Summary of Adjudication Tribunal Decision
(Published under Section 50 (3) of the Medical Act, 2011)
On September 10 and 11, 2014, an Adjudication Tribunal established under the Medical Act, 2011 held a hearing into a complaint of professional incompetence, brought by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador against Dr. Christo Maurice Taylor, a physician practising at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. The complaint was based on an allegation by Peter and Sharon Wheaton of York Harbour, NL, following the death of their daughter, Kaylie.
The Tribunal heard and accepted an agreed statement of facts as well as Dr. Taylor’s plea of guilty to the complaint. According to the decision of the Tribunal, Kaylie Wheaton, aged nine years, presented at the emergency department of Western Memorial Regional Hospital at 10:23 AM on May 13, 2011, where she received treatment from Dr. Taylor. Kaylie was transferred to the intensive care unit of the hospital and died there at 8:20 PM that day. Kaylie had clinically apparent decompensated shock at initial presentation but this was not correctly diagnosed. Dr. Taylor continued to miss the critical nature of Kaylie’s condition despite numerous findings suggesting septic shock throughout the five and a half hour stay in the Emergency Department. As a result, the treatment given under the direction of Dr. Taylor was not adequate, or timely, given the presenting symptoms and indications.
The Tribunal heard a joint submission on sanction. After requesting and receiving additional information from legal counsel for the College and legal counsel for Dr. Taylor, the Tribunal accepted the joint submission on sanction.
“Having considered the relevant Sections of the Act, all of the evidence, the submissions of the parties, and the jurisprudence, the Adjudication Tribunal ordered as follows [on September 11, 2014]:
1. The licence of the Respondent to practise medicine in this province shall continue to be restricted, such that the Respondent shall be prohibited from working in an Emergency Room or Intensive Care setting. The restriction does not prevent the Respondent from working in a Family Practice setting.
2. The licence of the Respondent shall remain so restricted until the Respondent provides proof, satisfactory to the College, that he has received certification in Emergency Medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and current certifications in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).
3. The Respondent shall pay to the College the costs incurred by the College in the investigation of the Allegation and hearing of the Complaint, set at Twenty Thousand dollars ($20,000.00), such costs to be paid by the Respondent within six months of the decision and order of the Adjudication Tribunal, or such further time as the College may allow.
4. Publication of the decision and order of the Adjudication Tribunal as provided for in section 50 of the Medical Act, 2011.”
Linda Inkpen, MD