Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Disgraced pathologist Charles Smith's professional future will be officially decided next week when he stands before a disciplinary committee of Ontario's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Smith, whose erroneous expert evidence and testimony contributed to more than a dozen criminal charges, many of which resulted in wrongful convictions, will have to answer on Tuesday to allegations that he is incompetent and acted in a manner that would be regarded as "disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional."

The college, which governs the conduct of doctors in the province, had held off investigating Dr. Smith while a public inquiry, headed by Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge of the Ontario Court of Appeal, conducted a year-and-half-long probe into the pathologist and his superiors in the Office of the Chief Coroner. In a final report released in October, 2008, Judge Goudge concluded that the doctor's findings - most of which were made in connection with the deaths of babies and infants and often resulted in parents losing custody of other children - "defied logic" and were "simply baffling."

Story continues below advertisement

It's not clear what arguments, if any, Dr. Smith is prepared to offer in his defence. When he testified before the public inquiry, he stated that his mistakes were not intentional. He also made a tearful apology to William Mullins-Johnson, who spent 12 years in jail after being wrongfully convicted of sodomizing and murdering his four-year-old niece. Dr. Smith's lawyer, Niels Ortved, declined to comment about what the pathologist is expected to say.

There are a range of penalties that Dr. Smith could face from the panel: His certification could be revoked completely, or merely suspended for a specified period of time; he could be required to pay a fine to the provincial government of not more than $35,000. He has been unable to practise medicine for nearly three years. He agreed to stop practising shortly after Judge Goudge's probe commenced, and then later resigned his licence, said Kathryn Clarke, a spokeswoman for the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In October, Ontario's provincial Liberal government announced that Mr. Mullins-Johnson would receive $4.25-million in compensation. Earlier in August, the government pledged a maximum of $250,000 to the victims in the other cases examined by Judge Goudge.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies