduates Reinforcing the Healthcare Frontlines

by Mina Karabit May 25, 2020 2 min read

In addition to the mask and hand sanitizer shortages, Ontario’s response to COVID-19 highlights the need for more frontline health care workers. Each regulated health profession’s college responded differently, and we have discussed some of those changes in other posts to keep you apprised.

Today, we focus on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), who set out to increase the number of available and licenced physicians out on the frontlines through certificates of registration that authorize supervised practice of short duration. The temporary licences authorize practice for 30 days.  

Pharmacists’ Time-Limited Change in Scope of Practice During COVID-19

by Mina Karabit May 05, 2020 4 min read

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has affected how health professionals practice. Pharmacists across the country are not only experiencing changes in how they practice (for example, accepting emailed prescriptions, where appropriate) but the scope of their practice as well. The latter change is not permanent, although the disruptions in practice may be felt long after the COVID-19 emergency subsides.

On March 19, 2020, Health Canada issued a short-term section 56(1) exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) that would authorize pharmacists to prescribe, sell, or provide controlled substances in limited circumstances, or transfer prescriptions for controlled substances (the CDSA Exemption).