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Queen's University

Summary of Recommendations

  • Review the Public Hospital's Act to ensure patient and staff safety;  Rationale: hospitals should be given the power to suspend, on a temporary basis, doctors' privileges due to disruptive behaviours.
  • Review the Hospital's by-laws to ensure patient and staff safety   Rationale: hospitals should establish a clear code of conduct and line of command for disciplining doctors who behave disruptively; appointments, reappointments, and performance evaluations of doctors should identify history of disruptive behaviours and drug abuse/misuse/theft.
  • Review assessment/treatment/follow-up procedures to ensure staff and public safety.Rationale:  Bodies who monitor doctors whose privileges have been suspended due to disruptive behaviours, mental illness and especially workplace harassment/violence must consult widely with all relevant parties (including the victim, staff and management) before recommending that the doctor return to work.
  • Design and Implement policies, linked to training and actual practice, related to on domestic violence, abuse and harassment in the workplace.
  • Employees must be aware of the dynamics of domestic violence, abuse and harassment in order to identify it.  They must be aware of what to do when confronted with these issues in the workplace, and they must be confident that if they go to management something will be done about the situation.  A good policy is nothing without training.
  • Make available the service of an unbiased diversity officer to deal with workplace complaints about domestic violence, abuse and harassment. Rationale:  The Inquest revealed the importance having access to an unbiased resource person, independent from management.
  • Integrate skill-building programs in the workplace to ensure that professionals and non-professionals take appropriate action when faced with an incident of domestic violence in the workplace.
  • Provide educational materials to support such training, including information concerning the legal responsibility to report such incidents. Rationale:  It is not enough to focus on mental health issues of  employees who disrupt the workplace.  Their attitudes, relationships and abusive behaviours should also be taken into consideration.  A trained workforce will be able to identify these signs of potential for lethal violence.
  • Integrate domestic violence awareness training into the pre-service and ongoing professional development plans of all health-care professionals
  • Give Continuing Professional Development credits for training in the areas of violence in the workplace, harassment, bullying and domestic violence Rationale: Health care professionals,  especially doctors, encounter the most victims of violence. They should therefore be required and encouraged to learn how to identify, treat and intervene.
  • Review the Occupational Health and Safety Act to determine whether or not domestic violence be included as a trigger for a Ministry investigation and to ascertain whether psychological/emotional harm be considered to be part of the Ministry's mandate. Rationale:  Psychological and Emotional harm, inflicted in the workplace, has long-standing impacts and affects workplace productivity and efficiency.  It might well warrant state intervention in the workplace.
  • Require hospitals to conduct an investigation of all drug-related improprieties and to submit their report of findings within 30 days
  • Review the handling of controlled substances
  • Report all incidents of disruptive physician behaviour to the appropriate body
  • Treat all workers fairly and ensure their safety. Rationale: the evidence of drug-related improprieties in the Dupont case warrants that similar incidents be treated with the utmost attention
  • Develop protocol to ensure that peace bond applications with a component of domestic violence are brought to the CAO within one day
  • Victims who submit peace bond applications should be kept in the loop about what is happening with their peace bond application
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of domestic violence training and monitor the extent to which it is being taken by the Crown
  • develop an accessible process to give voice to the concerns of victims, their advocates and the public at large concerning domestic violence
  • create Domestic Violence Courts to focus on early intervention and vigorous prosecution
  • or, alternatively, expand the hours of operation of the current court system to deal with cases of domestic violence
  • Domestic Violence Courts should deal with all matters relating to the case.
  • Intentional court delays by the accused should not be tolerated Rationale: Lengthy wait times for court dates and hearings put victims at great risk.  An independent, stream-lined system would enhance the safety of victims and increase the chances of treating the perpetrator.
  • Retain the services of Dr. Peter Jaffe to review the current workplace violence prevention program and policy and the Domestic  Violence Awareness Program;
  • To provide physicians with training regarding the Workplace violence Prevention Program and Policy
  • To review security measures and protocols in place to deal with incidents of workplace violence Rationale: Dr. Peter Jaffe is a well respected expert in the field of domestic violence and workplace violence. His help would be beneficial to all.
  • Provide a written report, in one year, on the status of implementation of these recommendations and on the reasons given by any of the parties for not implementing the recommendations.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000