Health lawyers say the provincial government may have overreached in its legislative crackdown on sexual abuse by medical professionals. Bill 87, the Protecting Patients Act, is currently undergoing review in the committee stage at Ontario’s legislature after passing second reading.
In a Law Times article published on May 15, 2017, Torkin Manes lawyer Lindsay Kantor, a health lawyer who frequently represents health professionals in regulatory proceedings, says she’s concerned with the “one-size-fits-all” approach taken by the province in the bill, which will apply equally to all 26 of Ontario’s self-regulated health professions.
“What may be necessary in one profession may not be necessary in another,” she says. Kantor notes that some specialties are more likely than others to require physical contact with patients and worries that mandatory penalties may chill them from providing services that they would otherwise recommend for fear it could be considered sexual touching. Kantor says. “That’s good for neither the professions nor the public.”
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