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Christopher REED (102695)

Nature of action:

The Inquiry Committee of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Practitioners of British Columbia (the “College”) conducted an own-motion investigation into the conduct of Christopher Reed (the “Registrant”), pursuant to section 33(4) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183 (the “Act”).

The Inquiry Committee and the Registrant have agreed to resolve all matters arising from this investigation by way of a Consent Order under sections 33(6)(c) and 36(1) of the Act.

Effective date:  April 20, 2024

Name of registrant:  Christopher Reed, Student Registrant

Location of practice:  Surrey, BC

Reasons for action taken:

The Inquiry Committee received information that the Registrant was practicing acupuncture as a student registrant outside of the supervision of his school clinic. Following its investigation, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant was engaging in unauthorized practice and improperly using the titles of “acupuncturist” and “doctor” in his advertising.  Specifically, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant: (1) failed to comply with section 51(4) of the College Bylaws by providing acupuncture services outside of the supervised school clinic as a student registrant; (2) failed to comply with section 12.1 of the Act and section 3 of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation, B.C. Reg. 290/2008 (the “Regulation”) by using the “acupuncturist” title and “doctor” (Dr.) title; and (3) failed to comply with section 92 of the College Bylaws by advertising acupuncture services without having full registration with the College.

Action taken:

The Registrant entered into a Consent Agreement under section 36 of the Act which includes the following terms, among others:

  1. The Registrant will be suspended for four (4) months suspension, if granted full registration by the College. If granted Registration, the Registrant acknowledges that the four (4) month period of suspension will commence immediately on the date that he is granted full registration.

  2. The Registrant received a reprimand for: (1) practicing acupuncture without full registration with the College; (2) failing to comply with section 12.1 of the Act and section 3 of the Regulation by using the “acupuncturist” and “doctor” (Dr.) title; and (3) failing to comply with section 92 of the College Bylaws by advertising acupuncture services without full registration with the College.

  3. The Registrant will not repeat the conduct of: (1) practicing acupuncture without full registration with the College; (2) failing to comply with section 12.1 of the Act and section 3 of the Regulation by using the “acupuncturist” and “doctor” (Dr.) title; and (3) failing to comply with section 92 of the College Bylaws by advertising acupuncture services without full registration with the College.

  4. The Registrant is required to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at his cost within 12 months of the Consent Order and to obtain an unconditional pass to be confirmed in a report provided by the PROBE Program directly to the College at the completion of the course. In the event the Registrant fails to obtain an unconditional pass, he will be required to successfully complete such further courses on professional ethics at his cost as directed by the Registrar.

Dawood TAGHIZADEH (01043)

Nature of action taken:

On March 22, 2024, pursuant to s. 39(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c. 183 (the “HPA”), the Discipline Committee Panel determined that Mr. Dawood Taghizadeh engaged in professional misconduct by:

  1. on various dates between January and December 2022, engaging in the unauthorized use of the title Doctor and Dr. on two publicly accessible websites, Twitter and Facebook, contrary to sections 12(2)(b) and 12.1 of the HPA, section 3 of the Regulation and section 92(2) of the College’s Bylaws;
  2. engaging in the unauthorized use of the title Doctor and Dr. in marketing materials that were made available at Mr. Taghizadeh’s clinic in April 2022, including a business card and a pamphlet, contrary to sections 12(2)(b) and 12.1 of the HPA, section 3 of the Regulation and section 92(2) of the College’s Bylaws;
  3. on various dates between January and December 2022, engaging in misleading marketing practices by using the word “medical” on the Facebook page associated with his Clinic, contrary to section 92(2) of the College’s Bylaws; and
  4. engaging in misleading marketing practices by using the term “medical” in his clinic marketing materials, including a business card and a pamphlet that were made available at his clinic in April 2022.

The Panel set a schedule for written submissions on penalty and costs.

Reason for Action:

The Panel was satisfied that the Respondent committed professional misconduct by engaging in the unauthorized use of the title Doctor and Dr. on two publicly accessible websites, engaging in the unauthorized use of the title Doctor and Dr. in his marketing materials, engaging in misleading marketing practices by using the word “medical” on the Facebook page associated with his clinic, and engaging in misleading marketing practices by using the word “medical” in his clinic marketing materials.

(2024-01-25) Cheng Ku (Steven) HUANG

Nature of Action:

Following the issuance of a citation giving notice of a discipline hearing, Cheng Ku Huang (the “Respondent”) made a proposal under section 37.1 of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c 183 (the “Act”) to enter a consent order with the Inquiry Committee of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Practitioners of British Columbia (the “College”).

The Inquiry Committee accepted the section 37.1 proposal in resolution of the matter. As such, the Committee directed the Registrar to cancel the citation and a discipline hearing will not proceed.

Effective date:  January 25, 2024

Name of registrant:  Cheng Ku (Steven) Huang, R. TCM. P

Location of practice:  Chilliwack, BC

Reasons for action taken:

On August 14, 2020, the Respondent entered into a consent agreement with the College in accordance with sections 33(6)(c) and 36 of the Act (the “2020 Consent Order”). The 2020 Consent Order required the Respondent to, among other things:

  1. have an approved chaperone present for all visits with female patients for a minimum period of one (1) year up to a maximum of five (5) years from the date of the order, extensions beyond one (1) year at the discretion of the Inquiry Committee of the College (the “Inquiry Committee”);

  2. document the name of the chaperone present for each visit in the female patient’s clinical record; and

  3. provide a weekly report to the College listing each treatment of a female patient, the patient’s contact information, and noting the name of the chaperone who was present during each visit.

