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The following is a summary of a matter placed before a four-member panel of the Discipline Committee of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario (the "College") on January 10, 2008. Both the College and the member, as represented by counsel, requested that the matter proceed by way of an indefinite adjournment.
- At all material times, Raouf Hanna (“the member”) practised as a physiotherapist at clinics that he owns in Cornwall and Ottawa, Ontario.
- The member was aware, from a prior discipline finding against him, of the need to maintain proper professional boundaries with patients, especially the need to be gender sensitive in both his words and interactions with female patients.
- During various and separate patients visits in November and December 2006, the member performed clinically indicated physiotherapy assessments and procedures on two female patients, where he came into close physical contact and proximity with each of them.
- In conducting the above assessments and procedures, the member failed to maintain proper professional boundaries and made patients feel uncomfortable. This resulted in complaints from patients which led to charges of professional misconduct. Particulars of the boundary crossing include the following:
- Making comments that may be interpreted as gender insensitive, thereby failing to appreciate the extent and nature of proper professional boundaries.
- Coming into direct physical contact with patients in a manner that may be considered to be inappropriate and not clinically necessary.
- The member apologized to the patients for his conduct and returned all monies that they had paid for treatments rendered.
- The member was planning to retire from the practice of physiotherapy by the end of 2007. In light of the member’s retirement from the profession on or before December 31, 2007, and his execution of an Acknowledgement & Undertaking that is acceptable to the College, the charges have been adjourned indefinitely.
After hearing the submissions of counsel, the panel ordered that the hearing of this matter be adjourned sine die.
The Panel’s Reasons
After considerable deliberation, the members of the panel agreed that the public would not be better served by a full hearing than it would be by the course of action proposed by counsel for the parties. A full hearing, which would test and adjudicate the charges, would no doubt be an expensive and time consuming matter, which would be potentially difficult and stressful for all parties and witnesses involved.
*Sine die means that the matter is adjourned indefinitely.