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Brooks, Douglas Earl

CPSO#: 26921

MEMBER STATUS
Active Member as of 04 Dec 2016
CPSO REGISTRATION CLASS
Independent Practice as of 04 Dec 2016

Summary

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Former Name: No Former Name

Gender: Male

Languages Spoken: English

Education:Queen's University, 1973

Practice Information

Primary Location of Practice
240 McNabbv Street
Sault Ste. Marie ON  P6B 1Y5
Phone: (705) 759-1234 Ext. 2308 Electoral District: 08

Additional Practice Location(s)

4499-R Second Line West
4499-R Second Line West
Prince Township ON  P6A 6K4
Canada
Phone: 7057799990
County: Territorial District of Algoma
Electoral District: 08

Professional Corporation Information


Corporation Name: Douglas E. Brooks Medicine Professional Corporation
Certificate of Authorization Status: Inactive: May 6 2019

Medical Records Location

Instructions: Patients looking to obtain a copy of their medical record may write to: 240 McNabb Street, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 1Y5.
Date Received: 22 Jan 2020

Specialties

Specialty Issued On Type
No Speciality Reported

Terms and Conditions

(1) Dr. DOUGLAS EARL BROOKS may practise only in the areas of medicine in which Dr. BROOKS is educated and experienced.

Registration History

Action Issue Date
First certificate of registration issued: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 21 Aug 1974
Transfer of class of certificate to: Restricted certificate Effective: 04 Jul 2016
Terms and conditions imposed on certificate Effective: 04 Jul 2016
Suspension of registration imposed: Discipline Committee Effective: 04 Jul 2016
Suspension of registration removed Effective: 04 Dec 2016
Transfer of class of registration to: Independent Practice Certificate Effective: 04 Dec 2016

Previous Hearings

Committee: Discipline
Decision Date: 04 Jul 2016
Summary:

On July 4, 2016, the Discipline Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario 
found that Dr. Douglas Earl Brooks committed an act of professional misconduct 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. Brooks, a general practitioner in Sault Ste Marie, also works as an investigating coroner. He 
maintains a family practice at the Group Health Centre and hospital privileges at the Sault Area 
Hospital. 
 
Patients A and B had a close personal connection to Dr. Brooks and his wife.  
 
The family physicians of Patients A and B practised at the Group Health Centre, which 
maintained patient medical records in an electronic medical records system. Patients A and B 
also had medical records from hospital visits that were maintained in the Hospital’s electronic 
medical records system. 
 
Patient A, who suffered from mental health and addictions issues, died by suicide in 2014. Dr. 
Brooks was the investigating coroner on call at the time of Patient A’s death and attended at the 
scene. Due to his connection to Patient A, arrangements were made to have the case transferred 
to another coroner. Dr. Brooks accordingly did not act as the coroner in the investigation of 
Patient A’s death.  
 
After Patient A’s death, her relatives, concerned about potential unauthorized access to their 
records by Dr. Brooks, requested audit reports of access to Patient A and Patient B’s electronic 
medical records from both the Group Health Centre and the Hospital. 
 
 
PRIVACY BREACHES 
 
Dr. Brooks accessed Patient A’s electronic medical records from the Group Health Centre on six 
dates between September 2005 and March 2014. Dr. Brooks accessed Patient A’s electronic 
medical records from the Hospital on eight dates between August 2011 and August 2014. 
Multiple records were accessed on each of the above dates. 
 
Dr. Brooks accessed Patient B’s electronic medical records from the Group Health Centre on 
eight dates between April 2003 and October 2006. Multiple records were accessed on each of 
these dates. 
 
Dr. Brooks’ access to the electronic records was unauthorized because he did not have the 
consent of Patient A and Patient B to access their respective medical records. Further, there was 
no medical reason for Dr. Brooks to access the records. 
 
The medical records that were accessed by Dr. Brooks included information related to general 
family medicine care, as well as highly personal information of a very sensitive nature, namely 
information related to psychiatric care, addictions-related issues and obstetrical care. 
 
 
PATIENT B’S PREGNANCY 

In  2006,  after  a  period  of  estrangement,  during  the  first  trimester  of  Patient  B’s  pregnancy, 
Patient B initiated contact with Dr. Brooks’ wife. The attempt at reconciliation was unsuccessful. 
Subsequent  to  this contact, Dr. Brooks  accessed Patient  B’s electronic  medical  records at the 
Group Health Centre six times during the remainder of her pregnancy.  

 

PATIENT A’S HOSPITALIZATION 

In 2011, Patient A was admitted to the Mental Health Inpatient Unit at the Hospital. During this 
time, Dr. Brooks accessed Patient A’s records almost daily over a period of seven days, with 
additional access during the week after her discharge. 

 

PATIENT A’S FATHER SOUGHT DR. BROOKS’ AND HIS WIFE’S ASSISTANCE 

In 2014, Patient A was struggling and refusing access to crisis care. Patient A’s father reports 
that when he asked Patient A if there was anything he could do to help, Patient A requested that 
he seek out Dr. Brooks’ wife to meet with her. Patient A’s father went to Dr. Brooks’ home, 
requesting Dr. Brooks and his wife join him in an intensified effort to help Patient A. At that 
time, he also asked Dr. Brooks’ wife if she would meet with Patient A the next day.  

Later that day, Dr. Brooks’ wife discussed this with Dr. Brooks. He expressed concern to her that 
it was not safe to meet Patient A where she was living. Dr. Brooks’ wife then called Patient A’s 
father in the evening and told him that she would not be able to meet Patient A the next day. That 
same evening, Dr. Brooks accessed Patient A’s medical records. 

Dr. Brooks and his wife had no further contact with Patient A from this point forward. 

 

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT 

On  November  24,  2003,  Dr.  Brooks  signed  a  Confidentiality  Agreement  with  the  Hospital, 
confirming  that  except  where  he  was  legally  authorized  or  required  to  do  so,  he  would  not 
inspect or receive paper or electronic patient-related information from Health Records or from 
notes, charts, and other material related to patient care. The Hospital’s policy stated that it was a 
breach of confidentiality to access patient or health information when not required to provide 
care to a patient or in the performance of duties.  

 

PENALTY AND COSTS 

The Committee ordered and directed that: 

   2. Dr. Brooks appear before the panel to be reprimanded, with the fact of the reprimand to 
      be recorded on the register. 

   3. The  Registrar  suspend  Dr.  Brooks’  certificate  of  registration  for  a  period  of  five  (5) 
      months commencing from the date of this Order. 

   4. The  Registrar  impose  the  following  term,  condition  and  limitation  on  Dr.  Brooks 
      certificate of registration: 
      a. Dr. Brooks will participate in and successfully complete, within 6 (six) months of 
         the date of this Order, individualized instruction in medical ethics with an 
         instructor approved by the College, with a report or reports to be provided to the 
         College regarding Dr. Brooks’ progress and compliance. 
5. Dr. Brooks pay to the College costs in the amount of $5,000.00 within 30 (thirty) days of 
   the date of this Order.


Decision: Download Full Decision (PDF)
Hearing Date(s): July 4, 2016