Physicians who do administrative work require liability protection for the professional medical tasks they perform and also for the non-clinical administrative tasks they perform in support of an organization.
Typically, civil legal actions launched against physicians are initiated by a patient alleging negligence in care, but there are variations to this scenario that can result in more complex litigation involving multiple parties and claims.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision declaring the prohibition on physician-assisted dying unconstitutional concerns some CMPA members who object for moral or religious reasons to helping patients end their lives.
The practice of marking transcribed reports or entries “dictated but not read” gives rise to medical-legal risks and can create uncertainty for those relying on that information in providing patient care.
An overview of medical-legal problems resulting from physicians' decisions on whether to report patients with medical conditions that may make it dangerous to drive, or from physicians' decisions on whether to support the reinstatement of a licence to drive.
Changes to the Criminal Code have raised the age of consent for sexual activity. Physicians should be guided by legislation in each province and territory on their duty to report such activity to the appropriate authorities if there are reasonable grounds to believe the child is being abused.
Polices introduced by the medical regulatory authorities (Colleges) reflect concerns expressed by some in the medical community about the use of marijuana for medical purposes and the challenging role given to physicians and other healthcare providers.
While a Supreme Court of Canada decision clarifies that in Ontario, physicians must obtain consent before life support can be withheld or withdrawn, the effect of the decision in other jurisdictions is uncertain.
When working with nurse practitioners, physicians should understand the scope, responsibilities, and accountabilities of these independent healthcare providers, and should communicate clearly and in a timely manner.
Privacy legislation, regulatory policies and professional obligation require that CMPA members take reasonable measures to protect the privacy of their patients' personal health information. With the advent of electronic records, members should be cognizant that encryption can help secure personal health information and may be required by law.
Changes in the relationship between physicians and hospitals may have medico-legal implications that could lead to difficulties for physicians, institutions, and patients. Recommendations to address these implications are identified.
This article looks at the changes some provinces and territories have made or are considering making to the Rules of Procedure (also known as the Rules of Court or the "Rules") for expert witness reports in civil actions.
For many physicians, having a complaint lodged against them with a regulatory authority (College) is stressful. If a College asks for a response to the complaint, either in writing or verbally, CMPA members should seek advice from the Association.
When involved in administrative proceedings (e.g. College proceedings, hospital proceedings etc.), an individual is entitled to fairness. The principles of “natural justice” are explained, and a hospital proceeding is used as a case example.
Clinical care is increasingly provided by collaborative teams with the promise of better outcomes for patients. This document identifies potential medico-legal risks in collaborative care and proposes solutions to lessen those risks for patients and providers.
The first paper in this series described the current Canadian medical liability system and how it responds to adverse medical events.