February 21, 2011

HPRB Summaries: Summary dismissal for no prospect of success (chiropractors)

Administrative Law
Health Professions Review Board
Professional Regulation

The BC Health Professions Review Board does not, when performing a review of an inquiry disposition, have any greater jurisdiction than the Inquiry Committee whose decision it reviews. This is illustrated in HPRB Decision No. 2010-HPA-0071(a) [for the decision click here], where an application for review was summarily dismissed as having no reasonable prospect of success, as the applicant complainant sought forms of relief beyond the jurisdiction of the Review Board, and complained about the registrant expressing views on matters not falling within the chiropractic practice regulated by the BC College of Chiropractors.

This case involved a registrant who wrote a series of newspaper articles on immunization. After the College concluded that the articles did not violate the rules and regulations of the College, the complaint applied for a review, asserting in part that widespread public communication that could influence individual health decisions without without an assessment of personal health circumstances was misconduct. The complainant (a) sought for the College to develop standards of professional conduct concerning public communications, and (b) asserted that the Inquiry Committee failed to consider the complaint that the registrant was acting outside the scope of his permissible practice as a chiropractor. The Review Board sought submissions from the parties concerning its jurisdiction over the application.

The College submitted that the Review Board did not have jurisdiction over the College as a whole, or to review College standards, or to compel the College to create or amend standards. The complainant conceded, and the Review Board determined, that the Review Board lacked jurisdiction to grant systemic remedies.

Furthermore, public comment on immunization was not part of chiropractic practice regulated by the College.  The registrant was not giving chiropractic advice, and was not purporting to practice medicine. Since the complaint did not speak to matters regulated by the College under s.33(4) of the HPA, and since the Review Board had no greater mandate than the Inquiry Committee, the application was summarily dismissed.

The Complainant v. College of Chiropractors of BC, HPRB Decision No. 2010-HPA-0071(a) (January 18, 2011)