Laity, Alan Howard (CPSO#: 66399)

Current Status: Expired: Resigned from membership as of 26 Jun 2017

CPSO Registration Class: None as of 26 Jun 2017

Indicates a concern or additional information

Summary

Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:The University of Western Ontario, 1993

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
Practice Address Not Available
View Professional Corporation Information

Professional Corporation Information

Corporation Name: A. Laity Medicine Professional Corporation

Certificate of Authorization Status: Inactive: Jul 26 2017

Medical Records Location

Address: RSRS 111 St. Regis Crescent South Toronto ON M3J 1Y6 Tel: 1-888-563-3732
Date Received: 09 Sep 2016

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
Family Medicine Effective: 09 Jun 1995 CFPC Specialist

Postgraduate Training

Please note: This information may not be a complete record of postgraduate training.

The University of Western Ontario, 01 Jul 1993 to 30 Jun 1994
PostGrad Yr 1 - Family Medicine

The University of Western Ontario, 01 Jul 1994 to 30 Jun 1995
PostGrad Yr 2 - Family Medicine

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Postgraduate Education Certificate Effective: 01 Jul 1993
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 20 Jun 1995
Expired: Resigned from membership. Expiry: 26 Jun 2017

Previous Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 15 Oct 2018
Summary:

On October 15, 2018, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Alan Howard Laity committed an act 
of professional misconduct, in that he has failed to maintain the standard of practice of the 
profession, and in that he has engaged in conduct or an act or omission relevant to the practice of 
medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as 
disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.  
 
Dr. Dr. Laity is a family physician who had a practice in London, Ontario until September 30, 2016 
at which time he closed his practice. On June 26, 2017, he resigned his certificate of registration 
with the College.  
 
In January 2016, the College received a complaint from Patient A, who had been a patient of Dr. 
Laity's since July 2007. An expert retained by the College to provide an opinion with respect to the 
standard of practice of the profession, reviewed Dr. Laity's patient chart for Patient A and identified 
deficiencies in Dr. Laity's record-keeping and prescribing. 
      
Record-keeping Deficiencies 
 
The Expert noted the following deficiencies in Dr. Laity’s record-keeping with respect to Patient A:  
 
  -  The cumulative patient profile in Dr. Laity's chart for Patient A was difficult to read and 
     follow due to Dr. Laity's handwriting and adjustments to the cumulative patient profile;  
  -  The medication list on Patient A's cumulative patient profile was not current and did not 
     include all medications Patient A was taking, such as methodone; 
  -  At his first appointment with Patient A, Dr. Laity prescribed clonazepam with no 
     documentation of dosing so or the amount of pills prescribed; 
  -  Dr. Laity started Patient A on an antidepressant medication without documenting any 
     depression anxiety symptoms or risk of self-harm, and benzodiazepines were renewed 
     regularly with little documentation. 
 
Prescribing Deficiencies 
 
Dr. Laity prescribed escalating doses of benzodiazepines to Patient A throughout the 8.5-year 
doctor-patient relationship, despite multiple warning signs that Patient A was addicted to and/or 
abusing the medication he prescribed. 
 
Dr. Laity acceded to numerous requests for early refills of benzodiazepines. In the period between 
December 2007 and August 2009, Patient A claimed she required early refills of medication 
because she was assaulted and had trouble sleeping, because her pills were stolen on four separate 
occasions, because her pills were lost on two occasions, because she said she was entering a 
residential treatment program for post-traumatic stress disorder, amongst other reasons. These 
requests were warning signs of benzodiazepine abuse. On each occasion, Dr. Laity provided early 
refills of Patient A's benzodiazepines, on at least one occasion as little as two days after the last 
prescription. 
 
When Patient A told Dr. Laity that she was taking extra medications, Dr. Laity continued 
prescribing clonazepam and other medications to her without properly addressing this. 
 
