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Professional Conduct reports – September 2022

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Discipline Decisions, September Messenger 2022 | Posted September 15, 2022
Read time: 4 minutes

CPSA cancels practice permit of Edmonton’s Dr. Max Klein

A CPSA Hearing Tribunal has cancelled the practice permit and registration of Dr. Max Klein of Edmonton.

Background

Dr. Klein was found guilty earlier this year of administering an illicit substance (later found to be MDMA, also known as Ecstasy) to a colleague without their knowledge or consent in 2015, when Dr. Klein was a fifth-year resident at the University of Alberta. The Tribunal reconvened to determine sanction and ultimately ordered the cancellation of Dr. Klein’s registration with CPSA. It was also ordered that Dr. Klein receive a reprimand and be responsible for 100 per cent of the costs associated with the investigation and hearing. The sanction decision can be reviewed in full on CPSA’s website.

Dr. Klein did not attend either hearing on this matter, did not make a submission to the Tribunal on sanction and did not participate in CPSA’s complaints process at any stage. He has not been in practice since the incident occurred in 2015.

Learnings

Notwithstanding the obvious and very serious violation of ethics, it is the responsibility of all healthcare professionals to engage with their regulators on matters of competence, investigation and discipline. Failing to do so calls the effectiveness of profession-led regulation into question and can lead to a loss of trust from the public in CPSA as the province’s medical regulator.

 

Dr. Aimen Fateis of St. Albert sanctioned for unprofessional conduct

After admitting to unprofessional conduct, Dr. Aimen Fateis, a general practitioner from St. Albert, was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal.

Background

Dr. Fateis was accused of failing to detect and remove a foreign body from his patient’s eye, amending the patient’s record without noting the date of the change as required by CPSA’s Patient Record Content standard and failing to respond accurately to CPSA about the incident.

Dr. Fateis admitted to the conduct and acknowledged that his actions were unprofessional. The Hearing Tribunal accepted a joint submission on sanction and their orders include the following:

  • Dr. Fateis’ practice permit is suspended for two months, with one month to be served and the second held in abeyance pending fulfillment of the Tribunal’s remaining orders.
  • At his own expense, Dr. Fateis must complete courses on ethics and boundaries, record keeping and ophthalmological emergencies.
  • Dr. Fateis is responsible for 75 per cent of the costs of the investigation and hearing (final amount to be determined).

The Tribunal’s decision can be reviewed in full on CPSA’s website.

Learnings

In circumstances where a patient record needs to be modified, it must be done in accordance with both the Health Information Act (HIA)’s section on correction or amendment of health information and CPSA’s standard of practice on Patient Record Content. It is very important that patient records accurately reflect all advice given and care provided by regulated members during patient encounters, to ensure proper transparency and continuity of care.

 

Dr. Phu Vu suspended from practice

Dr. Phu Vu, a family physician from Calgary, has been suspended from practice as of Aug. 29, 2022, after a CPSA Hearing Tribunal found his conduct constituted “sexual abuse” as defined in the Health Professions Act (HPA).

This is the first CPSA hearing decision that has been released pertaining to An Act to Protect Patients, which was brought into effect on April 1, 2019.

Background

Dr. Vu faced two allegations from two different patients, both including inappropriate and unsolicited behaviour during sensitive examinations. Both allegations were proven, however the first preceded An Act to Protect Patients, while the second occurred post-legislation and was found to meet the definition of “sexual abuse” under the HPA. The tribunal’s full written decision can be reviewed on CPSA’s website (please be advised, this decision contains descriptions of sexual language and sexual abuse).

Under section 81.1(1) of the Health Professions Act, Dr. Vu’s practice permit is immediately suspended until the Hearing Tribunal releases their sanction decision, which will be determined at a hearing to be held at later date.

 

Dr. Petrus Krog sanctioned for unprofessional conduct

After admitting to unprofessional conduct, Dr. Petrus Krog, a general practitioner from Taber, was sanctioned by a CPSA Hearing Tribunal.

Background

Dr. Krog was accused of exchanging inappropriate text messages with a patient, which violates CPSA’s standard of practice on Sexual Boundary Violations.

Dr. Krog acknowledged that his actions were unprofessional and the Hearing Tribunal accepted a joint submission on sanction. Their orders include the following:

  • Dr. Krog’s practice permit is suspended for three months, with two months to be served and one month held in abeyance pending fulfillment of the Tribunal’s remaining orders. His active suspension includes a credit of 22 days in which he was out of practice in December 2020 and January 2021.
  • An existing chaperone condition will remain on Dr. Krog’s practice permit until he completes one year of psychological counselling and the Assistant Registrar of CPSA’s Physician Health Monitoring Program is satisfied the condition is no longer required.
  • Dr. Krog is responsible for two-thirds of the costs of the investigation and hearing (final amount to be determined).

The decision can be reviewed in full on CPSA’s website. As this case predates An Act to Protect Patients, mandatory sanctions under that legislation do not apply.

Learnings

It is very important for healthcare professionals to maintain professional, appropriate boundaries as patients are inherently vulnerable and physicians are in a position of trust. CPSA’s standards on personal and sexual boundaries were updated in 2019 and include mandatory sanctions if breached, up to and including license revocation. All physicians should review these standards to ensure they are fully understood and followed.

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