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Ontario Health Licensing Board Dismisses Medical Futility Complaints

Brian Cuthbertson

In late March, the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board affirmed two decisions of the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario to take no further action on two complaints regarding end-of-life treatment.

In KD v. BC, the applicant complained that Sunnybrook critical care chief Brian Cuthbertson “tried to influence her to make the patient’s status DNR.”  But the parties had differing versions of the discussions that took place, and the College could not reconcile the differing accounts.

In MM v. RP, the applicant complained that the physician acted unilaterally and withdrew life support without consent.  But the College concluded consent was obtained.  While the physician did not document this himself, it was acceptable for the documentation to have been done by the hospital Chaplain who was present.  

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