The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is the self-regulating body for the province’s medical profession. This system of self-regulation is based on the premise that the College must act first and foremost in the interest of the public. This however, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Professional self-regulation is a “partnership” with Government that presumably enables a profession to regulate its members activities in the best interest of public safety and protection. With the privilege of self-regulation comes considerable responsibility. However, medical disciplinary bodies tend to be secretive (or, at the very least, not enthusiastically transparent), bureaucratic, slow-moving and excessively forgiving.
“Right now, we have an inappropriate tolerance for aberrant conduct and deviant practice, and a culture of deference for doctors that serves us poorly “. – The Globe
Self-regulation allows for self–serving behaviors.
If moral dispositions are internal constraints on a person’s real goal of pursuing his/her self-interest, he/she will be keen to self-servingly gather, avoid, and interpret relevant evidence, for the purpose of relaxing this constraint and pursuing his/her self interest. This is especially true of the CPSO, which gives rise to self-serving biases in moral reasoning. Self regulation in our corrupt time is a failed duty.
Only 1 per cent of complaints investigated by the college trigger a public disciplinary hearing.
CPSO Protects Physicians Not the Public, Says Expert
“The current system [self-regulation] actually safeguards the professionals at the expense of the public.” says George Belza, a consultant who conducted a York University seminar on the ethics of self-regulation.
CPSO Policy Protects Physicians Identity and Keeps Public Uninformed
These measures prevent the names of physicians involved in the complaint from being made public. By deviating from discipline, the CPSO ensures that secrecy surrounds the outcome of these complaints. Consequently, the public cannot make informed decisions when selecting physicians. – VoHCA – KPMG SURVEY Page
In May of 2001, “The Toronto Star began undertaking a serious investigation into the College and exposed that 99% of all complaints are either dismissed or handled in secrecy.”
“My experience with this system is that this agency is totally corrupt, and involved in massive coverups… The investigators who handle the complaints for the College of Physicians and Surgeons are either uninformed, ignorant or criminal in their investigations.”
The Toronto Star – multiple front page headline series, How System Helps Shield Bad Doctors (May 5-7, 2001 and follow-ups) revealed heart-wrenching butchery, incompetence and cover-ups.” – How system helps shield bad doctors
“Isn’t self regulation beautiful especially when you can make all the rules and selectively enforce them?” – Forum windsorlive.com
“Historically, selective enforcement is recognized as a sign of tyranny, and an abuse of power, because it violates rule of law, allowing men to apply justice only when they choose. Aside from this being inherently unjust, it almost inevitably must lead to favoritism and extortion, with those empowered to choose being able to help their friends, take bribes, and threaten those they desire favors from”. – Selective enforcement – Wikipedia