Nature of Action: The registrant, Connor Son, RMT, voluntarily entered into an undertaking and consent agreement with the Inquiry Committee of CMTBC.
As part of the agreement, Mr. Son agreed to the following terms:
- a five-month suspension (served);
- a formal reprimand;
- a condition on his practice of massage therapy, namely a one-year period of supervised practice under terms specified by CMTBC;
- review of the Massage Therapists Regulation and CMTBC’s Bylaws, standards of practice, and Code of Ethics;
- completion of remedial coursework on professional ethics and requirements relating to the practice environment;
- undertakings not to repeat the conduct; and
- payment of a portion of the costs of the investigation in the amount of $250.
Reasons: The undertaking and consent agreement relates to a complaint from a female patient made in December 2020.
As part of the undertaking and consent agreement, Mr. Son admitted that during an initial treatment of the patient in November 2020, he:
- did not wear a mask or face covering, in contravention of a provincial health order; and
- engaged in unprofessional communication, including disclosure of his own personal information to the patient (namely, that he was single and lonely due to COVID-19 related restrictions), asking the patient if she had a partner/significant other, and saying to the patient words to the effect that she had nice hair or amazing hair.
Mr. Son also admitted that with respect to three separate treatments of CMTBC undercover investigators who posed as patients, he:
- did not wear a mask or face covering, in contravention of a provincial health order, at any time during two of the appointments and at times during the third appointment;
- failed to comply with multiple requirements from the College’s Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice (COVID-19 related requirements) in effect at the applicable time, including the requirement to conduct pre-screening for symptoms of COVID-19 both prior to the appointment and at the time of arrival for the appointment;
- engaged in extensive disclosure of his own personal information, including with respect to his family history and upbringing; and
- during one of the appointments, performed a service outside the scope of massage therapy (cupping) on one of the undercover investigators without informing the investigator in advance or obtaining her permission.
As part of the undertaking and consent agreement, Mr. Son also admitted to breaching an undertaking he had given in a previous undertaking and consent agreement he signed in January 2020, to practice within the scope of practice for registered massage therapists in B.C.
Mr. Son acknowledged that by engaging in the conduct described above, he committed professional misconduct and violated sections 1, 12(c) and 13 of CMTBC’s standard of practice on boundaries; section 1 of the College’s practice environment standard; and subsection 9(d) of Schedule “D” to the College’s Bylaws.
The Inquiry Committee considered Mr. Son’s admitted conduct to be serious, involving numerous breaches of professional requirements, and noted that his failure to conduct required pre-screenings and comply with a provincial health order may have placed patients at risk given the possibility of transmission of COVID-19.
The Inquiry Committee is satisfied that the undertaking and consent agreement in this matter appropriately reflects the seriousness of the registrant’s admitted conduct and will protect patient safety.