Sexual Abuse of Patients by Health Professionals

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The Ontario government appointed a Task Force on the Sexual Abuse of Patients to review the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991), which covers what Ontario regulated health professionals* (e.g. doctors, nurses, psychologists, chiropractors, optometrists – go to bottom of page for the full list) should and should not do and includes rules about complaints and discipline. The Task Force’s goal is to give advice and recommendations to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on how to strengthen the law that addresses sexual abuse of patients by regulated health professionals.

METRAC is helping the Task Force connect with patient-survivors of sexual abuse. We are doing confidential interviews and questionnaires in April and May. Specifically, we want to know about: patient experiences pursuing formal complaints; reporting barriers; how to prevent abuse and make sure patients are protected and supported; and training topics to help health professionals better respond to the issues.

Share your story and ideas

If you have been sexually abused by a regulated Ontario health professional, your voice and experiences matter. Your stories and ideas will help the Task Force give advice and recommendations to the Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care on how to strengthen the law that addresses sexual abuse of patients by regulated health professionals. You will be treated with respect and compassion and your name will not be made public.

Here’s how you can share your story:

  1. Fill out the questionnaire for the Task Force: do it online (via SurveyMonkey) | print the questionnaire do it on paper (117 KB, PDF)
  2. Ask for an in-person or phone interview (all participation must take place in April and May 2015): call the Ministry of Health’s toll-free line, 1-844-821-6151. All calls are confidential and free.

For more information: call 647-725-6280 or 1-877-558-5570 (toll-free) | email accesstojustice@metrac.org

Spread the word

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*Full list of regulated health professionals: for the purposes of this project, a “health professional” (as defined in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991) can be a(n):

  • Audiologist
  • Chiropodist
  • Chiropractor
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Technologist
  • Denturist
  • Dietician
  • Homeopath (regulated since April 1, 2015)
  • Kinesiologist
  • Massage Therapist
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist
  • Medical Radiation Technologist
  • Midwife
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Optician
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist (regulated since April 1, 2015)
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Speech-language Pathologist
  • Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine or Acupuncturist

Note: The Act does not recognize Naturopathy as a regulated health profession at the time this questionnaire was published April 10, 2015. The profession is expected become self-regulated around June 1, 2015. One that takes place, Naturopathy will be included as a “health profession” under the Act.