While Dr. Laity first prescribed Patient A clonazepam in 2007 on a dose of 0.5 mg twice a day, by 
2014 he was prescribing 2 mg of clonazepam three times a day with 180 tablets every two months. 
In May 2015, he again increased Patient A's prescription to 300 tablets of clonazepam 2 mg three 
times a day every two months. In August 2015, Dr. Laity replaced Patient A's pills because she told 
him she "knocked" two bottles of pills into the toilet. 
      
In September 2015, Patient A was admitted to hospital for lithium overdose and remained in 
hospital for several months for several reasons, including severe anxiety and benzodiazepine 
addiction.  
 
On January 4, 2016, Dr. Laity's office received a consultation note from a hospital physician, which 
indicated that Patient A had been weaned off of diazepam and was no longer taking clonazepam or 
any benzodiazepines. The physician wrote in the consultation notes:  
 
         Benzodiazepine withdrawal is a significant concern, though not likely to be 
         severe. Her risk for relapse if discharged at this time would be extremely 
         high, and she will need to be monitored to ensure she has been successfully 
         managed through the initial withdrawal symptoms. If she does require a 
         return of benzodiazepine administration, my recommendation is to 
         backtrack a single step (in this case to 2.5 mg of diazepam) and likely would 
         be best administered at night so that she can become accustomed to the 
         lowering blood levels during the day.  
 
Three days later, on January 7, 2016, at his first appointment with Patient A since she had been 
admitted to hospital in September 2015, Dr. Laity prescribed Patient A clonazepam 1 mg three 
times a day, down from 2 mg three times a day prior to her hospital admission, but much higher 
than recommended by the hospital physician. 
      
The expert opined in his report that the first visit post hospital discharge in January 2016 was very 
concerning, noting that according to the notes from the hospital physician, there was concern for the 
patient to relapse and return to benzodiazepine use and Dr. Laity was advised if a drug is needed to 
use diazepam at 2.5 mg. However, on January 7, 2016, Dr. Laity prescribed clonazepam 1 mg and 
gave the patient 90 tablets. 
          
The expert concluded that Patient A presents as a very high risk for abuse, and addiction. The 
escalating use, and lost prescriptions and withdrawal symptoms, of benzodiazepines and specialist 
notes indicating abuse raised many red flags that Dr. Laity appeared to miss, or ignore. The expert 
noted that Dr. Laity ignoring the warnings of the hospital physician, post a three-month hospital 
admission for benzodiazepine abuse, is very concerning.  
 
The expert opined that Dr. Laity has not met the standard of care of the profession in his care of 
Patient A. Based on the review of this chart, and the notes provided, the expert opined that Dr. Laity 
exposed Patient A to harm, and based on her last visit, may have exposed Patient A to future harm. 
 
Undertaking  
 
Dr. Laity resigned his certificate of registration in June 2017. Dr. Laity was referred to the 
Discipline Committee on allegations of professional misconduct in July 2017. In the face of these 
allegations, Dr. Laity has entered into an Undertaking with the College wherein he agreed never to 
apply or reapply for registration as a physician in Ontario or any other jurisdiction. 
 
 
 
Disposition 
 
On October 15, 2018, the Discipline Committee ordered and directed that: 
 
-    Dr. Laity attend before the panel to be reprimanded. 
-    Dr. Laity pay costs to the College in the amount of $10,180.00 within thirty (30) days from 
     the date of this Order.

Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): Motion: July 3, and August 20, 2018. Hearing dates: October 15, 2018

Concerns

Source: Member
Active Date: October 15, 2018
Expiry Date:
Summary:
Summary of the Undertaking given by Dr. Alan Howard Laity to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, effective October 15, 2018:

Dr. Laity resigned his certificate of registration in June 2017. Dr. Laity was referred to the Discipline Committee on allegations of professional misconduct in July 2017. In the face of these allegations, Dr. Laity has agreed never to apply or reapply for registration as a physician in Ontario or any other jurisdiction.
Download Full Document (PDF)