College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia

Zhi LI (01550)

Date of Action: February 9, 2012

Description of action taken

The Inquiry Committee directed the issuance of a citation under s. 33(6)(d) of the Health Professions Act against the Registrant regarding allegations of making comments of a sexual nature and sexually touching of a female patient during the course of acupuncture treatments in 2009.

Following a discipline hearing, a panel of the Discipline Committee held that the Registrant had engaged in professional misconduct and contravened the Practice Standards for Sexual Misconduct at s. 18.4 of the College bylaws by making comments of a clearly sexual nature to the patient during the course of ostensibly providing treatment to her, and engaging in touching of a sexual nature of the patient. The panel further found that the Registrant breached the terms of a Revised Consent Order under s. 35 of the Health Professions Act under which he was permitted to return to practice under specific conditions designed to safeguard the public interest. Those conditions permitted the Registrant to practice only in the presence of a chaperone at all times when treating female patients and required him to display in his office both an English and Chinese version of a notice setting out the conditions on his practice.

Reasons for Decision

Allegations of Sexual Misconduct: The Registrant did not attend the discipline hearing. The Panel accepted the evidence of the female patient and concluded that the Registrant had made comments of a sexual nature and touched the patient in a sexual way in contravention of the Practice Standards for Sexual Misconduct. Breach of the Revised Consent Order: The Panel did not accept the Registrant's explanation for the failure to have both notices posted in his clinic. The Panel found that the Registrant breached the Revised Consent Order under s. 35 by failing to ensure that the notice was posted in both languages and by failing to ensure that a chaperone was present when he was in a treatment room with a female patient on the day the investigator arrived to check his compliance with the terms of the Revised Consent Order.

Penalty

The Discipline Committee panel imposed the following penalties:

  1. A reprimand; Cancellation of the Registrant's registration with a condition that he is not eligible to reapply for registration at any time prior to January 31, 2013;
  2. An order for payment of costs to the College in the amount of $7,410.36 in hearing costs and disbursements.