Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan

Fake doctor goes to jail, good faith and expected profit, default judgment, and decriminalizing drugs

February 12, 2021 Michael Mulligan
Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan
Fake doctor goes to jail, good faith and expected profit, default judgment, and decriminalizing drugs
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Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan
Fake doctor goes to jail, good faith and expected profit, default judgment, and decriminalizing drugs
Feb 12, 2021
Michael Mulligan

This week on Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan:

What happens when someone, repeatedly, pretends to be a medical doctor, despite repeated injunctions and fines being imposed? They go to jail. 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is responsible for bringing applications to the BC Supreme Court to stop someone who is not qualified from using titles like “Dr.” or “Physician”. 

In the case discussed on the show, Ms. Ezzati pretended to be a doctor and performed medical procedures on 18 separate days, on over 30 individuals, despite repeated orders to stop. The judge found that she has caused harm to all of these individuals and exposed them all to the risk of more serious and potentially life-threatening harm.

Ms. Ezzati was found to be in possession of brochures, resumes, and other material, indicating that she was pretending to be a doctor. She failed to pay fines that were imposed and pretended to have COVID-19 to avoid attending a court hearing. 

As a result of this conduct, which went on for three years, the judge eventually sentenced Ms. Ezzati to 6 months in jail. 

Also, on the show, a recent Supreme Court of Canada case involving the concept of good faith, in the context of contracts, is discussed. The Supreme Court of Canada has dealt with several cases recently where it has expanded the concepts of honesty, and good faith, in contractual dealings. 

The most recent case involved a contract with a Vancouver regional district to truck garbage to disposal sites. The contract allowed the district to select which of three sites the garbage would be trucked to and provided for different payments depending on how far the garbage was hauled. 

The district decided to use a disposal site closer to Vancouver, which resulted in the garbage disposal company making less money. 

Even though the contract specified a target profit for the garbage disposal company, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the concept of good faith didn’t require the district to have the garbage trucked further in order to increase the profit of the company. The court concluded that the district had made the decision to choose a closer site for legitimate reasons: to save money on hauling. 

Good faith does not require a party to a contract to make decisions that are contrary to its legitimate interests. 

Finally, on the show, in the context of 1716 overdose deaths in British Columbia in 2020, the province has asked the federal government to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs so that a medical rather than law enforcement approach can be implemented.

The number of people who died of overdoses in British Columbia increased by 74% over 2019 and was significantly more than the number of people who died of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 likely contributed to the sharply increased number of overdose deaths. People are more likely to use drugs when they become unemployed, are more likely to use drugs alone due to COVID-19, and mitigation measures such as increased unemployment benefits facilitate the purchase of drugs. 

Show Notes

This week on Legally Speaking with Michael Mulligan:

What happens when someone, repeatedly, pretends to be a medical doctor, despite repeated injunctions and fines being imposed? They go to jail. 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is responsible for bringing applications to the BC Supreme Court to stop someone who is not qualified from using titles like “Dr.” or “Physician”. 

In the case discussed on the show, Ms. Ezzati pretended to be a doctor and performed medical procedures on 18 separate days, on over 30 individuals, despite repeated orders to stop. The judge found that she has caused harm to all of these individuals and exposed them all to the risk of more serious and potentially life-threatening harm.

Ms. Ezzati was found to be in possession of brochures, resumes, and other material, indicating that she was pretending to be a doctor. She failed to pay fines that were imposed and pretended to have COVID-19 to avoid attending a court hearing. 

As a result of this conduct, which went on for three years, the judge eventually sentenced Ms. Ezzati to 6 months in jail. 

Also, on the show, a recent Supreme Court of Canada case involving the concept of good faith, in the context of contracts, is discussed. The Supreme Court of Canada has dealt with several cases recently where it has expanded the concepts of honesty, and good faith, in contractual dealings. 

The most recent case involved a contract with a Vancouver regional district to truck garbage to disposal sites. The contract allowed the district to select which of three sites the garbage would be trucked to and provided for different payments depending on how far the garbage was hauled. 

The district decided to use a disposal site closer to Vancouver, which resulted in the garbage disposal company making less money. 

Even though the contract specified a target profit for the garbage disposal company, the Supreme Court of Canada found that the concept of good faith didn’t require the district to have the garbage trucked further in order to increase the profit of the company. The court concluded that the district had made the decision to choose a closer site for legitimate reasons: to save money on hauling. 

Good faith does not require a party to a contract to make decisions that are contrary to its legitimate interests. 

Finally, on the show, in the context of 1716 overdose deaths in British Columbia in 2020, the province has asked the federal government to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs so that a medical rather than law enforcement approach can be implemented.

The number of people who died of overdoses in British Columbia increased by 74% over 2019 and was significantly more than the number of people who died of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 likely contributed to the sharply increased number of overdose deaths. People are more likely to use drugs when they become unemployed, are more likely to use drugs alone due to COVID-19, and mitigation measures such as increased unemployment benefits facilitate the purchase of drugs.