HEALTH CARE AND THE CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA

 

“You can’t play Monopoly without reading the instructions and understanding them first.”                                                                                                                                                                              

We start with the Criminal Code because, just like the rules for Monopoly, the Criminal  Code is the set of instructions by which the medical game is played. You can’t win at any game unless you know the rules; you can only lose.”

John Newell

When you have some sort of accident, you are rushed to hospital where, assuming you survive long enough to be admitted to the emergency room, you are treated with the best medical and scientific care available in Canada.

If you have a degenerative disease or injury and need your health restored you are subjected to care that is almost medieval in nature. Generally your struggle to regain your health will be supervised by a doctor who may know less about your condition than you do especially where nutrition and other types of therapy are concerned. As a result you can and likely will suffer further grievous injury or even death at the hands of your care giver.

Luckily the Criminal Code of Canada was written by farsighted individuals who knew that some day they would face that same fate and wrote the Code to protect themselves and us from various forms of criminality that are at the fingertips of all doctors.

How the system works:

Since most people who read medical books are medical professionals or patients who will never take the time to learn how the Criminal Code governs health care delivery by professionals to the public, I’m including it here at the beginning where if you have any sense at all, you will read this “chapter” before reading any further.

Also you’ll find simple explanations and interpretations so that anyone unfamiliar with the code and legal language can understand the implications.

That is not to suggest that I’m a lawyer. I’m not. I’m a former patient whose entire family has died one way or another as result of criminal wrong-doing by the medical profession. Luckily I’ve survived the bungling, incompetence and crimes committed against me so far.

As a result of these traumatic transgressions, those committed against others and my research into environmental medical crimes committed by various levels of government and the medical community, I’ve spent a prodigious amount of time searching for legal and legislative means to protect the environment and the public from our own governments.

Only the Criminal Code is written in a manner that precludes the ability of the authorities to set it aside or bend it to their will although as you read this book you’ll find examples of governments, police and the health care system doing just that. The difference is that by doing so, those doing the setting aside and bending are committing indictable criminal offences for which they may still ultimately be prosecuted.

My belief is that these people need to be apprehended and my hope is that this book contributes in a meaningful way in making that happen as soon as possible.

How do they get away with it? That part is really simple. The reason why the authorities get away with breaking the law with impunity better than 99% of the time is because the public is not familiar with the Criminal Code and how it protects them. Neither are the police whose job it is to protect us.

It’s the legal equivalent of you and me and every other citizen of Canada being given a bullet-proof suit of armour at birth with a life-time guarantee that it will always fit and always work and then sticking it in a closet and leaving it there for the rest of our lives.

The language of the Criminal Code is worded to protect us perfectly from health care system lapses, failures, accidents and crimes. But what the Criminal Code cannot protect us against are those people charged with upholding the law and ensuring that criminals are apprehended. In short – our uneducated, untrained and ultimately corrupt political, legal and policing systems. No system can function without honest, trained people to run it and right now those people do not exist at the decision making level of any health care sector in Ontario or anywhere else. Not only that, there are no facilities to train and educate people who do want to do the right thing – and that is most of the people in the systems. The material to do it does not exist either.

In effect, we have the best legislation possible but no way of enforcing it. Our American neighbours are in exactly the same situation only worse – the freedom of speech they revere so much and make such a big deal about in their movies is long gone.

That has to change and the only way it can change is through education which is what I’m doing for you now – I’m offering you an education so that you know what your legal rights are in Canada at least. It’s one of the main reasons I’m writing this book. You the public needs to know. And knowing, the public has to act. It has to demand that our legal system function according to the law. At some point barring accident, your life is going to be on the line and if you haven’t acted by then, it will be far too late.

There are a number of sections of the Criminal Code that apply directly to the health care system including health care providers from interns to doctors to hospital administrations on up to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care.

Those sections pertaining directly to health care provision and all of its aspects are the only sections we are going to look at.

Going back to the police for a moment, it may surprise you but the police who are supposed to administer the law don’t know much about any of the law they’re supposed to be administering – especially when it applies to the environment and health care – in other words, when environmental health or human health is at risk, there is virtually no protection even though the laws are on the books. That’s because even when you alert the authorities to transgressions, the front liners are so completely unfamiliar with the laws that their first response is to deny jurisdiction. Their next response is to pass the buck or lie or both. Finally you are shown the door.

The reason for the aggressive abdication of responsibility in this area and in environmental issues is due to concern over their personal pensions. The police care more about their pensions than they do about upholding the law or you. The law is a very distant second option that cannot compete with the well financed personal, lifelong financial security they get at the end of their careers.

Their concerns are real and immediate. Any departure from what is normal in these areas brings unwanted attention from their superiors and potentially a spotlight from the media. Either could insert the famous glass ceiling over an officer’s career trajectory or worse.

When you peel away the onion skin of bafflegab to find out why the police don’t act what you find is a solidly entrenched old boy’s relationship that is older than both the US and Canada. That old boy’s network includes politicians, senior civil servants in the legal system and the medical profession. There are other relationships of course but they’re outside this discussion.

This old boy system is powerful and has its hand on the controls of the entire system. It not only interprets the law, it decides whether or not the law will or will not be obeyed regardless of how valid it is. It’s this system that protects doctors and administrators from prosecution when they commit heinous crimes and why it takes enormous public and media pressure to get the police to act and then bring medical criminals to justice.

What happens in my hands-on experience is this:

When you discover a medical crime has been committed, you rightly alert the police. Time goes by and nothing happens. When you follow up you discover that by simply calling the police and following up with a letter you missed a step. You also have to go personally to the correct station that has jurisdiction and report the crime. At that point the event is logged and shelved.

From there, you write to the Chief of Police where your criminal report is accepted, logged and dismissed again.

After allowing some weeks for there to have been police action you call again to follow up only to find that no-one remembers the incident. But it’s logged.

When you phone and ask why your crime report is not being investigated you are told:

There was no motive so it can’t be investigated;

As it turns out, you have read the criminal code so you know the officer representing the Chief of Police is lying or totally stupid and inform him or her with a detailed response citing the appropriate language within the criminal code which explicitly does not require a motive for this type of crime. The officer promises to have another look at it, hangs up and pretends the incident never happened – as far as you know.

In reality, the incident is discussed in the Chief’s office and a decision is made that should the person continue to follow up, there are further arguments to defuse the situation and induce the person to give up.

Happily their arguments (obstructions) are put in writing and signed and mailed to you Police Headquarters letterhead so that there can be no doubt the Police Chief’s Office – his personal staff, intentionally and routinely obstructed justice on his behalf and used his letterhead to do it. Can these crimes be happening so routinely without his knowledge? Not in this lifetime.

There is no corroborating evidence – is the next lie.

As it happens, your case was recorded on TV and in major newspapers. The victims have been interviewed on camera and told their stories. There are medical records for each and every one of them. The victims are real, their evidence is irrefutable.

A person who was not directly affected by the crime does not have a legal complaint.

If this were true, no one could call in that a person had been shot unless they could induce the dead person to call before they leave for the after life. Then the police will accept the crime report and investigate – but it depends.

The crime should be reported to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario as the regulatory body.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons does not have jurisdiction and the police know that. But the police refer all medical crimes to the College first which is a form of obstruction of justice.

The last lie you’ll be told is, and I quote:

“I am sure you can appreciate that the Service is not at liberty to share police information with you, I can, however assure you that the matter is being dealt with appropriately.”

This last lie is written by a police lawyer so you know it’s a lie.

A follow-up call six weeks later reveals that yes indeed it was certainly a lie and that there was no police investigation. You reported the perfect crime.

From there you have to have down time to figure out what to do so that the public finds out and the media joins in. Neither of these two initiatives is as easy as you’d think. The victims have been paid off and gagged. Eventually you decide that the internet is the route to go because by using it your distribution increases exponentially. It starts slowly and grows like a snowball rolling downhill. And it can live forever to haunt the criminals.

 

Here’s how the criminal code applies to medical crimes:

PROTECTION OF PERSONS IN AUTHORITY
Surgical operations

45. Every one is protected from criminal responsibility for performing a surgical operation on any person for the benefit of that person if

(a) the operation is performed with reasonable care and skill; and
(b) it is reasonable to perform the operation, having regard to the state of health of the person at the time the operation is performed and to all the circumstances of the case.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 45.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the surgeon performing the operation is not performing the right operation, not doing the operation properly or without due care, then that doctor is not protected from prosecution. His or her team is protected by this section as well. However they aren’t protected either if they are party to or witness infractions and fail to take corrective actions to protect the patient. The surgical team also includes the people who perform administrative functions that pertain to the surgery. Motive in such cases is irrelevant.
duties tending to the preservation of life
Duty of persons to provide necessaries

215. (1) Every one is under a legal duty

(c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person
(i) is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and
(ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life.
Offence
(2) Every one commits an offence who, being under a legal duty within the meaning of subsection (1), fails without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to perform that duty, if

(a) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(a) or (b),
(i) the person to whom the duty is owed is in destitute or necessitous circumstances, or
(ii) the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom t he duty is owed, or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be endangered permanently; or

(b) with respect to a duty imposed by paragraph (1)(c), the failure to perform the duty endangers the life of the person to whom the duty is owed or causes or is likely to cause the health of that person to be injured permanently.

No person in Canada is exempt from this law if these conditions are applicable. In a medical setting, the conditions are governed explicitly, completely by this law. However, in reality, the law is almost never invoked. The Old Boy’s network that includes the College kicks in and a curtain drops between the public and the offender. Only rarely is the offender’s action scrutinized and even more rarely are any sanctions or punishment imposed. Again, no motive is required for such a crime to be understood to have occurred.
Since you now know how imperfect an understanding police officers have of the criminal code it should come as no surprise that they have a little book that’s published annually that they carry around with them to help them understand and interpret the law. This journal is called Martin’s Ontario Criminal Code – Police Edition.
The interesting thing about this dandy little book is that it doesn’t contain any language that would help the police understand the plain English that Sections 215 – 217.1 are written with. These sections aren’t used or are used so infrequently or are so clear that no further explanation is required. Either way, the police don’t get it.

