Springdale doctor loses court fight to have hospital privileges reinstated

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Springdale doctor loses court fight to have hospital privileges reinstated

A central Newfoundland doctor has lost his bid to regain hospital privileges that were taken away after it was revealed he had sex with a patient.

Dr. Todd Young asked the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to overturn a 2016 decision by Central Health to reject his hospital privileges.

But the court has let the health authority's decision stand.

"The October 2016 decision meets the reasonableness standard and this court will not interfere. The application to quash the decision is dismissed," wrote Justice William Goodridge in his March 30 decision.

In deciding to reject Young's application for privileges, Western Health's VP of Medical Services Dr. Dennis Rashleigh, relied on the judgement of another doctor who questioned Young's moral and ethical values and his professional judgement.

Rashleigh is with the Western Health Authority but was asked to review Young's application for privileges because Central health was looking for an independent opinion on Young's request.

In a letter to Young, Rashleigh wrote that Dr. Frank Hicks  "who has known you the longest and worked closest with you, described your relationship to colleagues and coworkers as poor and your professional attitude as marginal."

Rashleigh also said he was concerned that Young had a personal and sexual relationship with a patient and that when he was asked about that relationship with a female patient under his care, Young denied it.

He said Hicks described Young's moral and ethical values as "poor"and his character as "marginal."

Young already sanctioned

Young argued in court that Rashleigh gave more weight to the negative reference from one long-time colleague than the positive references that he gave to the health authority when he applied for privileges.

However, Judge Goodridge ruled that the health authority was under no obligation to grant privileges, only to arrive at an unbiased and reasonable decision.

A general practitioner or family doctor needs hospital privileges to admit a patient to hospital or participate in their care while that patient is in hospital.

At a 2015 Newfoundland and Labrador College of Physicians and Surgeons tribunal hearing Young plead guilty to conduct deserving of sanction.

Young admitted that he had a three-year, sexual relationship with a female patient. He also admitted to inappropriate conduct with a second patient. That conduct involved hugging and kissing.

Young's medical licence was suspended for 19 months and he was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine to help offset the cost of the tribunal.

Young, who is originally from Springdale, graduated from medical school at McMaster University in 2003, and practiced in rural Ontario.

He returned to Springdale in 2009 to work at the local hospital.

Young voluntarily withdrew from his practice in April 2014 after admitting his misconduct.

Last March some Springdale residents held a rally calling for his hospital privileges to be reinstated.