On July 19, 2023, the Inquiry Committee directed that an inspection be carried out at the Respondent’s clinic to inquire into his compliance with the 2020 Consent Order.

The College reviewed a subset of the Respondent’s clinical records and interviewed a number of the Respondent’s female patients. Upon inspection of the Respondent’s clinical records, the College inspectors observed that none of the selected patients’ clinical records contained the name of the approved chaperone who attended during the female patient’s treatment. During their interviews, nine of the Respondent’s patients did not recall a chaperone being present during their treatment at the clinic. The College inspectors reviewed the Respondent’s weekly reports to the College and observed that the female patients were recorded on the weekly reports but that according to the reports, a chaperone was present for each of the female patients’ visits. The Respondent was provided an opportunity to respond to the College’s findings and acknowledged that he did not comply with all the terms of the 2020 Consent Order.

The Inquiry Committee considered the information gathered during the investigation and the Respondent’s written response. On balance, the Inquiry Committee was concerned the Respondent breached the terms of the 2020 Consent Order by: (1) failing to record the name of the chaperone who was present at each visit with a female patient in their respective clinical record; (2) failing to ensure the presence of an approved chaperone for each visit with a female patient during the entirety of the visit or at all; and (3) providing information to the College in his weekly reports that appeared to be incorrect or misleading in light of the reports provided by the female patients contacted by the College.

Action taken:

The Inquiry Committee considered the Respondent’s proposal under section 37.1 of the Act and determined that it contained adequate terms to protect the public and to ensure specific and general deterrence to the profession. The Consent Order included the following terms:

  • The Respondent admitted the allegations set out in the Citation and undertook not to repeat any of the conduct identified by the investigation.

  • The Respondent consented to a three (3) week suspension of his practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

  • The Respondent cannot treat female patients unless a chaperone approved by the College is present during the entirety of each treatment performed by the Respondent until November 3, 2024, or such later date as the Inquiry Committee sets in accordance with the terms of the 2020 Consent Order.

  • The Respondent must post notices that are 81/2 x 11” in size, in English and Chinese, on or near the entrance of every treatment room in his clinic indicating that female patients must have a chaperone present for treatment at all times.

  • Prior to treating a female patient, the Respondent must verbally advise the patient of the chaperone requirement and seek her consent to having the chaperone in the room during treatment. If the patient does not consent, the Respondent may not treat the patient.

  • The Respondent must request his female patients to review and sign a document confirming the attendance of a chaperone during their treatment.

  • The Respondent must successfully complete a remedial ethics course within 12 months of the date of the Order.

  • The Respondent must pay the College’s investigative costs.

  • The Respondent acknowledges that the Order is considered to be an order of the Discipline Committee made under section 39 of the Act.

(2024-01-12) Yuan (Ann) YUAN

Nature of action:

The Inquiry Committee of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Practitioners of British Columbia (the “College”) conducted an own-motion investigation into the conduct of Yuan (Ann) Yuan (the “Registrant”), pursuant to section 33(4) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183 (the “Act”).

The Inquiry Committee and the Registrant have agreed to resolve all matters arising from this investigation by way of a Consent Order under sections 33(6)(c) and 36(1) of the Act.

Effective date:  January 12, 2024

Name of registrant:  Yuan (Ann) Yuan, R. Ac.

Location of practice:  Surrey, BC; Vancouver, BC

Reasons for action taken:

Based on its review of the material gathered during the investigation, the Inquiry Committee was concerned about a broad range of issues, including violations of the Act, the Regulation, the College Bylaws, and standards of practice. Specifically, the Inquiry Committee was concerned about: the use of the “Doctor (Dr.)” title by the Registrant; her provisioning of treatment or services that included a restricted activity not authorized for registrants of the College; her failure to comply with marketing requirements; her failure to obtain a valid business license; inappropriate billing, including providing receipts in advance of the completion of treatment; and her failure to meet the Clinical Record Keeping and Communicable Diseases: Preventing Practitioner-to-Patient Transmission Practice Standards.

Action taken:

The Registrant agreed to enter into a Consent Agreement under sections 36(1)(a)-(d) of the Act which included the following terms, among others:

  1. The Registrant’s certificate of registration with the College is suspended for a period of 12 months to commence on the date of the Consent Order.

  2. The Registrar is directed to impose the following specified terms, conditions and limitations on the Registrant’s certificate of registration:

    1. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program and Medical Record Keeping Seminar at her cost within 12 months and obtain an unconditional pass. If the Registrant fails to obtain an unconditional pass or complete the Medical Record Keeping Seminar, prior to the conclusion of the suspension of her certificate of registration, her certificate of registration will remain suspended until such time as those requirements are satisfied.

    2. The Registrant is required to participate in up to a maximum of three compliance audits for a period of two years from the date of the Order, at the College’s discretion.

  3. The Registrant consents to a reprimand for failing to comply with section 12.1 of the Act and section 3 of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation by using the ‘Doctor (Dr.)’ title, providing treatment or services that include a restricted activity that is not authorized for registrants of the College; failing to comply with s. 92 marketing provisions of the College Bylaw; failing to meet the Clinical Record Keeping and Communicable Diseases: Preventing Practitioner-to-Patient Transmission Practice Standards; and failing to obtain a valid business license.

  4. The Registrant undertakes to remove the title of ‘Doctor’ or ‘Dr.’ from any materials and documents relating to her clinical practice within 12 calendar days of the date of the Consent Order and undertakes not to repeat the conduct of using the unauthorized title of ‘Doctor’ or ‘Dr.’ until such time as she is authorized to do so under the Act.

