Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct

A Halifax law firm is preparing to potentially file a class-action lawsuit against a prominent Halifax-area dentist whose licence was suspended this week after several allegations of misconduct.

a man smiling for the camera: The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum's dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.

© Granville Dental
The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum’s dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.

Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct



MacGillivary Law is accepting stories from former or current patients of Dr. Errol Gaum, a dentist at the Granville Dental clinic in Bedford, N.S.

Misconduct allegations mount against Bedford dentist



“We’re here to listen to what people have to say and we’re here to help assess any potential claims that they may have,” said Angeli Swinamer, a partner at the firm, in an interview.

More than 150 people have expressed interest in being part of the potential lawsuit to date, she added.

Read more: Bedford, N.S. dentist’s licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The news comes the same day as a number of Gaum’s former patients held a protest in Bedford, outside his most recent place of employment.

“I thought I was going crazy because at the time, no one was listening to me,” said Mary MacDonald, who was treated by Gaum for 13 years, and attended the rally Saturday .

“It’s because of him I’m scared to go to a dentist today. I haven’t been to a dentist since I left him in 1988.”

MacDonald alleged Gaum did not wait for freezing to kick in before beginning an operation on her gums and told her if she kept crying, the freezing “wouldn’t work” and he would have to start over.

She said she would consider joining a class action lawsuit “not for the money,” but to ensure no one else suffers similar treatment.

READ MORE: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S. dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

At the protest, many told Global News they suffered in silence for years, believing they were alone.

“I didn’t tell (my mother) until years later, because I thought I was bad, and I got a slap for being a bad girl for not opening,” said Christine Shupe, who was treated by Gaum at the age of five.

“It left me with a lot of anxiety over the years and trust issues towards men.”

Misconduct allegations mount against Bedford dentist



Marcia Olsen, another former patient, said Gaum’s rough treatment left bruising on her face and neck as a child.

He or his staff, she added, then threatened to blame it on her mother’s daycare business if she complained to the provincial dental board.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Read more: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

The youngest protester on Saturday was just seven years old.

“He told me to shut up and he put his hand on my mouth,” said Azaryiah

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Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct – Halifax

A Halifax law firm is preparing to potentially file a class-action lawsuit against a prominent Halifax-area dentist who has had his licence suspended after several allegations of misconduct.

McGillivary Law has begun to accept stories from former or current patients of Dr. Errol Gaum, a dentist at Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S.

“If you are inquiring about our pending class action in relation to Dr. Errol Gaum please complete this form and submit. We will be in touch within 48 hours,” a form on the law firm’s website reads.

The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more:
Bedford, N.S. dentist’s licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The news of a potential lawsuit comes the same day as a planned protest at the Granville Dental clinic on Saturday.

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The goal, according to a Facebook event for the Broken Trust Protest, is to raise awareness for the “victims of Dr.Errold Gaum.”

Several patients and former patients came forward to accuse Gaum of professional malpractice by using excessive force on children in his dentist chair.

One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from Glace Bay, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental to get a tooth removed.

Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the appointment.

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Quispamsis calls for change as police officer in misconduct hearing retires

Quispamsis calls for change as police officer in misconduct hearing retires – Oct 28, 2020

Gaum’s licence to practice dentistry in Nova Scotia was suspended indefinitely this week by the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia.

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Dr. Curtis Gregoire, the deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, told Global News in a statement on Thursday that the decision came after the board’s complaints committee held an emergency meeting to consider a number of complaints against Guam.

After reviewing the complaints, Gaum’s license was suspended.

On Saturday, Dr. Don Moors, speaking on behalf of the dental board, said the investigation remains ongoing but that they could not provide specific details on the investigation in order to protect patient confidentiality.

Halifax Regional Police have also confirmed to Global News that they’ve received at least four complaints about a man who was working as a dentist at 1083 Bedford Hwy. in Bedford.

They are investigating the complaints, Const. John MacLeod, a spokesperson for the police force said. No charges have been laid.

