News Release

Discipline Committee Decisions

Dr. C. Nicholas Rathe; Dr. Ian E. DePass

Jul 27, 2012

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (“the College”) released the results of its most recent disciplinary hearings. The College is the licensing and disciplinary body for physicians in Ontario. Hearings are held to review allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence, and are open to the public. The following are brief summaries of recent discipline hearing results. The Discipline Committee’s full decisions and reasons for decisions are posted on the College’s website as they become available. Full decisions are located by entering the doctor’s name in the Doctor Search section of the College’s website.

Dr. C. Nicholas Rathe (no practice address). On May 31, 2011, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Rathe committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he:

  • failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession with respect to his prescription of Ionamin to Patient 1;
  • engaged in rude, inappropriate, hostile and/or aggressive behaviour at a school concert, which was conduct unbecoming a physician;
  • engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct by behaving in a rude and objectionable manner toward the son of Patient 2 during the course of an office visit by Patient 2 and her son; and, by falsely representing that one of his patients (Patient 3) was employed as his office manager;
  • sexually abused a patient, in that he had a sexual relationship, including sexual intercourse, with Patient 3; and,
  • has been found guilty of an offence that is relevant to his suitability to practise, in that he committed a criminal assault, arising out of a traffic incident, on a female victim by punching her in the face while enraged.

On June 23, 2011, Dr. Rathe appealed the decision of the Discipline Committee to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court).

On January 24, 2012, the Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand and the immediate revocation of Dr. Rathe's certificate of registration. Dr. Rathe was also ordered to reimburse the College for funding for therapy and counselling provided to his patient by posting an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College, in the amount of $16,060; and he was ordered to pay costs to the College in the amount of $23,725.

On February 8, 2012, Dr. Rathe appealed the penalty decision of the Discipline Committee to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court).

The Order of the Discipline Committee remains in effect despite the appeal.

Dr. Ian E. DePass, Chatham. On July 10, 2012, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. DePass committed an act of professional misconduct, in that he failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession. Dr. DePass admitted to the professional misconduct. Since early August 2008, Dr. DePass has been practising only as a surgical assistant.

The Discipline Committee found that Dr. DePass failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession in relation to his care and treatment of five patients (prior to August 2008 when practice restrictions were imposed by the discipline committee).

The Discipline Committee ordered a public reprimand and directed that the following terms, conditions and limitations on Dr. DePass' certificate of registration be maintained:

  1. Dr. DePass' practice shall be limited to being a surgical assistant in a hospital setting, and he may only practise as a surgical assistant while a certified surgeon who has been approved by the College is performing the surgery and is in attendance. This means that he may only assist other surgeons on their cases and cannot be the primary surgeon in any case, and that he is precluded from providing pre-operative and post-operative care or any office practice.
  2. That notice be placed in the operating room area so that all professional staff are aware of the restrictions noted in (i).
  3. iThat so long as the above terms, conditions and limitations are in effect, Dr. DePass shall cooperate with unannounced inspections of his practice and patient charts by a College representative for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing his compliance with them.

Dr. DePass was further ordered to pay costs to the College in the amount of $3,650.