When duty calls: legal and professional obligations in medical practice

Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
Event registration: Register now

This year’s Education Day will focus on operationalizing physicians' statutory and other ethical duties to care for and protect at-risk children, seniors, impaired health professionals, the gravely ill, and other vulnerable groups. The speakers, workshops and case studies will provide physicians with ways to analyze real-life situations and examine strategies and approaches for identifying and caring for vulnerable patient populations.

Plenary topics and presenters

Protecting at-risk children: medical and legal perspectives – a panel discussion

Nita Jain, MD, FRCPC
Dr. Jain is a clinical assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. She practises general pediatrics in the community and is a consultant pediatrician with the child protection team at BC Children’s Hospital. She also works in this capacity with the suspected child abuse and neglect team at Surrey Memorial Hospital. 

Katrina Harry, LLB
Ms. Harry has spent most of her career focusing on child protection law, but also has experience practising in family law and Aboriginal law, writing and reviewing publications and guest lecturing. She has represented parents and extended family members who are involved with social workers due to child protection concerns.

Serena Kullar, MSW, RSW
Ms. Kullar began her social work career in 2004 with the Ministry of Children and Family Development as a child protection social worker. In 2009, she became a child protection consultant and subsequently a child protection team leader with Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society. In 2012, Ms. Kullar joined Fir Square Combined Unit, a maternity unit for women struggling with substance use, and currently serves as a social worker.

The Ebola outbreak: experiences and ethical issues in the field

Jeff Kerrie, MD, BSc, MSc (Bioethics), FRCPC
Dr. Kerrie practises as a general internist in Victoria and Vancouver, working as UBC faculty on the teaching unit at Royal Jubilee Hospital. He participated in the Ebola crisis in 2015 as a member of a research team from Oxford University trialing novel treatments in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Workshop topics and presenters

Statutory duty to report impaired health professionals

Graeme Keirstead, LLB
Before joining the College in 2013 as chief legal counsel, Mr. Keirstead worked as a staff lawyer at The Law Society of British Columbia for 15 years, holding various leadership positions. Mr. Keirstead has spoken to groups of lawyers and other professional audiences on topics from how to avoid complaints to how to develop your own succession plan.

Ailve M. McNestry, MB, CCFP
Dr. McNestry has been a deputy registrar at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC since 2011. Prior to that, she practised as a family physician and worked as a medical advisor for WorkSafeBC. At the College, she is responsible for the BC Methadone and Prescription Review Programs, and monitoring.

Obligations arising from the Coroners Service and Vital Statistics Act

Robert Saunders MD, FRCPC 
Dr. Saunders has practised emergency medicine full time for the past 40 years in Victoria, Vancouver and Burnaby, and has been a coroner and consultant to the BC Coroners Service since 2007.

Assisting adults who are abused, neglected or self-neglecting – a decision tree for effective referrals

Alison Leaney, MSW, RSW
Ms. Leaney is a registered social worker at the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC where she has spent 20 years in implementation of BC’s adult guardianship legislation (including abuse/neglect law). Along with Ms. Leanne Lange and others, Ms. Leaney finalized the Decision Tree: How to Assist an Adult Who is Abused, Neglected or Self-Neglecting and led the development of a series of explanatory videos about the decision tree.

Leanne Lange
Ms. Lange has been employed by Fraser Health as the clinical specialist, adult abuse and neglect for the last nine years. In this role she leads Fraser Health’s response to adult protection-related issues across the region. She provides consultation and support to staff working in hospitals, community programs, and residential care who respond to situations of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults. Ms. Lange was instrumental in the development of the Decision Tree: How to Assist an Adult Who is Abused, Neglected or Self-Neglecting.

Natasha Holdal
Detective/Constable Natasha Holdal has been employed as a Vancouver police officer for the past 13 years. The majority of her career has been spent working as a patrol officer in the City of Vancouver. She has spent the last year and a half working as a detective in the Domestic Violence and Criminal Harassment—Elder Abuse Unit. 

The community physician and WorkSafeBC – everything you always wanted to know

Peter Rothfels, MD, ASAM
Dr. Rothfels joined WorkSafeBC as a medical advisor in 2002, where he now serves as chief medical officer and director of clinical services. Dr. Rothfels has a particular interest in chronic pain and addiction medicine, and he has been asked to speak at numerous conferences and outreach seminars, on the interplay of chronic pain, opioids, and addictions.

Full speaker profiles are available here