Dalhousie professor of medicine vindicated after 6 year ordeal - Findings demonstrate need for change to medical by-laws



    OTTAWA, Jan. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - In a decision released late yesterday, the
Capital District Health Authority Board of Directors has found there was no
basis to allegations that led to the loss of privileges in 2002 and full
suspension in 2003 of Dr. Michael Goodyear, a medical oncologist and professor
of medicine at Dalhousie University.
    James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University
Teachers, says he is happy with the findings, but the process took far too
long, and changes are needed to ensure this cannot happen again.
    "We are delighted that after an extensive formal hearing, the ODHA Board
found there was no basis to the allegations against Dr. Goodyear and ordered
that he be returned to the status he held previously," says Turk.
    "Unfortunately, the Board report was silent on the issue of compensating
Dr. Goodyear for the enormous losses - financial and otherwise - that he has
suffered since 2002. We are going to be pressing CDHA and the university to
fully compensate him for his lost earnings, his lost research and the damage
to his reputation," says Turk.
    "Dr. Goodyear's case highlights the urgent need for changes to procedures
in the province's medical by-laws so that allegations can be dealt with in a
fair and timely manner, and not drag on for more than six years," he added.
    Goodyear's ordeal began in October 2002 when Dr. Elizabeth Cowden, the
District Chief of Medicine, said she was restricting his right to practice
medicine because of concerns raised by colleagues about his medical decisions
in several cases.
    With the loss of his medical privileges, Goodyear also lost his right to
do research, teach and fulfil his other responsibilities as a professor of
medicine. His salary was cut by 86% and he subsequently had to declare
bankruptcy.
    Because of the serious consequences, provincial by-laws required that the
decisions like these be reviewed within ten days by a committee of the CDHA.
But that ten-day process turned into one that took more than six years.
    "CAUT will be pressing the University to revise its affiliation agreement
with the CDHA so that professors of medicine cannot have their academic
careers damaged by unilateral actions of hospital authorities," said Turk.
    "We are also requesting a meeting with the minister of health to discuss
the need to change procedures in the province's medical by-laws so that
allegations can be dealt with in a fair and timely manner," he added.

    CAUT is the national voice of over 65,000 academic and general staff at
over 120 universities and colleges across Canada.




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange and interview: James Turk,
mobile: (613) 277-0488; Kerry Pither, CAUT communications, (613) 726-5186,
mobile: (613) 294-2203

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