TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) – Hundreds of an Ontario physician’s patients are taking to court the province’s medical regulator for what their lawyer describes as an “unprecedented attack” on the “privacy” of the doctor-patient relationship after the regulator demanded the doctor release medical records to them or face discipline because she gave out COVID mask exemptions.
In a press conference held today in Toronto, the patients’ lawyer, Rocco Galati, said the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is “attacking the sanctity and privacy of the doctor-patient relationship and the right to privacy of personal and health information in Canada.”
“Medical regulatory overreach must be subject to judicial scrutiny by the Courts. The Rule of Law requires it,” Galati noted.
The case is being spearheaded by the Privacy is Your Right group with Galati as its legal counsel. The group says that its case is about “who has control of our medical and personal information, who it’s available to, and for what purpose(s).”
The case involves a demand against an Ontario doctor by the CPSO for what the plaintiffs say is an “unlawful investigation against their family doctor and unconstitutional demand for their medical records in Toronto.”
According to the plaintiffs, the CPSO has said the doctor “must hand over medical records of all her patients now or face discipline,” because she gave a doctor’s mask exemption to “two little girls from COVID-19 mask mandate.”
The mask exemption claims the CPSO is “misconduct and/or incompetence.”
In the press conference today attended by LifeSiteNews, Galati said the case involves “broad issues affecting all Canadians.”
According to Galati, in their decisions, the lower court justices continue to give “no consideration to jurisprudence (case law). They’re just ignoring it.”
According to the plaintiffs’ group rep, Leslie Peel, who is one of the patients in the case, their “doctor has done an amazing job of standing up” for their rights.
“I think that this is a fight for our privacy. This is absolutely against all our constitutional rights. I think it’s horrific that it’s happening in Canada, and for our children, I have children of my own and I think about the fact that our privacies are eroding, and a lot of people are not paying attention,” Peel said.
“You need to stand up. If you don’t stand up, you are going to lose.”
Peel added that she is very concerned that “20 years of life experiences shared with my doctor” are at risk of not remaining private, contrary to various case law decisions made by Canada’s Supreme Court in the past.
The doctor, Peel said, is under scrutiny by about 30 investigators who are “forming a discipline committee in order to investigate her.”
The patients filed their objection in January 2023 and the case is scheduled to be heard Thursday, March 30, at 10 a.m. at 130 Queen Street West, Toronto’s Osgoode Hall.
According to a press release, the patients object to the release of their personal information because the investigation and demand for records “is based on a third-party non-patient complaining about a mask exemption written by the doctor for two child patients.”
“Court documents claim both the CPSO investigation and the demand for medical records is without lawful authority, an abuse of power, and the patients want their day in Court to challenge it,” the press release. noted
In October 2022, the patients applied for judicial review of the CPSO orders in “Ontario Divisional Court.”
The court file states that the CPSO does not have the “legal justification, or the ‘reasonable and probable grounds’ required to even begin an investigation of this nature.”
“If there is no valid investigation, then the demand for records is also unlawful and violates their Charter right to privacy against unlawful seizure.”
However, in December 2022, the CPSO said the plaintiffs filed a motion to block them “from going to Court.”
“In its materials, the CPSO claims that neither the public, nor a doctor’s patients, can legally challenge how it uses its powers,” the patients stated.
They added that this kind of action “would make CPSO unaccountable.”
“The CPSO shockingly claims that patients should not have any say about their own medical records, or how the CPSO wants to use that information, including their names and personal details that have nothing to do with the doctor’s practice,” the patients pointed out.
“It claims the doctor must succumb to the ‘unfettered’ power of the CPSO to all information about her patients or lose her licence.”
Case ‘transcends’ individual beliefs about COVID mandates, says patient
Peel said the group fight against the CPSO “transcends individual decisions or beliefs about the pandemic, masking, lockdowns, or vaccinations that have divided society.”
“It is a case about the privacy of our health and personal information. Our challenge affects all Canadians,” Peel added. “I think that most people would be shocked to realise that, right now, their medical records are not safe with their doctor.”
Galati said that medical regulatory “overreach must be subject to judicial scrutiny by the Courts.”
“The Rule of Law requires it,” he added.
This is not the only case involving the CPSO and Ontario doctors.
In December, LifeSiteNews reported about a case involving doctors who came under fire from the CPSO who threatened to take away their medical licenses because they stood up against COVID mandates in Canada.
All Canadian provinces put in place COVID mask mandates, as well as vaccine passports, before they were eventually done away with in the spring of 2022.
Recently, Canadian vaccinologist Dr. Byram Bridle, known for speaking out against COVID jab mandates, said that anyone in Ontario who was fired or not allowed to attend school because they chose not to get the COVID jabs should consider getting legal help to launch a wrongful dismissal case in light of recent comments made by the province’s top doctor.
Both Galati and the Privacy is Your Right group are encouraging anyone who can attend this Thursday’s court hearing to do so.
The group also has a webpage with contact information for MPs that anyone can access to voice concerns.