Dialogue Volume 13 Issue 3 2017 - Page 68

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES makes patients incredibly vulnerable if that trust is violated. Dr. Ruggiero violated that trust and also abused his authority as a physician. He took ad- vantage of Patient A, who was a young, vulnerable patient. The reason Patient A had been in Dr. Ruggiero’s examination room, and the reason she complied with his request to undress from the waist down, was because she trusted that Dr. Ruggiero would help her in his role as a physician. Dr. Ruggiero took advan- tage of Patient A’s trust in him and the vulnerable position he placed her for his own personal sexual self-gratification. In doing so, he demonstrated that he had no regard as to the physical or mental impact his actions would have on Patient A. Dr. Ruggiero’s sexual impropriety with Patient A was heinous. She was left shaken, scarred for life, and with lasting impacts that persist to this day. While there were no other findings of sexual mis- conduct since the incident in 1986, the Committee was not reassured or confident that the risk of Dr. Ruggiero poses to the public had been eliminated. The Committee was not presented with any evidence that would assist it in understanding the origin of Dr. Ruggiero’s behaviour, nor did the Committee hear any evidence on what could mitigate the risk of Dr. Ruggiero reoffending in the future. The public must have absolute confidence that a physician will behave in a professional and trustwor- thy fashion. Given Dr. Ruggiero’s extremely serious misconduct, nothing short of revocation of Dr. Rug- giero’s certificate of registration would suffice. Mitigating Factors and Aggravating Factors The Committee found no relevant mitigating factors. An aggravating factor was that there could not be a more significant breach of trust than for a physician to violate a patient in this manner under the guise of a purported medical examination. Dr. Ruggiero never expressed remorse for his ac- tions. Absence of remorse is not an aggravating fac- tor, but it weighs against any mitigation. ORDER In summary, the Discipline Committee directed that the Registrar revoke Dr. Ruggiero’s certificate of registration, effective immediately; receive a pub- 68 DIALOGUE ISSUE 3, 2017 lic reprimand; and pay costs to the College in the amount of $25,000. For complete details of the Order, please see the full decision at www.cpso.on.ca. Select Doctor Search and enter the Doctor’s Name. APPEAL On October 31, 2016, Dr. Ruggiero appealed the de- cisions on both liability and penalty of the Discipline Committee dated August 23, 2016 and October 14, 2016 to the Divisional Court of the Superior Court of Justice. On May 1, 2017, Dr. Ruggiero abandoned his appeal to the Divisional Court. The Committee administered a reprimand in Dr. Ruggiero’s absence. DR. PAVEL FRANTISEK STRAKA PRACTICE LOCATION: Toronto AREA OF PRACTICE: Anesthesiology HEARING INFORMATION: Admission, Agreed State- ment of Facts, Joint Submission on Penalty On June 2, 2016, the Discipline Committee found Dr. Straka to have committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he failed to maintain the stan- dard of practice of the profession. In February 2015, pursuant to an undertaking from Dr. Straka to the College, the College received an as- sessment report outlining concerns regarding deficien- cies in Dr. Straka’s hospital-based anesthesia practice. Dr. Straka provided the College with an expert re- port after allegations were referred to discipline. The defence expert disagreed with the College assessor about some aspects of the care Dr. Straka provided but agreed there were deficiencies in Dr. Straka’s practice, including significant deficiencies in docu- mentation and certain concerns regarding judgment and knowledge. Dr. Straka failed to maintain the standard of prac- tice of the profession of anesthesiology in a hospital setting by: