Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 10, 2014

Complaint evolves into suit against council

A Whitehorse woman is suing the Yukon Medical Council for what she alleges is discrimination.

By Christopher Reynolds on January 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

A Whitehorse woman is suing the Yukon Medical Council for what she alleges is discrimination.

The case stems from an incident in a downtown doctor’s office which she argues constitutes sexual assault.

The 60-year-old is seeking financial compensation following the council’s dismissal of a complaint she filed last September about the incident.

On July 30, 2013, the woman went to renew a prescription in what she says should have been a routine appointment.

Instead, she found her doctor “arched over me in my personal space ... with his mouth in an ugly contortion verbally attacking me in a style I thought was common of the military interrogation room,” her victim impact statement claims.

He supposedly began to talk about her relationship with her male friend and housemate — also a patient at the office — who has struggled with alcoholism.

He was “hollering into my face, ‘If you have sex with him, he is your husband.’”

The doctor, who she had been seeing as a patient for roughly five years, allegedly “initiated a sex conversation, leading into a conversation about Viagra” that resulted in him “pushing a sample box of Viagra into my hand,” her affidavit states.

She claims the doctor “violated his position of trust ... by sexually assaulting me in combination with a medical weapon, Viagra.”

The woman compared the act to a Whitehorse cab driver’s sexual assault of a passenger in 2011.

A doctor’s apparently inappropriate demeanour and unprompted delivery of an erectile dysfunction drug are not fundamentally different from sexual assault in the front seat of a taxi, the woman told the Star today.

“In my eyes, no. It’s the same thing.”

She filed a formal complaint with the council less than two months after the incident. It was dismissed in December.

“They did not find any evidence,” she said. “But my words are evidence.”

The woman also claims the council “re-worded my complaint from ‘sexual assault with a medical weapon’ to ‘unprofessional conduct.’

“By changing that wording, they’ve changed the subject to a lesser degree of harm.”

She filed the lawsuit in territorial court Wednesday, claiming “discrimination” by the council.

Medical council chairperson Dr. Robert Zimmerman said he could not comment on the issue.

“If something is before the courts, there’s never a public comment to the media, or anybody.”

The council — an arm’s-length regulatory body — has two main roles: licensing physicians and investigating complaints.

“Notice of complaints to the Yukon Medical Council are researched and reviewed thoroughly to ensure quality health care,” according to its website.

Investigations can result in licence suspension, disciplinary action, “corrective measures” or, as in this case, no further action, assuming “the evidence submitted does not support the complaint.”

The doctor accused in the complaint did not return calls by press time.

A case management conference is scheduled in court for 4 p.m. on Feb. 4.

The Star has chosen to keep names confidential given the sensitive nature of the subject.

CommentsAdd a comment

June Jackson

Jan 11, 2014 at 12:22 am

Not a whole lot of info here..personally I don’t like he said/ she said scenarios..one persons word against anothers ..and especially when so many people will say anything or do anything for money..then when a valid complaint comes along it risks not getting the serious attention it should have..

Again, personally, I don’t like closed, narrow investigations..some years ago I tried to bring a conflict of interest issue against a judge..wouldn’t you know..judges ...review judges..guess what the outcome was?  Yup..the same outcome as when Dr.s review doctors, cops review cops, the senate reviews the senate etc…nothing..I think we need independent public investigations on any complaint where someone is virtually investigating themselves.

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