  5. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of advertising any treatments or services outside of the scope of practice for College registrants.

  6. The Registrant undertakes not to provide any treatment or services involving manual therapy or manipulation of the prostate or anal area, including the restricted activity of putting an instrument or device, hand or finger beyond the anal verge.

  7. The Registrant undertakes not to practice in any location that does not have a valid business license.

  8. The Registrant consents and undertakes to pay a fine in the amount of $11,426.00.

  9. The Registrant acknowledges that the Consent Order requires public notification under section 39.3(1)(b) of the Act.

(2023-05-15) Su Lan (Mary) LEE

Effective date: May 15, 2023

Name of registrant:  Su Lan (Mary) Lee, R.Ac.

Location of practice: Sechelt, BC

On November 17, 2022, pursuant to s. 39(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c. 183 (the “HPA”), the Discipline Committee Panel determined that Ms. Su Lan (Mary) Lee (the “Respondent”) engaged in professional misconduct by:

a) Breaching a consent order she executed on or about February 27, 2012 (the “2012 Consent Order”) by continuing to provide blood-letting to two patients after having undertaken not to repeat the conduct of blood-letting in her practice at paragraph 3 of the 2012 Consent Order;

b) Contravening Standard 2.8 of the College’s Standards of Practice for Registrants and the Clinical Record Keeping Practice Standard by failing to keep proper clinical records for two patients; and

c) Contravening an order imposed by the College’s Inquiry Committee on November 4, 2021, pursuant to section 35 of the HPA, by engaging in the unauthorized practice of traditional Chinese medicine and/or acupuncture while her registration was suspended.

Subsequently, after considering submissions from the Respondent and from the College regarding action to be taken under s. 39 of the HPA, the Panel issued an order and reasons on penalty and costs dated May 15, 2023. 

Reason for Action:

The Panel determined that the Respondent committed professional misconduct by breaching the 2012 Consent Order, contravening the College’s standards of practice for record keeping, and contravening the Section 35 Order by engaging in unauthorized practice while her registration was suspended.

The Panel concluded that the Respondent’s repeated non-compliance with the College’s orders indicated that she did not accept the regulatory role of the College and considers herself able to breach orders made regarding her practice when it is in her interest to do so. The Panel observed that the Respondent did not identify any health or other issues to explain her conduct, nor did she meaningfully acknowledge this conduct or take steps to remediate.

The Panel concluded that the Respondent is ungovernable, and that further orders or conditions on her registration would not be effective. The Panel was satisfied that the Respondent’s conduct constituted serious misconduct that required the cancellation of her registration. The Panel also considered it appropriate to require the Respondent to complete remediation before being eligible for reinstatement, given concerns regarding her record-keeping and her failure to comply with the College’s standards. 

Penalty:

Following the penalty hearing, the Panel imposed the following penalties under s. 39(2) of the HPA:

a) The Respondent’s registration is cancelled as of the date of the Panel’s order;

b) The Respondent is not eligible to apply for reinstatement of her registration until May 15, 2028;

c) The Respondent is not eligible to apply for reinstatement of her registration until she has successfully completed the following:

I  “Medical Record Keeping Seminar”, presented by the Center for Personalized Education for Professionals and “Clinical Record Keeping for TCM Professionals”, presented by Eastern Currents; or

II  Alternative course or courses related to medical record-keeping that are approved in advance by the Registrar of the College; and

d) The Respondent must pay costs to the College in the amount of $13,847.07.

For greater certainty, the Panel made clear that the conditions on the Respondent’s eligibility for reinstatement, as set out in paragraph (b) and (c) above, were in addition to all requirements set out in the College Bylaws, and the Respondent’s eligibility for reinstatement remains at the discretion of the Registration Committee in accordance with section 20 of the HPA or equivalent sections in the Health Professions and Occupations Act (or other successor legislation) at the time the application is made.

(2022-11-17) Su Lan (Mary) LEE

Nature of action taken:

On November 17, 2022, pursuant to s. 39(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c. 183 (the “HPA”), the Discipline Committee Panel determined that Ms. Su Lan (Mary) Lee engaged in professional misconduct by:

a) Breaching a consent order she executed on or about February 27, 2012 (the “2012 Consent Order”) by continuing to provide blood-letting to two patients after having undertaken not to repeat the conduct of blood-letting in her practice at paragraph 3 of the 2012 Consent Order.

b) Contravening Standard 2.8 of the College’s Standards of Practice for Registrants and the Clinical Record Keeping Practice Standard by failing to keep proper clinical records for two patients; and

c) Contravening an order imposed by the College’s Inquiry Committee on November 4, 2021, pursuant to section 35 of the HPA, by engaging in the unauthorized practice of traditional Chinese medicine and/or acupuncture while her registration was suspended.

The Panel set a schedule for written submissions on penalty and costs.

Reasons for action:

The Panel was satisfied that the Respondent committed professional misconduct by providing blood-letting to two patients in breach of the terms of the 2012 Consent Order, failing to maintain and secure proper clinical records during her treatment relationship with those patients, and breaching the Section 35 Order by continuing to engage in the unauthorized practice of traditional Chinese medicine and/or acupuncture while her registration was suspended.

(2022-08-30) Jordan TITCHENER

Effective date: August 30, 2022

Name of registrant:  Jordan Titchener, R.Ac.

