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Ottawa Doctor called 'incompetent', told never to practice again

An Ottawa doctor, at the centre of an infectious control problem in her colonoscopy clinic, has promised she will never practice medicine again. Dr. Christiane Farazli was before the College of Physicians and Surgeons and charged with unprofessional conduct and incompetence. For the dozens of patients who say they were brutalized, even tortured by Farazli, this is the day they've been waiting for; to know that the doctor will never practice again and never put anyone else through what they endured.

Louise Marchand was so interested in today's disciplinary hearing in Toronto, she asked the College to connect her by phone so she could hear what was going on. Marchand was one of thousands of patients of Dr. Christiane Farazli who underwent a colonoscopies or endoscopies at her Carling Avenue office. For Marchand, it an experience she will never forget.

"I was tortured by this doctor,” recalls Marchand, “told to shut up and stop acting like a baby because I asked her to stop the procedure because I was in excruciating pain and screaming.”

Her comments were echoed by other patients. Dozens of them were quoted in the Notice of Hearing document before the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The document quotes patients A to T claiming they experienced "unbearable pain, inadequate sedation." One even saying a sales rep was called in to help when Farazli's nurse was a no-show.

“What I want is for her to have her license revoked as a physician and be held criminally responsible,” says Marchand.

Farazli wasn't at her disciplinary hearing today but her lawyer told the College that she has undertaken never to practice medicine again.

“To treat patients in this position with gross insensitivity and disregard of their discomfort is unconscionable" the College wrote in its reprimand of Farazli.

“Your patients deserved respect, sensitivity and expertise”

Farazli's lack of infection control prompted Ottawa Public Health to warn nearly 7-thousand patients that they might have been exposed to infection. Hundreds of them underwent blood tests. The results showed there did not appear to be any infection exposure.

Still, some of those patients have launched a $20-million dollar class action lawsuit against the doctor.

Her Carling Avenue office is closed, her practice shut down. Her former patients maintain that isn't good enough.

"This is, what, ten years later and I can't say I’m over it,” says Marchand, “I still believe that justice is possible and I’ve been very disappointed so far

In its reprimand, the College hinted that Farazli is ill which may explain why she wasn't at today's hearing.

In its written explanation, the Discipline Committee explained that Dr. Farazli has executed an undertaking never to engage in the practice of medicine again and ordered that she appear before the panel to be reprimanded and pay to the College costs in the amount of $4,460.00, within 30 days of the date of this Order. It also ordered Dr. Farazli not to practise medicine in any jurisdiction. For greater certainty and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, “practise medicine” includes, but is not limited to, any contact whatsoever with patients; any involvement in the assessment, treatment, diagnosis or management in respect of any person; any prescriptions of any kind (new or renewed) to any person; preparation or participation in medical or medico-legal reports or similar documents; teaching or supervision related to the practice of medicine.

Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa

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