College Connection Summer 2018

PRACTISING A PROFESSION: Summer 2018 Vol. 34 No. 2 ISSN 2370-5965 RIGHT, PRIVILEGE, RESPONSIBILITY? By Erica Richler Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc profession. For example, in the human health context, the Divisional Court has stated: Spiderman is often credited with saying, “With great power comes great responsibility”. But the Ontario courts have used a variation of that adage when describing regulated professionals: “With additional privileges come additional responsibilities” 1 . What the courts have emphasized over the years is that regulated professionals – including licensed veterinarians – hold positions of great trust in our society. With that position come a number of responsibilities that are owed to the public, to clients and to the regulator. “the practice of medicine in Ontario is a privilege, not a right. Physicians by the very nature of their work hold a position of high public trust to society at large and to the individual patients whom they treat. They carry out intimate work and are authorized under the Medicine Act to perform a number of intimate and potentially dangerous acts, including prescribing drugs. The application process serves the role of ensuring that there is a reasonable basis that those who are granted this privilege do so with honesty, integrity, and in accordance with the law, so as to not violate that essential position of trust” 2 With Additional Privileges… Society places an enormous amount of trust in regulated professionals. When clients see a veterinarian, they expect their animal to receive safe, quality care from a highly- qualified individual. Licensed veterinarians have extensive training, skills and knowledge to be able to provide care to animals in Ontario. Veterinarians prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and manage illnesses, among many other important functions. Because of this role, courts have noted the importance of ensuring that only qualified and competent individuals are admitted to a …Come Additional Responsibilities Being a professional means more than simply providing high-quality and competent care to clients. It also means conducting oneself ethically and complying with regulatory obligations. In a recent Supreme Court of Canada case, a lawyer challenged the regulator’s mandatory continuing education requirements. Part of the lawyer’s argument was that his “common law right” to practise law could not be taken FEATURED A spotlight on policy This issue of College Connection explores policy initiatives. The College welcomes your feedback on College Connection. away without clear language in the statute. The Court disagreed with the premise of this argument and held that there is no inherent right to practise a profession. The Court wrote: “The right to practise law is not a common law right or a property right, but a statutory right that depends on the principles set out in the Act and the rules made by the Law Society. As this Court has stated, “the Law Society has total control over who can practise law in the province, over the conditions or requirements placed upon those who practise and, perhaps most importantly, over the means of enforcing respect for those conditions or requirements” [citations omitted.] The Law Society has not interfered with Mr. Green’s rights. It is merely doing what the statute requires it to do: regulate the education of lawyers in the public interest.” 3 continued on next page CONTENTS Regulatory changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Discipline Summaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Learning in Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Defining professionalism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 AMR resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Practice Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Instilling public confidence in veterinary regulation.