Jong Kab KIM (01993)
Date of action: May 21, 2013
Description of action taken
On March 7, 2012, the CTCMA initiated an investigation under s.33 of the Health Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 183 (the “Act”) in response to a complaint received by a former female patient alleging improper sexual touching by the Registrant during treatment she received from him on February 25, 2012. The Inquiry Committee appointed an inspector who interviewed the parties and gathered additional information. Following consideration of submissions from the parties and the inspector’s report, the Inquiry Committee determined that this would be an appropriate case to seek a consent order under s.33(6)(c) of the Act with terms that would ensure that the Registrant did not repeat the conduct.
Reasons for action taken
The Inquiry Committee determined that this was an appropriate case to seek a consent order because: (a) the Registrant lacked the communication skills necessary to convey to the Complainant the exact nature of his treatment to her and to obtain her consent as the treatment progressed; (b) the Complainant attended the Registrant’s clinic for treatment for headaches and did not expect to receive manipulation to her chest and pubic areas; (c) the Registrant’s palpation of the chest and groin areas were not necessary to obtain a traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis; (d) the Registrant expressed remorse for the discomfort that he caused to the Complainant; (e) the Registrant was willing to provide a letter of apology to the Complainant for the distress and discomfort that she experienced because of his lack of clear communication; and (f) the Registrant was willing to submit to ongoing monitoring by the College at his cost to ensure that he complies with the terms of the Consent Order.
The Inquiry Committee requested, and the Registrant agreed to provide, an undertaking and consent under s. 33(6) of the Act on the following terms. The Registrant agreed:
- to provide a letter of apology addressed to the Complainant for the distress and discomfort that she experienced because of his lack of clear communication on February 25, 2012 to the College (for delivery to the Complainant) within 30 days of the date of this Consent Order;
- not repeat the conduct of providing treatment to patients without first obtaining express informed consent from the patient and to document that consent in English in the clinical record;
- to undertake and consent to obtain express informed consent from a female patient whenever he proposes to touch an area of her body for the purposes of providing traditional Chinese medicine and/or acupuncture services, to strictly comply at all times with the College’s Practice Standard on Draping, and to document the patient’s informed consent in English in the patient’s clinical record. If the patient withholds express consent, the Registrant will document that refusal in English in the clinical record and refrain from administering treatment to the patient until such time as informed express consent is given. The Registrant also consents and undertakes to have at least one employee or chaperone present at all times with female patients who is fluent in English to assist patients in understanding the proposed treatment and to provide informed consent if there are language barriers;
- to consent and undertake to have an English speaking chaperone, to be approved in writing in advance by the Registrar, present for all visits with female patients for a period of up to six (6) years from the date of this Consent Order and to document in the clinical record, in English, the name of the chaperone present for each visit with a female patient;
- to consent and undertake to continue to post notices that are 8 ½” x 11” in size, in English and Korean, in a prominent place in the waiting room and in a prominent place in each of the treatment rooms of his clinic indicating that female patients must have a chaperone present for treatment at all times. The Registrant must continue to post the notices for a period of six (6) years from the date of this Consent Order. The form of notices must be approved in writing by the Inquiry Committee;
- consent and undertake to provide monthly reports to the Registrar which contain the names of all female patients that he has seen in the preceding month, their contact information (including current telephone numbers), and the name of the chaperone who was present for each patient’s visit. The Registrant undertakes and consents to provide the monthly reports starting the first Monday after the date of this Consent Order and the first Monday of every month thereafter for a period of six (6) years; and
- to pay the sum of $5,500.00 towards the cost of the College’s investigation under s. 33(7) of the Act based on the tariff of costs established under s. 19(1)(v.1) of the Act.