College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Response to the Health Law Institute Report

By Theman, Trevor; Wright, Janet L. | Health Law Review, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Response to the Health Law Institute Report


Theman, Trevor, Wright, Janet L., Health Law Review


Introduction

All physician health programs share the goals of a healthy physician membership that provides safe and effective medical care to the population it serves. In Alberta, the College of Physicians [delta] Surgeons (CPSA), as the regulator of the practice of medicine in Alberta, and the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), as the advocacy organization for physicians in Alberta, have shared the responsibility for the physician health program. As the College's mandate is to regulate the profession in the public interest, the College's predominant interest in its physician health role is to ensure the safety of the public. In late 2010, the CPSA came under the Alberta Health Professions Act (1), which required the College to adopt Standards of Practice for its members, such standards setting out the minimum expectations for physicians in Alberta. The Health Professions Act requires that new standards, or modifications to a standard, must be sent to all members (and others) for consultation before final approval by College Council. One such standard dealt with the responsibilities of physicians--and the colleagues of physicians--to report to the College when a health condition could impact practice. From the consultation, the College heard from physicians and the Alberta Medical Association concern that this reporting requirement could influence physicians not to seek appropriate care and perhaps drive them underground. Concerns were also expressed about the need to keep confidential medical conditions and medical treatment of physicians who have health issues.

As a medical regulator we felt that it was essential that medical conditions that could affect a physician's practice be identified and managed. Our College has managed physician health issues outside the disciplinary process for many years and most physicians with health issues return to practice after their condition is managed with ongoing monitoring as needed. Early identification and management of medical conditions prior to any harm occurring to patients was in keeping with the College's obligation to ensure the competency of medical practitioners and the safety of the public.

Genesis of the Health Law Institute Policy Paper

Discussions between the Alberta Medical Association's Physician and Family Support Program and the College did not resolve our differences. We then engaged the Health Law Institute (HLI) to convene a panel of experts (health law, ethics, and public policy) to provide advice and perspective on the ethical and legal aspects to be considered. They were asked the following question:

* For Alberta, what is the recommended model for a program that strives to meet both the regulatory imperatives and the rehabilitative needs of at-risk physicians?

We asked related questions:

i. What should the respective roles of the CPSA and the AMA be in the recommended model?

ii. What agency/organization is best suited to assess the risk of a physician with a condition that could affect his/her ability to provide safe patient care? Who has primary responsibility to assess and determine risk, and what other factors should be considered?

iii. How should questions be framed on regulation applications and annual renewals within the Standard of Practice?

iv. Should the questions only address conditions that have already impacted practice? Should questions attempt to identify risk to patients before practice has been impacted? How should this be balanced with the privacy needs of physicians?

The 2012 HLI report titled Physicians with Health Conditions: Law and Policy Reform to Protect the Public and Physician-Patients (2) carefully examined the balance of public protection with the privacy rights of physicians and its discussion of ethical, legal, public policy, and human rights principles was extremely helpful. Physicians work in a safety sensitive area, and, therefore, their privacy rights are not absolute; however, we acknowledge that not every medical condition has the potential to negatively affect practice. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta Response to the Health Law Institute Report
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.