Nature of Action: Pursuant to section 35(1)(b) of the Health Professions Act (the “Act”), a panel of the Inquiry Committee made an order to impose a suspension on Connor Son’s registration with CMTBC in order to protect the public. While suspended, Mr. Son is not entitled to practice as a registered massage therapist in B.C.
Reasons: On December 12, 2020, CMTBC received a complaint from a female patient of the registrant, in which the patient alleged that during a recent massage therapy appointment, Mr. Son was unmasked throughout the appointment and engaged in unprofessional communications, 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. During the investigation of this complaint, two undercover CMTBC investigators attended for appointments with Mr. Son, during which Mr. Son did not wear a mask appropriately for either part or all of the appointment; Mr. Son also performed out of scope services without consent on one of the undercover investigators. Further, Mr. Son did not conduct pre-screening and screening for COVID-19 symptoms in accordance with the College’s Interim Guidelines for Return to Practice.
In total, CMTBC’s Inquiry Committee has five open investigation files pertaining to Mr. Son. The other four relate to, respectively: a) concerns about advertising, including use of titles and advertising services outside of the scope of practice for RMTs in B.C., and an alleged failure to comply with a previous undertaking to amend his advertising materials; b) a previous patient complaint from a female patient of the registrant which involved allegations of unprofessional communications and practicing outside the scope of practice for registered massage therapists in B.C.; c) concerns about Mr. Son’s record-keeping; and d) concerns about Mr. Son’s current advertising materials.
The Inquiry Committee panel found that there was a prima facie case of the allegations and matters under investigation, that the alleged conduct is likely to recur, and that there is a real risk of harm to patients and colleagues if Mr. Son were allowed to continue to practice without restriction. Therefore, the panel determined that the public must be protected by an interim order during the investigation and pending any discipline hearing. The panel considered that the only measure adequate to sufficiently protect the public in the circumstances of this case is a suspension.
Therefore, the panel ordered that Mr. Son be suspended during the investigation, until it is concluded with a disposition under section 33(6)(a), (b) or (c), or pending a hearing of the Discipline Committee.
This order ceased to be in effect on July 29, 2021.
Important Note: Limits, conditions and suspensions ordered by the Inquiry Committee under section 35(1) of the Act are made to protect the public during an investigation or pending a hearing of the Discipline Committee. Measures taken under section 35(1) of the Act pertain to allegations which are and remain unproven unless admitted by a registrant or determined by the Discipline Committee.