Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 2 2018 - Page 26

LEGISLATION The following came into force in 2017: Mandatory Revocation The list of acts of sexual abuse specified in the Code resulting in mandatory revoca- tion was expanded. The added acts include: touching of the patient’s genitals, anus, breasts or buttocks (subject to the clinically appropriate exception). These acts are subject to the corresponding inability to apply for reinstatement for at least five years. These acts were added to the list of activi- ties where there already was mandatory re- vocation: instances where a regulated health professional has: sexual intercourse with a patient; genital to genital, genital to anal, oral to genital, or oral to anal contact with a patient; masturbation of the member by, or in the presence of, the patient; masturbation of the patient by the member; and encourag- es the patient to masturbate in the presence of the member. Gender-based Restrictions This provision prevents gender-based restric- tions from being made in all cases, including sexual abuse cases. Previously, the College had ordered restrictions which forbade a physician from treating patients of a particular gender, or, in other cases, only allowed the physician to treat patients of a particular gender under the supervision of a practice monitor. Interim Orders A new provision in the Code provides the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Com- mittee (ICRC) with the power to make an interim order to suspend or impose terms, conditions or limitations on a physician's certificate of registration at any time follow- ing the receipt of a complaint or a report or following the appointment of an investiga- tor, or once a panel of the ICRC has been established to inquire into whether a physi- 26 DIALOGUE ISSUE 2, 2018 cian is incapacitated. Prior to this provision, such an order could only be made after a physician had been referred to Discipline or the Fitness to Practise Committee. The ICRC can only make such an order if it is of the opinion that the conduct exposes or is likely to expose patients to harm or injury. In those matters concerning incapac- ity, the ICRC can only make such an order if it is of the opinion that the physician's physical or mental state exposes or is likely to expose patients to harm or injury. Mandatory Suspension as a New Minimum Penalty for Sexual Abuse The Act provides that a panel of the Disci- pline Committee must suspend a physician's certificate of registration where it makes a finding of sexual abuse unless the penalty ordered was revocation. For example, if the sexual abuse consisted of remarks of a sexual nature, with no other findings, the penalty must include, at a minimum, a suspension. Mandatory Reports for Sexual Abuse The