Protecting patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct
CARNA is committed to protecting patient safety and supports recent amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA) to protect patients from sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. These amendments establish mandatory penalties for sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by all health professionals regulated under HPA.
NEW DEFINITION OF “A PATIENT”
The definition of a patient within the context of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct has been updated in Protection of Patients from Sexual Abuse and Sexual Misconduct Standards. Please review these standards, which outline expectations for the nurse in the therapeutic and professional relationship including rules around sexual relationships with former patients.
If a complaint was submitted on or after April 1, 2019 and a hearing tribunal finds a CARNA member’s actions constitute sexual abuse, that member’s practice permit will be permanently cancelled. If a hearing tribunal finds actions constitute sexual misconduct, the member’s practice permit will be suspended, with the possibility of cancellation. Disciplinary actions for sexual abuse and misconduct must also be posted on CARNA’s website. Complaints submitted before April 1, 2019 will be managed under the previous legislation.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REPORTING TO CARNA
New applicants are now required to submit a criminal reference check and disclose any completed or ongoing conduct investigation under HPA, or equivalent in another jurisdiction.
A regulated member must, as soon as reasonably possible, report in writing to the registrar of any college of which they are a member if:
- they have been charged or convicted with an offence under the Criminal Code
- another regulatory body has made a decision that their conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct
- there has been a finding of professional negligence made against them
If you have reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of a regulated health professional occurring after April 1, 2019 constitutes sexual abuse or sexual misconduct, you must report that conduct to the complaints director of their college.
In addition, employers who have reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of a regulated member occurring after April 1, 2019 is, in their opinion, sexual abuse or sexual misconduct must report this conduct as soon as possible to the complaints director.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact a Policy and Practice Consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780.451.0043 / 1.800.252.9392.