On the other hand, the legislators clearly had something in mind when they appended the following to Section 215:

Punishment
(3) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (2)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

The legislators recognized the potential for medical crime and there was no reference to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario giving them jurisdiction to assume responsibility when a medical crime has been committed.

Duty of persons undertaking acts dangerous to life

216. Every one who undertakes to administer surgical or medical treatment to another person or to do any other lawful act that may endanger the life of another person is, except in cases of necessity, under a legal duty to have and to use reasonable knowledge, skill and care in so doing.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 198.

Section 216 defines the legal responsibility of doctors and especially police, firefighters, surgeons and paramedics who commonly have reason to assist or otherwise provide aid in life-threatening circumstances and requires that a level of skill be used that is defined within each profession.

Duty of persons undertaking acts

217. Every one who undertakes to do an act is under a legal duty to do it if an omission to do the act is or may be dangerous to life.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 199.

Section 217 is the same as Section 216 in its requirements but extends responsibility to all functioning members of the public. To fail to help someone whose life is threatened is illegal in this country. Of course there can be extenuating circumstances but you’d better have a good story.
Duty of persons directing work

217.1 Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task.
2003, c. 21, s. 3.

Again, no motive is required for a crime to be understood to have occurred although there may in fact be a motive.

Section 217.1 is vital to the safe delivery of health care services. This section applies not only to front line medics, it applies to the entire infrastructure of the health care system and it extends to the pharmaceutical industry as well.

That means administrators are required to monitor and record the workmanship of the health care providers within their jurisdiction to make sure that an acceptable level of skill is maintained and to keep the potential for accidents, errors and omissions to as close to zero as possible.

The legal mandate and requirement is dictated by these words within Section 217: prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task. It is not possible to protect patients from a medical skill deficiency or incompetence without accurate, detailed recording and monitoring.

Transparency and the law:

Since we know thanks to Section 217 that our health care infrastructure is required to record and monitor the work of health care professionals it follows that none of the recordings or monitorings are worth much if the people whose lives are at risk to the system don’t know that their safety needs are not being met. There is a criminal code section for that too:

FRAUD

380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars;

Our Fraud Section was written mainly to deal with financial and property matters. However all legislation is written in such a way as to be applicable in other areas where there may not be specific references. There’s a legislative act that covers this. Medical reporting is one of those areas that falls under this application.

Once again, Martin’s Ontario Criminal Code Police Edition has no explanation in it to help the police figure out how to deal with such cases. In the absence of direction, they do nothing.

In the commission of fraud a motive is required but the motive does not have to be for personal gain. It could be to safeguard the reputation of a hospital for instance. Seemingly innocent but ultimately having the potential as apparently in Scarborough General Hospital’s case – injure its own patients, put their lives at risk and diminish their quality of life substantially.

In this case, every aspect of health care provision is a service and thus governed tightly by Section 380. It then follows that any representation of a medical skill has to be accurate because one’s life decisions are made based on that information. Every person has an interest in knowing that medical reporting and monitoring is accurate. Failure to disclose such information is contrary to Section 380 in that it prevents the necessary information to be delivered to the end user – the patient.

The Medical Profession’s Perspective:

When you walk into a doctor’s office, you are the big bag of gold at the end of the rainbow. The general intent is not to heal you; it’s to have you walk through their doors as often as possible so more gold can be siphoned into the doctor’s bank account.
Many of us think we have the best doctors or the worst doctors, the most skilled specialists and so on. What we really have regardless of what country we live in is a situation all gardeners can appreciate – we are the rose bushes, the medical and pharmaceutical communities are the aphids. The regulatory Colleges who govern the professions are the ants. Governments are the unskilled gardeners who are barely competent enough to provide water and fertilizer and are hopelessly blind where parasites are concerned.
No medical ministry at any level in Canada has ever had a competent minister to ensure the rose garden is kept free of parasites.
Not all doctors are doctors in it for the money. But money does have a way of changing how a person thinks, especially when protected by sanction and secrecy. A lot of money may not change how an individual doctor thinks about his or her work but a lot of money changes how a group thinks and how it deals with the pot of gold it comes from and when that happens, money in all its forms becomes the driver, not the medical issues and not the doctors who are in the profession to serve the public because they love what they do.
Those doctors inadvertently shield the rotten core of the profession from public scrutiny.

If no-one knows the laws and no-one is capable of enforcing them, you don’t have laws.

There comes a point where you have to make your views known. Your personal situation is unique or from your perspective you think it’s unique. But really you are not alone. You are one of thousands who has a voice. When one person talks not much happens. When the multitude talks, that matters and changes are made.

But unless you know what to ask for – know what you want – what are you going to say that will change anything?

This book is designed specifically to not only help you restore your health but to help you understand your place in the scheme of things so you can help yourselves and help each other improve our health care system so that when we need it, we know the care we are going to get is what we need, not what a pharmaceutical company thinks we ought to have to contribute to their bottom line.

Our health care system is still one of the best in the world but it has it’s warts. Together we can enable the system to change so that it works and intended.

John Newell
Pickering, Ontario

 

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