Location of practice: Surrey, BC

Nature of action:

On February 2, 2022, the Discipline Committee Panel determined that Jordan Titchener engaged in professional misconduct pursuant to s. 39(1)(c) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 7996, c. 183 (the “HPA”) by engaging in misconduct of a sexual nature. The Panel found Mr. Titchener’s conduct was also in contravention of s. 3(a) of the College’s Code of Ethics (Schedule (“A” of the College Bylaws), ss. 2.9 and 5.2 of the Standards of Practice for Registrants (Schedule “B” of the College Bylaws), and the College’s Practice Standard regarding sexual misconduct.

On March 4, 2022, the Panel issued an order pursuant to s. 38(8) of the HPA, prohibiting Mr. Titchener from treating female patients pending the Panel’s decision under s.39(2) of the HPA.

On May 12, 2022, the hearing was reconvened for the purposes of receiving the parties’ evidence and submissions regarding action to be taken under s. 39 of the HPA.

On June 8, 2022, before the decision on penalty was issued, the Panel received further submissions from the parties upon being notified that the College had received a new complaint against Mr. Titchener, which Mr. Titchener denied, and that the Inquiry Committee had suspended Mr. Titchener’s registration pursuant to s. 35 of the HPA.

Reasons for action taken:

The Panel was satisfied that the Respondent committed professional misconduct of a sexual nature by placing his penis in the palm of his patient’s hand. In imposing the appropriate penalty, the Panel considered the gravity of the misconduct and the need to protect the public interest, noting that sexual misconduct, in any form, is a fundamental violation of the duty of trust owed by a medical practitioner to a patient, and is the most serious offence that a health professional can commit.

Although the Panel was satisfied that the s. 35 order and the fact that a new complaint has been made was properly before it as it falls within the definition of “past action”, pursuant to s. 39.2(1)(b) of the HPA, the Panel did not factor the new complaint into the assessment of penalty, noting that a registrant must not be penalized for a complaint which was not a formal finding, but merely an allegation under investigation and remained unproven on balance.

Penalty:

Following the penalty hearing, the Panel imposed the following penalties under s. 39(2) of the HPA.

(a) the Respondent is reprimanded;

(b) effective immediately, the Respondent’s registration is suspended for 18 months and until the Respondent has completed the PROBE: Ethics and Boundaries course at his cost and obtained an unconditional pass;

(c) after the suspension and on resuming practice, the Respondent is subject to the following conditions unless and until they are lifted or varied with the consent of the College or by further order of this Panel:

(i) he is prohibited from treating female patients,

(ii) he must practice only in a multi-practitioner setting, and

(iii) he must post signage satisfactory to the College of this order on his website and at the physical location where he practices; and

(d) the Respondent must pay costs to the College in the amount of $15,231.73.

The Panel made clear that its s. 39(2) order replaces its prior order, made pursuant to s. 38(8) of the HPA, dated March 4, 2022, but did not supersede the s. 35 order, which remains in place until successfully appealed or cancelled or varied under s. 35(4) of the HPA.

(2021-08-31) Jaewon JEON

Nature of action:

The Inquiry Committee of the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Practitioners of British Columbia (the “College”) investigated the conduct of Dr. Jaewon Jeon, pursuant to section 33(1) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996, c.183 (the “Act”).

The Inquiry Committee and Dr. Jeon have agreed to resolve all matters arising from this investigation by way of a Consent Order under sections33(6)(c) and 36(1) ) of the Act.

Effective date: August 31, 2021

Name of registrant:  Jaewon Jeon, Dr. TCM

Location of practice: Vancouver, BC

Reasons for action taken:

Based on its review of the material gathered during the investigation, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant violated the College’s Code of Ethics and standards of practice by entering into an inappropriate personal relationship with a patient. The Inquiry Committee considered that clinical relationships, like that between the Registrant and the patient, are based on trust and inherent in such relationships is a fundamental power imbalance. The Registrant was required to recognize and navigate that relationship with her sole interest being the best interests of the patient.

Action taken:

The Registrant agreed to enter into a Consent Agreement  under sections 36(1)(a)-(d) of the Act which included the following terms, among others:

  1. The Registrant consents to a reprimand for failing to maintain clear and professional boundaries with a patient; 

  2. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of failing to maintain clear and professional boundaries with a patient;

  3. The Registrant consents to a one (1) month suspension of her practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture;

  4. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at her cost within 12 months and obtain an unconditional pass. If the Registrant fails to obtain an unconditional pass, the Registrant consents and undertakes to complete such further courses on professional ethics at her cost as directed by the College Registrar;
  5. The Registrant consents to the payment of a fine of $10,000.00;
  6. The Registrant consents and undertakes to pay the sum of $640.00 towards the College’s costs of investigation;
  7. The Registrant acknowledges and agrees that the Consent Order relates to a “serious matter” as defined in the Act, which requires this public notification to be posted by the College under section39.3 of the Act.

(2021-05-17) Myung June KIM

Description of action taken:

On November 18, 2019, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (the “College”) posted a public notice of practice conditions agreed to by Myung June Kim (the “Registrant”) pending its investigation of a complaint from a female patient alleging sexual misconduct that was also under criminal investigation by the police.

The College held its investigation of the complaint in abeyance pending the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.

On March 29, 2021, the College was advised by the Registrant that the criminal matter was resolved on March 2, 2021 pursuant to section 810 of the Criminal Code, by way of a Recognizance after Allegation or a Peace Bond, which does not result in a criminal record nor required the Registrant to make any admissions regarding the alleged conduct.  The Registrant further advised the College of his intention to resign his registration with the College and not seek re-application with the College or any College in any other jurisdiction within Canada.

