On November 2, 2017, the Member attended before a panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee to be cautioned.
At the outset of the Caution, the Panel outlined the concerns related to:
- the Member’s apparent failure to understand the degree of distress and discomfort suffered by the Complainant as a result of the treatment;
- failure to offer post-care instructions to the patient;
- failure to recognize the power imbalance that occurs between the patient and the practitioner;
- failure to obtain and/or document informed consent before the treatment.
The Member was reminded that naturopathic doctors are required to provide compassionate, ethical, effective and safe care to their patients; and to continue to provide services to the patient until they are no longer required or wanted; until another suitable practitioner has assumed responsibility; or until reasonable notice of termination of care has been provided to the patient.
The Panel further stated that as a regulated healthcare provider, the Member is required:
- to establish and manage professional boundaries in the best interests of the patient, and is accountable should any violations occur;
- to ensure the patient has sufficient information to make valid decisions about his/her care;
- to document in the file that a discussion regarding consent took place and the patient understood the proposed assessment or treatments and their risks, limitations and benefits.
The Panel strongly recommended to the Member to review the Professional Misconduct Regulation made under the Naturopathy Act, the College’s Advertising Standard of Practice, and the College’s Advertising guideline, in order to avoid similar incidents in the future.