Read more:
Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

Dr. Gaum’s attorney Joel Pink has declined repeated attempts for an interview, only saying Dr. Gaum will not be commenting until the Provincial Dental Board of

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New law on medicine regulation on the cards

Used blister packets that contained medicines, tablets and pills are seen, in this picture illustration taken on June 30, 2018 Reuters

Life term for drug malpractice likely

The government has been working on introducing a fresh law soon with tougher punishments, including life-term imprisonment to prevent malpractice by producing, storing and selling counterfeit or adulterated medicines.

The new draft “Drug Act 2019” is now undergoing some last minute corrections at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare following consultations with government organizations and stakeholders, sources said.

The bill, written in Bangla, is being prepared by merging and updating the Drug Act 1940 and Drug (control) Ordinance, 1982.

The 1940 act and the 1982 ordinance focus on drug quality. The 1940 act does not say anything about drug adulteration.

The National Drug Policy 2016 had suggested the fresh law as existing policies, laws, and relevant rules had become insufficient and unable to control and monitor different systems of medicine manufacturing, quality-control, sale, distribution, storage, import, and export.

The maximum punishment under the Drug (control) Ordinance, 1982 is currently 10 years of imprisonment.

The envisaged law will have revised and increased punishment for some other offences to make it more stringent than the existing law.

Very few instances of punishment

Surprisingly, examples of awarding 10-year rigorous jail terms by the court for drug adulteration in Bangladesh are very few so far.

The first one was awarded in July, 2014 to an owner and two officials of Adflame Pharmaceuticals in a case filed over the deaths of 76 children from adulterated drugs in the 1990’s. In the next year six BCI Pharmaceuticals officials faced the same punishment.

However, an official of Polychem Laboratories Limited was jailed for only one year in 2019 following a prolonged legal battle for 26 years.

The BCI, Adflame Pharmaceuticals, Polychem Laboratories, and Rex Pharma reportedly used industrial toxic chemical Di-Ethylene Glycol in their respective brands of paracetamol.

In November 2016, the court acquitted all five officials of Rid Pharmaceuticals Ltd in a case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol syrup that killed 28 children across Bangladesh in 2009.

What the authorities say

The government earlier asked the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to come up with a draft. It prepared the draft copy with proposals and sent it to the ministry. Dhaka Tribune has acquired a copy of the draft.

Responding to Dhaka Tribune’s query, DGDA Director Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman confirmed that the directorate general had sent the draft copy to the Health Ministry to be placed before the cabinet for approval.

“This law is very important for the drug sector. We have merged contents from the existing ordinance, the act, and added some new sections to make this law up-to-date. Before drafting this law we got opinions from all of our stakeholders. Now we are waiting for its approval,” he said.

The Secretary of the Health Services Division of the Health Ministry, Md Abdul Mannan, said: “This law is badly needed to make our drug

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Polish Pro-choice Campaigner Helps Women Bypass Abortion Law

Seven years ago, Natalia Broniarczyk had an abortion despite stringent Polish legislation against it.

Now, she is helping other women do the same and taking part in mass protests against a further tightening of an already highly restrictive law.

“I’m angry,” the 36-year-old campaigner told AFP as she prepared for the latest demonstration in Warsaw.

Protests have been raging nationwide since a ruling from the Constitutional Court on October 22 that would allow abortions only in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk.

Until then, terminations had also been allowed in case of severe foetal anomalies but the court ruled that was “incompatible” with the constitution.

“The verdict made me feel like my country was spitting in my face. I broke down in tears, powerless,” Broniarczyk said.

Natalia Broniarczyk had an abortion seven years ago Natalia Broniarczyk had an abortion seven years ago Photo: AFP / Wojtek RADWANSKI

The campaigner adds she was surprised by the timing of the verdict, as well as by the government’s warnings to stop people taking to the streets in protest.

“We expected a more restrictive law, but we did not expect it to happen right in the middle of a pandemic.

“Or that they would treat us and our lives and problems like objects. That they would ask us to stay home, to make decisions for us without us,” she said.

Broniarczyk had her abortion seven years ago because she was not ready to start a family.

“I didn’t feel financially secure and didn’t think it was the right time,” she said.

Warsaw's streets flooded with pro-choice demonstrators Warsaw’s streets flooded with pro-choice demonstrators Photo: AFPTV / Jaap ARRIENS

She did not qualify for a surgical abortion under the law and could not afford to go abroad for the procedure.

She tried to order abortion pills abroad but Polish customs blocked her order from going through.

