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Sexual Abuse by a Health Professional

Under the Health Professions Procedural Code of the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), a physician shall file a report if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that another member of the same or a different health profession has sexually abused a patient.

  1. A physician is not required to file a report if the physician does not know the name of the health professional who would be the subject of the report.

  2. If a physician is required to file a report because of reasonable grounds obtained from a patient of the health professional, the physician shall use his or her best efforts to advise the patient of the requirement to file the report before doing so.

  3. Any person who operates a facility shall file a report if that person has reasonable grounds to believe that a health professional who practices at the facility has sexually abused a patient.

  4. ...includes the name of the patient who may have been sexually abused if he or she has consented in writing to provide his or her name in the report.

  5. ...within 30 days unless the health professional will continue to sexually abuse the patient or will sexually abuse other patients. In this case, the report must be filed immediately.

  6. If the physician making the mandatory report regarding sexual abuse is providing psychotherapy to the alleged abuser, the report must contain the opinion of the treating physician, if he or she is able to form one, as to whether the allegedly abusing health professional is likely to sexually abuse patients in the future...[2]

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2. Content for this section was provided by Dr. Janet Dollin, Office of Gender and Equity Issues, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

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