Leering v. College of Chiropractors (Ont.), (2008) 243 O.A.C. 55 (DC)

JudgeCarnwath, Swinton and Ray, JJ.
CourtSuperior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
Case DateSeptember 30, 2008
JurisdictionOntario
Citations(2008), 243 O.A.C. 55 (DC)

Leering v. College of Chiropractors (2008), 243 O.A.C. 55 (DC)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2008] O.A.C. TBEd. DE.045

Dr. Vincent Leering (appellant) v. The College of Chiropractors of Ontario (respondent)

(233/08)

Indexed As: Leering v. College of Chiropractors (Ont.)

Court of Ontario

Superior Court of Justice

Divisional Court

Carnwath, Swinton and Ray, JJ.

November 4, 2008.

Summary:

The Discipline Committee of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario found the appellant guilty of professional misconduct because he had sexually abused a patient. He appealed the finding of professional misconduct, as well as the penalty of mandatory revocation of his certificate of registration. At issue was whether the Discipline Committee reached an unreasonable decision in finding there had been sexual abuse, given that the appellant had an existing intimate relationship with the complainant at the time she became his patient.

The Ontario Divisional Court allowed the appeal. The decision of the Discipline Committee finding the appellant guilty of professional misconduct and imposing the penalty of mandatory revocation of his certificate of registration was set aside, and the matter was referred back to the Discipline Committee for a new hearing.

Professional Occupations - Topic 4552

Chiropractors - Disciplinary proceedings - Professional misconduct - What constitutes - The appellant, a chiropractor, and A.M. started dating - Shortly after they started cohabiting, she sought chiropractic treatment from the appellant - The appellant had her sign an informed consent form and he billed her so that payment could be made through her insurer - The Discipline Committee of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario found the appellant guilty of professional misconduct because he had sexually abused a patient (A.M.) - The Ontario Divisional Court referred the matter back to the Discipline Committee for a new hearing - The sexual relationship between the accused and A.M. began well before she became a patient - The Court of Appeal had indicated that it would be unlikely that a practitioner would be guilty of sexual abuse if he or she, during the course of marriage, provided "incidental" treatment to his or her spouse - The Discipline Committee unreasonably interpreted the word "incidental" to mean a question of frequency of treatment - The court's references to "incidental" medical care of a spouse encompassed care arising from or as an incident to the spousal relationship - It was also noteworthy that the College did not prohibit the treatment of family members.

Cases Noticed:

R.A.R. v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (Ont.) (2006), 216 O.A.C. 357; 275 D.L.R.(4th) 275 (C.A.), dist. [para. 16].

Mussani v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (Ont.) (2004), 193 O.A.C. 23; 2004 CarswellOnt 5433 (C.A.), dist. [para. 17].

Mussani v. College of Physicians and Surgeons (Ont.) (2003), 172 O.A.C. 1; 226 D.L.R.(4th) 511 (Div. Ct.), refd to. [para. 36].

Counsel:

Timothy M. Lowman and Patrick J. Cotter, for the appellant;

Chris Paliare and Karen Jones, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on September 30, 2008, at Toronto, Ontario, by Carnwath, Swinton and Ray, JJ., of the Ontario Divisional Court. The following decision of the Divisional Court was delivered by Swinton, J., and released on November 4, 2008.

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1 practice notes
  • Leering v. College of Chiropractors (Ont.), 2010 ONCA 87
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • July 14, 2009
    ...intimate relationship with the complainant at the time she became his patient. The Ontario Divisional Court, in a decision reported at 243 O.A.C. 55, allowed the appeal. The decision of the Discipline Committee finding Leering guilty of professional misconduct and imposing the penalty of ma......
1 cases
  • Leering v. College of Chiropractors (Ont.), 2010 ONCA 87
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • July 14, 2009
    ...intimate relationship with the complainant at the time she became his patient. The Ontario Divisional Court, in a decision reported at 243 O.A.C. 55, allowed the appeal. The decision of the Discipline Committee finding Leering guilty of professional misconduct and imposing the penalty of ma......

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