April 29, 2016
On April 25, 2016, the BC Court of Appeal released its decision on a case that involved the CMTBC Inquiry Committee’s decision to impose interim conditions on a registrant’s license, while an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct was ongoing.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the approach the Inquiry Committee took in this case. In doing so, it overturned the decision of a lower court that had ruled against the Inquiry Committee’s order for a chaperone to be present when female patients were being treated, and a notice to be posted in the registrant’s clinic.
The Court of Appeal decision provides clear guidelines for Inquiry Committees in all health profession regulatory colleges when considering interim action. The Court said that the Inquiry Committee is not required to assess the strength of the case or to make a finding of credibility. That is the role of the Discipline Committee. The Inquiry Committee must consider the risk of harm to members of the public if the registrant continues to practice without restrictions. The Committee must also consider the impact of interim action on the registrant.