Fashoranti v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (N.S.) et al., 2015 NSCA 25

Judge:MacDonald, C.J.N.S., Oland and Fichaud, JJ.A.
Court:Nova Scotia Court of Appeal
Case Date:February 02, 2015
Jurisdiction:Nova Scotia
Citations:2015 NSCA 25;(2015), 356 N.S.R.(2d) 350 (CA)
 
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Fashoranti v. College of Physicians (2015), 356 N.S.R.(2d) 350 (CA);

    1126 A.P.R. 350

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Temp. Cite: [2015] N.S.R.(2d) TBEd. MR.025

Dr. Oluwarotimi Fashoranti (appellant) v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia and The Attorney General of Nova Scotia (respondents)

(CA 428527; 2015 NSCA 25)

Indexed As: Fashoranti v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (N.S.) et al.

Nova Scotia Court of Appeal

MacDonald, C.J.N.S., Oland and Fichaud, JJ.A.

March 11, 2015.

Summary:

A disciplinary Hearing Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons found that Dr. Fashoranti had conducted an inappropriate examination of a female patient. In a subsequent decision, the Committee imposed a penalty on Dr. Fashoranti. Dr. Fashoranti appealed under s. 68(1) of the Medical Act. Section 68(1) confined the court's authority to a "point of law". Dr. Fashoranti submitted that the Committee's written reasons for the merits and penalty decisions were inadequate.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Editor's Note: Certain names in the following case have been initialized or the case otherwise edited to prevent the disclosure of identities where required by law, publication ban, Maritime Law Book's editorial policy or otherwise.

Administrative Law - Topic 549

The hearing and decision - Decisions of the tribunal - Reasons for decisions - Sufficiency of - [See Medicine - Topic 2082 ].

Medicine - Topic 2067

Discipline for professional misconduct - Hearing - Duty to give reasons - [See Medicine - Topic 2082 ].

Medicine - Topic 2082

Discipline for professional misconduct - Statutory appeals - Scope of - A disciplinary Hearing Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons found that Dr. Fashoranti had conducted an inappropriate examination of a female patient - The Committee heard both the complainant's description of the examination and Dr. Fashoranti's denial that the examination had occurred - The Committee accepted the complainant's testimony over Dr. Fashoranti's - In a subsequent decision, the Committee imposed a penalty on Dr. Fashoranti - Dr. Fashoranti appealed under s. 68(1) of the Medical Act, which confined the court's authority to a "point of law" - Dr. Fashoranti submitted that the Committee's written reasons for the merits and penalty decisions were inadequate - The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - This was not a case of "no reasons" - The Committee gave written reasons for preferring the patient's testimony over that of Dr. Fashoranti - Its written penalty decision summarized the principles from which it drew sanctions - There was no contravention of procedural fairness - Rather, the sufficiency of the reasons was assessed under the reasonableness standard - The issue was whether the Committee's "reasons allow the reviewing court to understand why the tribunal made its decision" so the court could determine whether the conclusion was within the range of acceptable outcomes - The court had no difficulty understanding why the Committee disbelieved Dr. Fashoranti and believed the patient - The Committee's conclusion occupied the range of acceptable outcomes - The Committee's penalty decision, supplemented by the record, allowed the court to understand why the Committee fashioned the sanctions and to determine whether the sanctions occupied the range of permissible outcomes - That satisfied the reasonableness standard and principles of procedural fairness.

Cases Noticed:

Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists et al., [2013] N.S.R.(2d) Uned. 38; 2013 NSCA 26, consd. [para. 20].

Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817; 243 N.R. 22, refd to. [para. 28].

Newfoundland and Labrador Nurses' Union v. Newfoundland and Labrador (Treasury Board) et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 708; 424 N.R. 220; 317 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 340; 986 A.P.R. 340; 2011 SCC 62, consd. [para. 29].

Creager v. Provincial Dental Board (N.S.) (2005), 230 N.S.R.(2d) 48; 729 A.P.R. 48; 2005 NSCA 9, refd to. [para. 31].

Hills v. Provincial Dental Board (N.S.) (2009), 275 N.S.R.(2d) 135; 877 A.P.R. 135; 2009 NSCA 13, refd to. [para. 31].

Osif v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (N.S.) (2009), 276 N.S.R.(2d) 118; 880 A.P.R. 118; 2009 NSCA 28, refd to. [para. 31].

Ryan v. Law Society of New Brunswick, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 247; 302 N.R. 1; 257 N.B.R.(2d) 207; 674 A.P.R. 207; 2003 SCC 20, refd to. [para. 31].

New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 190; 372 N.R. 1; 329 N.B.R.(2d) 1; 844 A.P.R. 1; 2008 SCC 9, refd to. [para. 34].

Driver Iron Inc. v. International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers, Local Union No. 720 et al., [2012] 3 S.C.R. 405; 437 N.R. 202; 539 A.R. 17; 561 W.A.C. 17; 2012 SCC 65, refd to. [para. 35].

Statutes Noticed:

Medical Act, S.N.S. 1995-96, c. 10, sect. 68(1) [para. 19].

Counsel:

Colin D. Bryson, Q.C., and Justin E. Adams, for the appellant;

Marjorie A. Hickey, Q.C., and Melanie S. Comstock, for the respondent;

Attorney General of Nova Scotia, not appearing.

This appeal was heard on February 2, 2015, at Halifax, N.S, before MacDonald, C.J.N.S., Oland and Fichaud, JJ.A., of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. The following judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered by Fichaud, J.A., on March 11, 2015.

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