The Inquiry Committee determined under section 36(1)(d) of the Health Professions Act, RSBC 1996 c.183 (the “Act) to seek an consent under with terms that would ensure the Registrant would no longer be registered and would not seek registration with the College in the future.

Reasons for action taken:

The Inquiry Committee determined that this was an appropriate case to seek a consent order without investigation or findings by the College because:

  1. The Registrant agreed to resign his registration and not seek registration with the College or any other College in any other jurisdiction within Canada, and

  2. The complaint contained allegations that, if admitted or proven, posed a risk to the public and would constitute a “serious matter” which would ordinarily result in an order being made under section 39 of the Act.

Action taken:

The Inquiry Committee requested, and the Registrant agreed to provide an undertaking and consent under section 36(1)(d) of the Act to:

  1. Irrevocably resign as a Registrant of the College effective March 31, 2021; and

  2. Not reapply for registration with the College or apply for registration to practice traditional Chinese medicine in any other jurisdiction in Canada; and

  3. Publication of the terms of the agreement by the College.

(2021-03-08) Yu Heng SUN

Date of action:  March 8, 2021

Description of action taken:

On December 17, 2020, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists (the “College”) received a letter from the Ministry of Health, Audit Investigations Branch (the “Ministry”), enclosing an Audit Hearing Order to Repay (the “Order”) relating to Yu Heng Sun, a registrant of the College (the “Registrant”).  The Ministry advised that the Medical Services Commission (the “Commission”) made the Order under section 37(1) of the Medicare Protection Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 286, respecting the Registrant on February 5, 2018. Where the Commission makes such an order, it is required to advise the appropriate licensing or disciplinary body, in this circumstance the College.

The Order required the Registrant to repay $200,000 to the Commission for acupuncture services improperly billed to the Medical Services Plan between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2015, the costs of the audit of the Registrant’s practice and various other surcharges and interest. The Commission also cancelled the Registrant’s enrollment under s. 13 of the Medicare Protection Act, effective immediately, and prohibiting the Registrant from applying for enrollment again.

The Inquiry Committee initiated an investigation under s. 33(4) of the Health Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 183 (the “Act”), in response to the information provided by the Ministry.

Based on a review of the materials provided by the Ministry and the Registrant, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant: (a) failed to maintain complete clinical records for his patients; (b) billed MSP for services he could not substantiate; (c) billed MSP with insufficient evidence to support that claimed acupuncture treatments were provided for the period January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015; and (d) misused the reserved title of doctor (Dr.).

On March 8, 2021, the Registrant agreed to give his undertaking and consent to the following for the purposes of addressing the concerns identified in the investigation:

  1. The Registrant consents to a reprimand in relation to his professional misconduct with respect to improper billing of MSP.

  2. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of: (a) failing to maintain accurate and complete clinical records; (b) improper billing of acupuncture treatments to third parties; and (c) misuse of the Dr. (doctor) title.

  3. The Registrant undertakes to remove references to the ‘Doctor’ title, the ‘Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine’ title, the ‘Dr.TCM’ title or any similar title from his marketing materials, and to refrain from using those titles in his professional practice as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner until such time as he is authorized to do so under the Act.

  4. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at his cost within 12 months of the Consent Order.

  5. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the CPEP Medical Record Keeping Seminar at his own cost within 12 months of the date of the Consent Order.

  6. The Registrant consents to the payment of a fine of $30,000.00 (thirty thousand dollars) for his professional misconduct, payable within ninety (90) days of the date of the Consent Order.
  7. The Registrant consents to random chart audits by an inspector appointed by the Inquiry Committee for a period of one year commencing on the date of the Consent Order, for the purposes of ensuring that he is adhering to proper standards of practice and completing proper clinical and billing documentation and complying with the terms of the Consent Order.

(2020-10-27) Shawn-Poppi SABHANEY

Date of action:  October 27, 2020

Description of action taken:

Following an investigation, the Inquiry Committee directed the issuance of a citation for a discipline hearing alleging that the Registrant engaged in improper financial conduct, failed to maintain professional boundaries, removed client’s property without authorization to do so, exceeded his scope of practice, and failed to maintain and secure proper clinical records.

On October 27, 2020, the Inquiry Committee received and accepted a proposal under s. 37.1(2) of the Health Professions Act to resolve the case and directed the Registrar to cancel the citation. Under the terms of the s. 37.1(2) order:

  1. The Registrant admits the following allegations: (a) he failed to maintain professional boundaries by accepting gifts, including an engagement ring, and financial assistance with his engagement party from a client; (b) he engaged in unethical conduct and failed to maintain professional boundaries by entering into a retroactive 30-year contract with the client to operate a wellness centre on the client’s property; (c) he failed to maintain professional boundaries when he inquired with the lawyer for the client’s estate whether the client had made provision for the wellness centre in her will; (d) he engaged in improper financial conduct by failing to provide itemized accounts to the client or the client’s representative in a reasonable time or at all; (e) he engaged in improper financial conduct and unethical conduct for his own financial gain by charging the client excessive professional fees even though the client agreed to pay the fees charged; (f) he unlawfully removed merchandise paid for by the client from the client’s property, including an ultrasound unit, without authorization from the executor of the client’s estate; (g) he exceeded his scope of practice by facilitating the use of Oxycodone and providing intravenous and intramuscular injections to the client containing various substances; (h) he advised the College-appointed inspector that he had received training from a specific doctor regarding the administration of IV injections when he had not; (i) he was unable to produce clinical records for the client for the period July to December 2016; and (j) he misrepresented himself as a doctor in his email address and referred to himself as a “personal physician” when he was not registered as a Dr. TCM or licensed to practice medicine.

