Ontario doctor challenging suspension of his hospital privileges over COVID-19 vaccine mandate heads to a hearing this week

Ontario doctor, Dr. Ian DePass, challenges the suspension of hospital privileges due to COVID-19 vaccine mandate at a Health Professions Appeal and Review Board hearing this week.

CHATHAM: Dr. Ian DePass, whose hospital privileges were suspended by the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) for failing to comply with its vaccination policy, is heading to a hearing this week before the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB).

DePass’s hospital privileges were suspended by the CKHA on November 1, 2021, after he failed to obtain a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and his request for accommodation was rejected. As a surgical assistant, DePass cannot earn a living from medicine unless he has hospital privileges. A father of seven, with two young children at home, he has worked in construction since his suspension from the hospital.

The hospital board, which had approved the COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, subsequently upheld the suspension following a hearing that took place in February 2022. Subsequently, The Democracy Fund (TDF) retained Ontario lawyer Lisa Bildy to represent DePass in a new hearing (de novo) before the HPARB. This is the process that is followed for challenges to the suspension or termination of hospital privileges under the Public Hospitals Act.

As was announced by TDF in June this year, Dr. DePass won a small but critical motion last spring, permitting him to present current evidence about the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing transmission of COVID-19 and thereby widening the scope of the hearing, which the Appeal Board agreed would be a “relevant consideration” in assessing the reasonableness of the CKHA Policy, which remains in effect at the hospital. The Policy mandates the original 2-dose series of injections. Boosters have not been required.

The hearing is scheduled to begin on January 10, 2024, and will continue for six non-consecutive days, ending January 19. The parties will then make written submissions to the Board.

To help support and protect Dr. DePass and others like him, you can make a tax-deductible donation on this page to support TDF.

 About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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