Supreme Court Decision : Reaction and Clarification by the FMSQ

Montreal, October 6, 2014 – The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) insists on reacting to the Supreme Court's decision not to entertain its motion for appeal, no more than that of the Conseil de la protection des malades (Council for the Protection of Patients). The Fédération wishes to remind everyone that its application for leave to appeal aimed at allowing the Supreme Court to better define the legal relationship that exists, on the one hand, between the physician and his or her patient, and on the other, between the physician and the hospital centre where he or she practises.

The FMSQ is of the opinion that clarification of these legal relationships would have allowed for a better definition of the rights and responsibilities of each party in order to promote the optimal management of the network. The Fédération underlines that, each week, hundreds of surgeries are put off by healthcare establishments for all sorts of reasons that emanate from management and the administration. This reality should also be of concern to the Council for the Protection of Patients.

The Fédération also wishes to emphasize that the judges of the Court of Appeal had recognized that physicians were concerned with the wellbeing of their patients and had never wanted to harm them, and thus refused to award the punitive damages claimed by the Council for the Protection of Patients. The Supreme Court's refusal to authorize the appeal applied for by the Council once again confirms this aspect.

In view of the Supreme Court's decision, the Court of Appeal's judgment now constitutes a final ruling to which the Fédération will adhere.

The FMSQ will not grant interviews and will not issue any additional comments on the subject.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents close to 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.