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Doctor stripped of medical licence after sexual abuse ruling

By Mike Arsalides - CTV News - [CANADA] - [James McInnis After being found guilty of sexual abuse involving patients and a nurse, the Ontario Physicians and Surgeons Discipline Tribunal has ruled that former Angus and Wasaga Beach family physician James McInnis will lose his licence to practice medicine.

McInnis, who was absent during Wednesday's tribunal proceedings, resigned from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario through his legal representative. The decision comes about two months after McInnis was found guilty, on a balance of probabilities by the discipline tribunal, of sexual abuse. The finding under the law requires a mandatory revocation of McInnis' licence to practice medicine.

The College of Physicians suspended McInnis in November 2019. He abruptly shut down his offices in Angus and Wasaga Beach after allegations of engaging in inappropriate sexual relationships with female patients and a nurse who worked for him and served as a practice monitor after a previous suspension by the College, stemming from an incident in 2013 when McInnis made advances on and kissed a nurse while working in a hospital emergency department. On Wednesday, the discipline panel heard that at the time of that incident, McInnis was before the tribunal for allegations of sexual misconduct relating to his time as a physician at CFB Borden in 2011, for which he was found guilty and suspended for three months.

The tribunal also heard McInnis, who obtained his medical license 20 years ago, had been convicted three times of engaging in disgraceful, dishonourable, or unprofessional conduct within an eight-year timeframe, a history that Emily Graham, counsel for the College of Physicians, called "troubling."

Graham told the panel, "Dr. McInnis' misconduct reflects an egregious breach of fiduciary responsibilities inherent in the doctor/patient relationship and a profound breach of the trust placed in him as a physician."

She described McInnis' behaviour as exploitative and predatory.

"He repeatedly used his position of power in, what I submit as, a shocking fashion to further his own private interests, including his own sexual interests," Graham continued.

"Only a reprimand and revocation will convey to both the public and the profession that a physician who exploits other people for his own sexual and personal gratification cannot remain a member of the profession," she added.

Along with his medical licence revocation, the College also asked McInnis to pay for the cost of his hearings, plus therapy and counselling for his victims, totalling more than $210,000. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.

 
 

Dignity4Patients Commentary: "Only a reprimand and revocation will convey to both the public and the profession that a physician who #Exploits other people for his own sexual and personal gratification cannot remain a member of the profession" Congratulations to College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for speaking our language.


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