  2. The Registrant acknowledges that the above conduct constitutes professional misconduct and unethical conduct and undertakes not to repeat the conduct.

  3. The Registrant consents to a reprimand for engaging in professional misconduct and unethical conduct.

  4. The Registrant consents to a six-month suspension of his practice of acupuncture as defined in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation, B.C. Reg. 290/2008 with two months to be stayed if he successfully completes the requirements paras. 7 to 9 of the s. 37.1 order.

  5. The Registrant consents and undertakes to resign his position as an elected member of the College Board and to not seek re-election to the Board for a period of seven years.

  6. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (“PROBE”) Program at his cost within 12 months of the s. 37.1 order and to obtain an unconditional pass to be confirmed in a report provided by the PROBE Program directly to the College and acknowledges that he cannot return to practice until such time as he obtains an unconditional pass even if the suspension of his registration has expired.

  7. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the CPEP Medical Record Keeping Seminar at his own cost within 12 months of the date of the s. 37.1 order and to provide confirmation of completion of the course to the College within 30 days of completing it.

  8. The Respondent agrees to return the ultrasound unit to the client’s estate and to reimburse the client’s estate a total of $1,000 within seven months of the date of the s. 37.1 order.

  9. The Registrant consents to pay the College’s investigative costs of $4,491.06 in accordance with Schedule J of the College’s bylaws within seven months of the date of the s. 37.1 order.

  10. The Registrant acknowledges that a contravention of any term of the s. 37.1 order constitutes professional misconduct and that the order will be disclosed to the Inquiry Committee and the Discipline Committee in any future proceedings following consideration by those committees of the merits of any future complaint.

  11. The Registrant acknowledges that the s. 37.1 order is considered to be an order of the Discipline Committee made under s. 39 of the Act.

Reasons for action taken:

Having determined that a discipline hearing was necessary because of the serious nature of the alleged misconduct, the Inquiry Committee recognized that the Registrant acknowledged his professional misconduct and unethical conduct and agreed to extensive terms which included a lengthy suspension from practice. The Inquiry Committee concluded that the terms contained in the s. 37.1 order reflected the type of sanctions that the College would seek at a discipline hearing.

The Inquiry Committee was satisfied that the terms of the s. 37.1 order are sufficiently punitive, will achieve specific and general deterrence of the conduct in issue, and protect the public by requiring the Registrant to undertake an intensive ethics program before returning to practice in addition to other education.

(2020-10-08) Ali AGHASARDAR

Date of action:  October 8, 2020

Description of action taken:

On September 28, 2020, the CTCMA received a complaint from a female patient alleging professional misconduct by the Registrant. On September 28, 2020, the CTCMA also received notification from the police regarding the same conduct and that a criminal investigation was underway. The complaint and police notification were referred to the Inquiry Committee for investigation.

As the nature of the alleged conduct raises significant public safety concerns, the Inquiry Committee considered extraordinary action pending the outcome of the investigation to protect the public. The Registrant agreed to provide an undertaking with the following terms which will remain in place during the Inquiry Committee’s investigation and pending any discipline proceeding:

  1. The Registrant consents to a suspension of his registration with the CTCMA effective as of the date of the Undertaking and Consent Agreement, such suspension to remain in place until the Inquiry Committee has made a disposition decision under s. 33(6) of the Act.

  2. The Registrant acknowledges that he cannot perform acupuncture or provide traditional Chinese medicine services (“regulated services”) during the period of suspension outlined in paragraph 1.

  3. The Registrant acknowledges that he cannot identify himself or otherwise hold himself out as a current registrant in good standing with the CTMCA, or use his registration with the CTCMA in any advertising or marketing of any non-regulated services which he provides to the public.

  4. The Registrant consents and undertakes to remove any reference to his registration with the CTCMA from his letterhead, brochures, website and any other marketing or professional materials which he uses in connection with the provision of non-regulated services to the public.

  5. The Registrant acknowledges that a contravention of any term of the Undertaking and Consent Agreement constitutes professional misconduct and may lead to the issuance of a citation.

Reasons for action taken:

To address the Inquiry Committee’s public protection concerns, the Registrant provided his Undertaking and Consent Agreement with terms to protect the public pending the completion of the investigation.

(2020-09-25) Gang SHEN

Date of action:  September 25, 2020

Description of action taken:

On June 5, 2018, the CTCMA initiated an investigation under s.33 of the Health Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 183 (the “Act”) in response to a complaint against Gang Shen (the “Registrant”) regarding the traditional Chinese medicine treatments the Registrant provided the Complainant from 2015 to 2016. The Complainant alleged, amongst other things, that the Registrant’s clinical practices were harmful and dangerous, particularly for vulnerable terminally ill individuals seeking the advice of alternative practitioners. The Complainant further alleged that the Registrant is incompetent, made false and deceptive representations and promises, exploits patients for personal advantage, and uses the Dr. title without authority to do so.  Following its investigation, the Inquiry Committee determined under s.33(6)(c) of the Act to seek a consent order under s.36 of the Act with terms that would ensure that the Registrant did not repeat the conduct.

