Dr. Jon Barnes – April 2018

This matter came before a panel of the Discipline Committee of the College of Optometrists of Ontario on March 22 and April 19, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario:

On March 22, 2018, THE DISCIPLINE PANEL MADE THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS of professional misconduct in relation to the allegations set out in the Notice of Hearing, dated August 24, 2017:

1. that Dr. Barnes committed  an act or acts of professional  misconduct  as set out in Allegation  #1 of the Notice of Hearing, in that, between approximately 2002 and 2016, he sexually abused Patient A, Patient B, and Patient C when he engaged in behaviour and made remarks of a sexual nature towards Patient A, Patient B, and Patient C, who were also staff, including, but not limited to when he:

a) wrote comments of a sexual nature in various places in the workplace where they would see them;

b) made verbal, sexual comments to them, about them, and/or about others in their presence; and

c) engaged in behaviours of a sexual nature towards them in the workplace.

2. that Dr. Barnes committed an act or acts of professional misconduct as set out in Allegation #2 of the Notice of Hearing, in that, between approximately 2002 and 2016, he failed to maintain the standards of practice of the profession when he:

a) noted, in patient records, inappropriate commentary about patients and/or their relatives, including comments of a sexual nature, not relevant to care; and

b) engaged in unprofessional  behaviours in the office, including engaging in the sexual harassment of staff.

3. that Dr. Barnes committed an act or acts of professional misconduct as set out in Allegation #3 of the Notice of Hearing, in that, between approximately November 2016 and March 2017, he contravened, by act or omission, subsection 76(3) of the Health Professions Procedural Code when he applied white-out to or otherwise redacted notations he had made in patient charts and, in so doing, concealed and/or destroyed information relevant to the College’s investigation;

4. that Dr. Barnes committed an act or acts of professional misconduct as set out in Allegation #4 of the Notice of Hearing, in that, between approximately 2002 and 2016, he engaged in conduct or performed an act that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional and unethical and, in particular, he:

a) noted, in patient records, inappropriate commentary about patients and/or their relatives, including comments of a sexual nature, not relevant to care;

b) wrote sexual comments in various places in the workplaces where staff could see them including on post-it notes and the white board;

c) made verbal, sexual comments to staff;

d) engaged in sexual behaviours towards staff, including when he showed them sexual images and/or videos;

e) acted in a physically aggressive manner in the office;

f) shared a staff member’s private health information with other staff; and/or

g) acted in a verbally and/or emotionally abusive manner towards staff.

B. On April 19, 2018, THE DISCIPLINE PANEL MADE AN ORDER:

1. Requiring the Member to appear before the Panel to be reprimanded at the conclusion of the hearing on April 19, 2018.

2. Directing the Registrar to suspend the Member’s certificate of registration for four (4) months, uninterrupted, commencing on May 24, 2018.

3. Directing the Registrar to impose the following terms, conditions and limitations on the Member’s certificate of registration:

a) that the Member successfully complete, at his own expense, with an unconditional pass, and within two (2) years of the date that this Order becomes final, both the ProBe Program on professional/problem-based ethics and the ProBe Plus follow-up module; and

b) that the Member shall provide the College with a certified cheque in the amount of $48,180, by April 19, 2018, representing security to guarantee the payment of any amounts the Member may be required to reimburse the College for funding under the program required by s. 85.7 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, in relation to Person A, Person B and/or Person C ($16,060 each), as referred to in the Agreed Statement of Facts. Any funds that have not been used for the purposes of the program required by s. 85.7 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, shall be returned to the Member by the College, without interest, at the expiration of the 5-year time frame within which funding may be provided.

4. Directing the Member to partially reimburse the College for its costs in relation to this proceeding in the amount of $30,000 to be paid by post-dated cheques provided to the College by April 19, 2018, according to the following schedule:

a) one cheque dated April 19, 2018 in the amount of $10,000;

b) one cheque dated December 22, 2018; in the amount of $10,000; and

c) one cheque dated September 22, 2019 in the amount of $10,000.

Additionally, Dr. Barnes signed an Undertaking/Agreement. To read the Undertaking/Agreement please click here. (PDF)

To read a letter from Dr. Jon Barnes, click here (PDF)

At the conclusion of the hearing, Dr. Barnes waived his right to appeal and the Discipline Committee delivered the reprimand.

Read the full Discipline decision (PDF)