Dr. Wynand Wessels found guilty of unprofessional conduct
Dr. Wynand Wessels, a surgeon from Grande Prairie, was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by a CPSA hearing tribunal. The charge found to be proven stated:
“You did, on or about June 24, 2016, demonstrate conduct that harms the integrity of the medical profession, by tying a piece of rope into a shape that could be perceived as being a hangman’s noose and hanging it on a door leading to an operating room at the Grande Prairie Queen Elizabeth II Hospital where other medical and hospital staff could see the rope.”
The hearing tribunal was presented with evidence that showed a high level of conflict between members of the orthopedic department at the Grande Prairie Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. Dr. Wessels hung the rope after a conversation with a colleague about the discord, leading the tribunal to conclude he was motivated by the conflict to hang the rope on the door, and that it was intended for “anyone misbehaving in the hospital.”
The tribunal found Dr. Wessels to be in breach of CPSA’s Code of Ethics, stating he failed to treat his colleagues with dignity and respect. The tribunal also considered Dr. Wessels’ position of power, and the reasonable assumption that his actions would be interpreted as intimidating or threatening, in their finding of unprofessional conduct.
The tribunal will reconvene to determine Dr. Wessels’ sanction. Once they deliver a written decision on sanction, it will be shared publicly on CPSA’s website.
The sanction phase of Dr. Wessels’ hearing will take place at a later date, during which the tribunal will hear submissions on sanction from both CPSA and Dr. Wessels. If either party wishes to appeal the tribunal’s decision, they must wait until the entire process (including a decision on sanction) is complete.