Spousal Privledge?

Does anyone know how spousal privilege affects a situation when you are a registered nurse and are aware that your doctor husband is having sex with his patients?

As a "medical professional" does the "duty to report" still apply?

Most Canadian law protects

Most Canadian law protects communications between married persons. Does the provincial legislation governing physicians, refer to the Canada Evidence Act for the purpose of determing what may be introduced as evidence in a hearing?

What is sometimes referred to as "spousal privilege" is governed by Section 4(3) of the Act which reads, "No husband is compellable to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during their marriage."

Note that it does not protect testimony based on, say, observations, nor does it "bar" a willing witness or include "commonlaw" spouses as is the case with other Canadian laws that state "spouse".

Nothing in the Canada Evidence Act nullifies any duty of a registered nurse (in the province having jursidiction) to report the instance. I don't know of any duty of any regulated health professional (at least, in Ontario) to report any information regarding misconduct acquired outside the course of their practice.

However, they likely cannot be compelled to testify to any knowledge gained by privileged communication.

I would strongly suggest that the registered nurse contact a lawyer for advice specific to their situation.

If you contact the College of

If you contact the College of Nurses of Ontario, they should be able to answer your questions regarding this nurse's duty to report.

wishandaprayer wrote: If you

wishandaprayer wrote:

If you contact the College of Nurses of Ontario, they should be able to answer your questions regarding this nurse's duty to report.

Wisher, I think she needs to seek independent competent legal counsel.

If the patient is a psych patient, or has any other sort of incapacity, new federal law may apply regarding the duty (of any Canadian) to report. The CNO could well render advice restricted to her professional obligations only, trampling any of her rights enjoyed as a spouse.

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