Update: A second trial has been held and the Court is expected to render its verdict shortly.
Judgment rendered in the CMQ lawsuit
In the lawsuit between the Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ) and three osteopathic students and two professors of the Collège d’Études Ostéopathiques de Montréal (CEOM) as well as the CEOM outpatient clinic, two judgments were rendered on June 5 at the Palais de Justice de Montréal.
In the first judgment, three of the five defendants were found guilty of certain charges of illegal practice of medicine. Representations of sanctions will take place on September 5, 2019.
The second judgment concerned the CEOM and the five defendants’ motion for abuse of process by the CMQ. It was dismissed by Judge Denis Lavergne.
The medical law being very broad, any person who can lead to believe that he or she is legally authorized to practice medicine (because he or she belongs to a recognized professional order), i.e. authorized to provide care aimed at alleviating pain or alleviating health deficiencies, can be charged with the illegal practice of medicine.
However, the steps to create the order have been underway since 2008 with the Office des professions du Québec, but as they have not yet been completed, osteopaths are vulnerable to prosecution by the CMQ.
The five defendants have been impeccable from the point of view of osteopathic ethics, but these ethics conflict with the very definition of the practice of medicine in Quebec.
This situation negatively affects both professionals and patients. However, Quebec is behind in terms of legislation compared to many countries where the profession has been recognized for many years (France, Great Britain, etc.).