Dentists Can Now Treat their Spouses in Ontario

July 21st, 2014 by

Ivan Merrow, Summer Law Student

As of July 11, 2014 dentists are able to treat their spouses in Ontario. The change is due to a regulation passed by the Ontario Legislature that puts the Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act (Spousal Exception), 2013 (the “Act”) into force.

The regulation is a welcome change for dentists, particularly those in rural parts of the province where access to dental care is more limited. The previous prohibition on spousal treatment forced spouses of dentists to seek treatment outside of their matrimonial circle, which is particularly onerous for those living in towns with limited options with respect to dental care providers.

The original prohibition was meant to prevent regulated health professionals from abusing a fiduciary relationship with patients (i.e. engaging in intimate relationships with patients). However, prior to July 11, 2014 there was no exception for spouses, creating an Ontario regulated health profession-wide ban on treating one’s spouse.

At this time the Act still allows individual regulated health professions to enforce bans on professionals treating their spouses.

If you are a regulated health professional and have questions about how this new regulation might affect your practice, the dental law lawyers at Devry Smith Frank LLP are here to help. For now, our team congratulates the dental profession on its new ability to provide dental care to the ones they love the most.

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