Reasons for action taken:

Based on its review of the material gathered during the investigation, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant: (a) failed to comply with appropriate clinical record-keeping practices as they relate to the collection, maintenance, disclosure and retention of clinical records; (b) failed to obtain and/or record appropriate informed consent at the onset of treatment and failed to update the consent as treatment progressed; (c) misused the Dr. (doctor) title;  (d) failed to  advise the Complainant to consult a medical practitioner or doctor of traditional Chinese medicine if there was no improvement in the condition for which she was being treated within two months of receiving treatment;  (e) engaged in inappropriate and unprofessional communications with the Complainant, including: (i) making false claims that he could ‘cure all diseases’ and recommending against conventional Western therapies such as Western medicine, surgery, and dialysis; (ii) providing potentially harmful and dangerous therapies such as  “salt-fasting”, “fruit-fasting”, “vegetable-fasting” and “grain diet” with the false claim that they can convert a “diseased body” to a “healthy body” ; and (iii) failing to advise her that herbal medicines could interact with drugs and produce  serious side effects, or may be unsafe for individuals with certain medical conditions.

Action taken:

On September 25, 2020, the Registrant agreed to give his undertaking and consent to the following for the purposes of addressing the concerns identified in the investigation::

  1. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of failing to comply with appropriate clinical record-keeping practices as they relate to the collection, maintenance, disclosure and retention of clinical records and failing to obtain and/or record appropriate informed consent at the onset of treatment and updated consent as treatment progresses.

  2. The Registrant undertakes to remove references to the ‘Doctor’ title, the ‘Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine’ title, the ‘Dr.TCM’ title or any similar title from his  marketing materials, and to refrain from using those titles in his professional practice as a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner until such time as he is authorized to do so under the Act.

  3. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of failing to comply with the directives contained in the Safety Program Handbook and specially to advise patients of the possible side effects of herbal medicines with western medications.

  4. The Registrant undertakes not to counsel or advise patients to discontinue medications prescribed by their western medical doctors and specifically not to counsel or advise patients suffering from kidney disease to discontinue their western medicine treatments.

  5. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of making false and dangerous claims to his patients that he is able to ‘cure all diseases’ and/or to recommend against conventional Western therapies such as Western medicine and dialysis.

  6. The Registrant undertakes not to recommend potentially harmful and dangerous therapies such as  “salt-fasting”, “fruit-fasting”, “vegetable-fasting” and “grain diet” and not to make false claims that they can convert a “diseased body” to a “healthy body”.
  7. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of failing to consult a medical practitioner or doctor of traditional Chinese medicine when there is no improvement in the condition for which a patient is being treated within two months of receiving treatment.
  8. The Registrant undertakes and consents to provide a letter of apology to the Complainant expressing regret for the distress and discomfort that he caused to her.
  9. The Registrant undertakes to provide partial reimbursement of the cost of treatment that he charged the Complainant.
  10. The Registrant consents and agrees to a 30-day suspension of his practice commencing on the date of the Consent Order.
  11. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at his own cost.
  12. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the CPEP Medical Record Keeping Seminar at his own cost.
  13. The Registrant consents to random spot audits by an inspector appointed by the Inquiry Committee at any time during the three (3) year period following expiration of his suspension and return to practice, to review his clinical records for the purposes of ensuring that he is adhering to proper standards of practice and completing proper clinical documentation.
  14. The Registrant consents and undertakes to pay the College’s costs of investigation as calculated in accordance with the tariff of costs established under s. 19(1)(v.1) of the Act.
  15. The Registrant consents to the payment of a fine for his professional misconduct.

(2020-08-18) Jun Hua (Davy) ZHU

Date of action:  August 18, 2020

Description of action taken:

On January 17, 2017, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (the “College”) received a complaint against Jun Hua (Davy) Zhu (the “Registrant”) regarding acupuncture treatments, herbal therapy treatments and other treatments the Registrant provided the Complainant from 2015 to 2016.  The Complainant also reported that the Registrant provided acupuncture and herbal treatment to the Complainant’s dog in 2014.  The Complainant alleged that the Registrant had, among other things, charged  excessive fees, advised the Complainant that she may suddenly become paralyzed and die due to a neck injury suffered in 2015, and used scare tactics to encourage her to spend more money at his clinic.

The Inquiry Committee appointed an inspector to assist with the investigation.  The inspector provided a report which included, among other things, evidence that the Registrant failed to provide any records including appointment records, clinical treatment records or billing records and claimed that he lost the memory stick which the records were stored on.

Based on its review of the material filed by the parties and the inspector’s report, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant:  (a) failed to comply with appropriate clinical record-keeping practices as they relate to the collection, maintenance, disclosure and retention of clinical records; (b) failed to obtain and/or record appropriate informed consent at the onset of treatment and failed to update the consent as treatment progressed; (c) failed to comply with the Safety Handbook regarding dispensing herbs, either over-the-counter or otherwise; (d) provided B12 injection therapy to a patient which was beyond proper scope of practice and did so without appropriate professional liability insurance coverage in place; (e) failed to put the best interests of his patient first by charging excessive or unreasonable fees; (f) failed to provide detailed receipts for herbal remedies and other additional treatments to the Complainant; (g) engaged in inappropriate and unprofessional communications with the Complainant, including: (i) advising her to put her affairs in order in case she suddenly dies; (ii) advising her that he was the only treatment provider who could assist her; (iii) advising her that she was required to take “special” herbs for the rest of her life; and (iv) encouraging her to take on debt to pay for continuing treatments; (v) failing to communicate a treatment plan with the Complainant, including refusing to respond to requests for information on the herbal prescriptions being provided by the Registrant; and (vi) providing treatment to the Complainant’s family dog. 

