Protecting The Public

Sexual Abuse Prevention

In December 2014, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, appointed a task force for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Patients to review the effectiveness of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 in protecting the patients of health care professionals from sexual abuse. The College supports this initiative. Details of the Sexual Abuse Task Force report are located on the Ministry’s website.

The College of Denturists of Ontario (CDO) has zero tolerance for sexual abuse by its members. The CDO is committed to preventing sexual abuse by promoting awareness of the College’s expectations and by effectively addressing patient complaints.

Complaint and discipline procedures with respect to professional misconduct of a sexual nature/patient relations program, is summarized in the College of Denturists of Ontario Sexual Abuse Prevention Plan distributed in June 1998 to all members.

Behaviour and Remarks of a Sexual Nature

Denturists are required to ensure that their patients are provided with care in an atmosphere in which there are no perceived sexual demands or connotations

Sexual Abuse is Professional Misconduct

The RHPA, Schedule 2, Section 1 (3) defines sexual abuse as:

  • Sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between a health care professional and a patient,
  • Touching, of a sexual nature, of a patient or client by a health care professional; or
  • Behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by a health care professional towards the patient or client.

This definition means that a member of the CDO cannot have a sexual relationship with a patient, even if the patient consents. This includes spouses. Members are currently not permitted to treat their spouses.

According to the legislative framework, if proven sexual abuse involves certain sexual acts, then the member’s certificate of registration must be revoked. Further, a member is not allowed to apply for reinstatement to the College for five years. At the end of five years, a member is required to prove to a panel of the Discipline Committee that they are no longer a risk to the public should they be allowed to register with the College again.

Information for the Public

If you think you have been sexually abused by your Denturist, please contact the Complaints Department at [email protected] or 416-925-6331 ext. 225 or go to the Complaints & Reporting or Funding for Therapy and Counseling webpage to learn more.

Resources for Denturists:

Mandatory Reports

All members have a statutory duty to file a Mandatory Report if they have reasonable grounds, obtained in the course of practising the profession, to believe that another regulated health professional has sexually abused a patient.