Medical abortion is in a grey zone in Poland, neither authorised nor banned by law.

In the end, a Polish organisation helped her obtain the pills required.

“The woman I talked to had also had a medical abortion and told me how it had gone for her. She helped me prepare for it,” Broniarczyk said.

Today she is giving back by providing support to other women as a member of the organisation “Abortion Dream Team” — whose number is one of the ones being displayed prominently by protesters at demonstrations.

In the case of women seeking medical abortions, Broniarczyk provides them with the information required to obtain pills.

She also helps women who decide to terminate their pregnancies abroad, in countries such as Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

Poland sees fewer than 2,000 legal abortions every year. Women’s groups estimate that an additional 200,000 women abort either illegally or abroad.

It took Broniarczyk a few years to be able to discuss the abortion.

But she does not regret it, saying that over time she has come to see it as a “liberating experience”.

“I understood that I could decide for myself about my life, even while living

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How much bias is too much to become a police officer? Experts fear policing law might backfire

An ambitious new law in California taking aim at potential biases of prospective officers has raised questions and concerns among police officers and experts who fear that if implemented inadequately, the law could undermine its own mission to change policing and culture of law enforcement.

a person holding a sign: A billboard in the town of Marysville, Calif., on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post/file)

© Melina Mara/The Washington Post
A billboard in the town of Marysville, Calif., on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post/file)

The law, which was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 30, will expand the present screening requirements by mandating all law enforcement agencies to conduct mental evaluations of peace officer candidates to identify both implicit and explicit biases against race, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation in order to exclude unfit recruits.

While experts, police unions and lawmakers agree on the value of identifying whether those who aspire to become officers carry considerable degrees of biases, it is the lack of clarity on what tools and measures will be used to look for implicit biases that is raising concerns and prompting questions.

“If police departments start to reject applicants because they have implicit biases there will be no one left to hire,” said Laurie Fridell, professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida and founder of the Fair and Impartial Policing program, one of the most popular implicit bias awareness trainings in the country.

Under the new law, the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) will review and develop new regulations and screening materials to identify these potential explicit and implicit biases. It will be up to each agency in the state to determine how to administrate them.

POST information officer Meagan Catafi would not say whether implicit bias tests will be part of the new screenings, arguing “it is too premature at this point to know what will be assessed and used in our materials.”

Catafi said POST will be working with psychologists and law enforcement experts to incorporate these new required items to the current psychological screening manual and have until January 2022 to complete the process.

The law comes amid a moment of social upheaval where police departments across the country are facing scrutiny and increasing calls for accountability over cases of slayings of unarmed civilians and excessive use of force that predominantly affects minorities.

This has prompted many agencies to ramp up efforts to identify racist and other discriminatory beliefs that could lead to destructive behavior, mostly by incorporating bias, diversity and inclusion training programs for active officers.

None of the experts interviewed by The Washington Post claimed to know of law enforcement agencies that screen for unconscious biases — those that people are unwilling or unable to identify — as a hiring standard. All of them, however, are either wary of such approach or advice against it.

“This is a tough one. What do you do if someone tests positive for racism?” Do you train them again? Do you fire them? There are a lot of unknowns about how this

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Blocked by lobbyists for years, law puts more aides in N.J. nursing homes after 7,400 deaths

They feed, bathe and comfort residents of long-term care facilities, but the thousands of certified nursing aides who work in New Jersey’s nursing homes for little pay have said for years that their workload is often too much to handle.

On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that will require operators beginning in early 2021 to increase the number of aides in each facility and for the first time set a ratio for the number of residents an aide is asked to handle.

The legislation had been vigorously blocked by industry lobbyists and some lawmakers for five years, but there was a renewed urgency to get the bill passed after the coronavirus pandemic claimed the lives of an estimated 7,400 long-term care residents in New Jersey — more than any other state based on population size.

Compliance will cost the industry $30 million or $5 a day per resident, according to the Health Care Association of New Jersey, a lobbying group for long-term care facilities.

CNA’s, who get paid an average of about $36,000 a year, have long complained they have more responsibilities than they can handle, especially on nights and weekends. The coronavirus outbreak sickened thousands of these workers and killed 121, according to state data, making the CNA shortage worse.