On August 18, 2020, the Registrant agreed to give his undertaking and consent to the following for the purposes of addressing the concerns identified in the investigation:

  1. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of failing to comply with appropriate clinical record-keeping practices as they relate to the collection, maintenance, disclosure and retention of clinical records; failing to obtain and/or record appropriate informed consent at the onset of treatment and failed to update the consent as treatment progressed; failing to comply with the Safety Handbook regarding dispensing herbs, either over-the-counter or otherwise;  providing B12 injection therapy to a patient which was beyond proper scope of practice and did so without appropriate professional liability insurance coverage in place; failing to put the best interests of his patient first by charging excessive or unreasonable fees; failing to provide detailed receipts for herbal remedies and other additional treatments to the Complainant;  engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional communications with the Complainant, including: (i) advising her to put her affairs in order in case she suddenly dies; (ii) advising her that he was the only treatment provider who could assist her; (iii) advising her that she was required to take “special” herbs for the rest of her life; and (iv) encouraging her to take on debt to pay for continuing treatments; (v) failing to communicate with the Complainant regarding her treatment plan, including refusing to respond to requests for information on the herbal prescriptions being provided by the Registrant; and (vi) providing treatment to the Complainant’s family dog.

  2. The Registrant consents and agrees to a 30-day suspension of his practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture as defined in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulation, BC Reg 290/2008, commencing on the date of this Consent Order.

  3. The Registrant undertakes to provide partial reimbursement of the cost of treating the family dog and the excessive costs of treatment and herbs that he charged the Complainant.

  4. The Registrant consents and undertakes to pay the College’s costs of investigation as calculated in accordance with the tariff of costs established under s. 19(1)(v.1) of the Act by March 31, 2021.

  5. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at his cost within 12 months of the Consent Order.

  6. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the CPEP Medical Record Keeping Seminar at his own cost within 12 months of the date of the Consent Order.
  7. The Registrant consents to random spot audits by an inspector appointed by the Inquiry Committee at any time during the three (3) year period following expiration of his suspension and return to practice, to review his clinical records for the purposes of ensuring that he is adhering to proper standards of practice and completing proper clinical documentation.

(2020-08-14) Cheng Ku (Steven) HUANG

Date of action:  August 14, 2020

Description of action taken:

On March 29, 2020, the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of British Columbia (the “College”) received a complaint against Cheng Ku (Steven) Huang (the “Registrant”) alleging that he engaged in sexual misconduct during a treatment on February 10, 2020.

On May 6, 2020, the College received a second complaint against the Registrant alleging that he engaged in behavior of a sexual nature during treatments provided to the complainant between November 14, 2019 and January 24, 2020.

On May 7, 2020, the Inquiry Committee requested a voluntary undertaking from the Registrant containing terms and conditions to ensure the safety of female patients pending the outcome of its investigation, which he provided and complied with.

On May 21, 2020, the Inquiry Committee appointed an Inspector to assist with the investigation, interview the parties and report back.

Based on its review of the material gathered during the investigation, and the additional evidence in the Inspectors report, the Inquiry Committee was concerned that the Registrant: (a) likely touched the two women for non-therapeutic clinical reasons during the treatments in question particularly in view of the similarity of the allegations brought forth by two separate female patients; (b) failed to obtain informed consent to treatment from the women.; and (c) failed  to provide appropriate draping materials to the women and failed to ensure that their breasts and genital areas were properly draped at all times. The Inquiry Committee concluded that there was insufficient information to establish that the Registrant had engaged in unethical billing or had breached patient privacy.  The Inquiry Committee determined under s.33(6)(c) of the Act that this would be an appropriate case to seek a Consent Order under s. 36 of the Act with terms that would protect the public and ensure that the Registrant does not repeat the behaviour.

On August 14, 2020, the Registrant agreed to give his undertaking and consent to the following for the purposes of addressing the concerns identified in the investigation:

  1. The Registrant undertakes and consents to provide to the College within 30 days of the date of the Consent Order (for delivery to the Complainants), draft letters of apology addressed to each woman expressing regret for the distress and discomfort that he caused to them.

  2. The Registrant undertakes not to repeat the conduct of: (a) touching a female patient for non-therapeutic clinical reasons; (b) providing treatment to patients without first obtaining express informed consent from the patient which includes a detailed explanation of areas of the body that he proposes to treat and documenting that consent in the clinical record; and (c) failing to provide proper draping materials to patients and failing to ensure that patients are properly draped at all times.

  3. The Registrant consents and undertakes to have an approved chaperone present for all visits with female patients for a minimum period of one year up to a maximum period of five (5) years from the date of the Consent Order and to document in the clinical record, the name of the chaperone present for each visit with a female patient. The Inquiry Committee will review this requirement every year on or about the anniversary date of the Consent Order to determine whether, in its sole discretion, the Registrant must continue to have a chaperone present.

  4. The Registrant consents and undertakes to continue to post notices that are 8 ½” x 11” in size, in English and Chinese, in a prominent place in the waiting room and in a prominent place in each of the treatment rooms of his clinic indicating that female patients must have a chaperone present for treatment at all times.  The Registrant must continue to post the notices for the entire period that the requirement for a chaperone is in force under para. 3 above.

  5. The Registrant consents and undertakes to provide monthly written reports to the Registrar which contain the names of all female patients whom he has seen in the preceding month, their contact information (including current telephone numbers), and the name of the chaperone who was present for each patient’s visit.

  6. The Registrant consents and undertakes to complete the Professional/Problem Based Ethics (PROBE) Program at his cost within 12 months of the Consent Order.
  7. The Registrant will pay the costs of this investigation under s. 33(7) of the Act based on the tariff of costs established under s. 19(1)(v.1) of the Act within six (6) months of the date of the Consent Order.