Ca: North Bay nurse who snooped into 5,800 patients’ records gets four month suspension

May Warren reports that a North Bay nurse who snooped into more than 5,800 patients’ records yet escaped prosecution because of Crown prosecutor delays and mis-steps, has had her license suspended by the College of Nurses of Ontario.

Melissa McLellan was the first person ever actually charged under the 2004 Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), and her case – had the prosecutors not delayed and screwed up – could have set an important precedent.

As it is, her license is suspended for four months and she’s been reprimanded.

Read more on Toronto Star.

If I understand PHIPA, the nurse could have had a fine levied if she had been prosecuted and found guilty. PHIPA does not seem to have any jail time as a possible penalty. Of note, if someone sues under PHIPA, there can be an award for actual harm, but there also can be an award for “mental anguish.”


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