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HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS - Dentists - Government of - Registration and licensure - Suspension of registration - Discipline - Disciplinary proceedings - Evidence - Expert evidence - Appeal or judicial review

Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:26 AM  

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Application by Rohringer for judicial review to quash an interim order of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (Committee) of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (College) that suspended his dental licence without a hearing. In March 2017, the applicant was criminally charged in Florida with indecent exposure. The College learned of the charges through media reports and contacted the Florida authorities to confirm the reported information. On the basis of the information received, the College initiated an investigation into the applicant’s practice. Four staff members indicated the applicant told inappropriate sexual jokes and made sexual comments in the office. The offence report received from the Florida police indicated they had received a confession from the applicant to three incidents of exposing himself and masturbating in front of underage girls. The applicant provided expert evidence that he had been diagnosed with exhibitionism, which he was working to eliminate. His expert opined that the applicant did not pose a risk to his patients. The applicant also voluntarily offered to consent to a term on his licence requiring him to have a regulated health professional present for all of his patient interactions (monitoring term).

HELD: Application allowed. The Committee had a duty to provide reasons to explain why it did not accept the expert opinion adduced by the applicant and as to why the monitoring term was rejected. The failure to provide reasons was sufficient to set aside the decision. The decision was not based on any evidence of probable or likely harm to the applicant’s patients. The lack of reasons made it impossible to know whether the Committee considered the least restrictive order possible to protect the public.

Rohringer v. Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, [2017] O.J. No. 5752, Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court, N.J. Spies J., November 7, 2017. Digest No. TLD-December42017007