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Patients need access to compensation when injured due to medical negligence

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There has been increasing public interest in the arena of medical negligence/malpractice and the difficulties the average patient is bound to encounter when seeking compensation. The Canadian Medical Protective Association, the entity that "insures" the doctors, has vast resources and vigorously defends the profession. The CMPA claims not to be an "insurer" but rather an association that protects the doctors in the light of litigation. Doctors pay membership fees to the association and our provincial governments heavily subsidize those fees, but because the CMPA does not collect the monies directly from the provinces they claim the status of a "private" entity, hence there is minimal regulation on how they conduct their affairs.  We are asking for fair and equitable playing grounds when faced with medical errors/injuries. We petition that the doctors in this country be protected by liability insurance, similar to other medical professionals in this country. We demand to be privy to the inquiry that is being conducted by the federal government presently into the behaviours of the CMPA.

We also insist that the CMPA be completely independent from the College of Physicians and governing bodies of each province, we find this interference to be a complete breach of interest.  

           From Supreme Court of New Brunswick Judgement in Shannon v. CMPA (January 2016)

Public Policy Considerations

104.                 It is important for the Court not to lose sight as to exactly what is the role played by the CMPA in the functioning of the Canadian healthcare system.  Since its inception in 1901 and as formally set out in its enabling statute of 1913, at all times the CMPA has been an association of physicians, run by physicians, and for the benefit of physicians.  At no time has the objectives or scope of the CMPA included any notion of protection of the public or obligations to society as a whole.  These roles within the Canadian healthcare system have at all times been delegated to the various provincial regulatory bodies, including the provincial medical societies, the federal medical association, as well as the regulatory colleges.  It is within those organizations that the protection of the public is assured by way of the licensing requirements for physicians as well as the ability for such licenses to be revoked, complaints to be considered, and discipline to be administered.  


105.                 The CMPA has at no time since its creation played any direct role in the regulation and administration of the medical profession other than providing assistance to physicians by way of legal or other support as they are engaged in proceedings before the various regulatory bodies.  To the extent that there is a potential gap in coverage for plaintiffs who obtain damage awards as against practicing physicians as a result of the discretionary assistance offered by the CMPA, this is not an issue for the CMPA to resolve.  These questions are properly considerations for the regulating bodies or the provincial governments who are mandated by virtue of The Constitution Act, 1867 to administer the healthcare system within Canada.

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I have personally been injured as a result of medical malpractice, specifically a cancer misdiagnosis that led to unnecessary surgery and subsequent injury. The barriers to seek compensation were vast and although the doctor's were proven negligent, I will not be compensated for my injuries. I did not and do not give consent for my body to be surgically mutilated. I feel as though the laws in this country allow for the perpetuation of this insidious culture of defending what is unreasonable, not in an effort to be just, but rather simply to beat the little guy. The modified objective test used to ascertain what a patient "would have done" must be revisited, this has become a tool to manipulate by defense lawyers and only further unnecessary pain, suffering and unjust outcomes for patients. 

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