Personal or Financial Interest
Personal or Financial Interest
The Conflict of Interest regulation (O.Reg 596/94 s.2) states the following:
“A member is in a conflict of interest if the member’s personal or financial interest, or the personal or financial interest of another person who is in a non-arm’s length relationship with the member conflicts (actual), appears to conflict (perceived) or potentially conflicts (potential) with the member’s professional or ethical duty to a patient or the exercise of the member’s professional judgment.”
Personal Interest – (e.g.) status, employment, career advancement.
Financial Interest – (e.g.) monetary payment, a rebate, credit, discount or reimbursement for goods or services, a payment or reduction of a debt or financial obligation, a payment of a fee for consultation or other services, a loan, a present that is more than token in nature, a service at a reduced or no cost.
Non-arm’s Length Relationship – People who are related to one another or joined in a business relationship are considered to be in a “non-arm’s length relationship”. This is because of potential for them to have undue influence over one another, possibly having an impact on their actions.
An equipment vendor offers a department four free registrations to an upcoming RT conference. The manager, who is an RT, raffles the registrations off to the staff.
What do you do?
The individual staff RTs would not likely be in a conflict of interest, provided they do not have significant input into decisions made about what equipment is purchased. However, in this scenario, there is a perceived conflict of interest on the part of the RT manager. Any reasonable person may conclude that the manager’s professional judgment has been improperly influenced by the “gift”. Even if they did not have any input into equipment procurement decisions, there is a significant likelihood of the manager influencing the person who makes those decisions.
Agreement: a revenue, fee or income sharing arrangement.
Fiduciary: a relationship based on trust and confidence
Member: refers to a Respiratory Therapist (RT) who is registered with the CRTO as either a Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT), Practical (limited) Respiratory Therapist (PRT) or Graduate Respiratory Therapists (GRT).
Professional misconduct: as defined in the Professional Misconduct Regulation (O. Reg. 753/93), which was established under the Respiratory Therapy Act.
Reasonable person: an individual who is neutral and informed
Relationship: in the course of their practice, RTs engage in therapeutic (patient/client) and professional relationships (students, colleagues, coworkers) .
Related person: means any person connected with a member by blood relationship, marriage, common-law or adoption, and
- persons are connected by blood relationship if one is the child or other descendant of the other or one is the brother or sister of the other;
- persons are connected by marriage if one is married to the other or to a person who is connected by blood relationship to the other;
- persons are connected by common-law if the persons have, for a period of not less than three years, cohabited in a relationship of some permanence; and
- persons are connected by adoption if one has been adopted, either legally or in fact, as the child of the other or as the child of a person who is so connected by blood relationship.
Related company: means a company, corporation or business partnership or entity that is owned or controlled, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by a person or another person related to the person.
- College of Nurses of Ontario. Professional Conduct (2019). Retrieved from: https://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/ih/42007_misconduct.pdf
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Physicians’ Relationship with Industry: Practice, Education and Research (2014). Retrieved from: https://www.cpso.on.ca/en/Physicians/Policies-Guidance/Policies/Physicians-Relationships-with-Industry-Practice
- General, O Reg 596/94, retrieved on October 20, 2021. Retrieved from https://canlii.ca/t/527jh
- Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice; Lo B, Field MJ, editors. Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009. Summary. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22926