“Sadly, too many nursing homes are run by companies more interested in making money than protecting patients,” Murphy said in a statement after signing the bill Friday morning. “These long-sought reforms will help bring accountability to the industry and protect residents, staff, and family members with a loved one living in a long-term care facility. I am proud to have worked with our partners in organized labor, health care advocates, and legislative sponsors to finally implement safe staffing ratios in our nursing homes, as well as other long overdue reforms.”

The legislation, (S2712) will take effect in Feb. 1, and require long-term care facilities to abide by these staffing ratios:

* One CNA per 8 patients during the day shift;

* One direct care staff member — defined as a certified nurse assistant, a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse — for every 10 residents during the evening shift, “provided that no fewer than half of all staff members are to be certified nurse aides, and each staff member will sign in to work as a certified nurse aide and will perform certified nurse aide duties,” according to bill;

* One direct care staffer for every 14 residents during the overnight shift, with the same rules that applied during the evening shift.

The law also creates a “Department of Labor and Workforce Development the Special Task Force on Direct Care Workforce Retention and Recruitment.” Long-term care facility operators have said they could not meet any worker-resident ratios without help retaining staff.

The law has been hailed as a victory for nursing home employees led, by 1199SEIU United Healthcare East, but it is a compromise since the union was seeking an even lower ratio of aides to

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China Passes Biosecurity Law to Prevent Infectious Diseases | World News

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s top legislative body passed a new biosecurity law aimed at preventing and managing infectious diseases, state news agency Xinhua reported late on Saturday.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted to adopt the law on Saturday, according to Xinhua, and it would come into effect on April 15, 2021.

The law would establish systems for biosecurity risk prevention and control, including risk monitoring and early warning, risk investigation and assessment, and information sharing.

It would also have provisions to prevent and respond to specific biosecurity risks, including major emerging infectious diseases, epidemic and sudden outbreaks, and biotechnology research, development and application, reported Xinhua.

China had announced in May that it aimed to fast-track the passing of the biosecurity law by year-end, following the global coronavirus outbreak which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

China has managed to nearly stamp out domestic transmissions of the coronavirus following aggressive measures to curb its spread. New infections detected last week in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao however ended China’s run of about two months without reporting a local case.

China’s health commission last reported 13 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Oct. 17, bringing the mainland’s total number of confirmed cases to 85,672.

(Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

Source Article

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Appeals court upholds Kentucky abortion law requiring clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a Kentucky law that requires abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and ambulance service in case of medical emergencies.

The 2-1 ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a 2018 district court ruling that found the law, first passed in 1998, violated constitutionally protected due process rights.

EMW Women’s Surgical Center first challenged the law in 2017 after a licensing fight with then-Gov. Matt Bevin (R). EMW was the only clinic that provided abortions at the time, and Bevin claimed that it lacked proper transfer agreements and took steps to shut it down.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky joined the suit later on, claiming that Bevin had used these transfer agreements to block its request for a license to provide abortions. After Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear took office in 2019, the two clinics were allowed to provide abortions.

The court wrote that the “district court erred in concluding that Kentucky would be left without an abortion facility,” according to The Associated Press, and dismissed the clinics’ argument that they were at risk of closing. It further said that the law allows clinics to apply for a 90-day waiver if they are denied a licensing agreement, which they could theoretically reapply for and continue to operate.

“(We) must presume that the Inspector General will consider waiver applications in good faith and will not act ‘simply to make it more difficult for (women) to obtain an abortion,’” the ruling read.

In his dissenting opinion, Judge Eric Clay wrote that it “condones the evisceration of the constitutional right to abortion access in Kentucky.”

“At the end of the day, no matter what standard this Court is bound to apply, the majority’s decision today is terribly and tragically wrong,” he wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, which represented the clinics, said in a statement that Kentucky’s law means abortion providers have to navigate “needless red tape every 90 days” and warned that the state could be the first without any abortion providers if the governor refuses to grant the waiver.

“This is what it looks like when politicians chip away at protections under Roe — pushing medically unnecessary laws that jeopardize abortion access without ever overturning Roe,” Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in a statement.

“It must be stated that we are in a dangerous moment for abortion rights and what this moment calls for is leadership to put all people before politics and do what’s necessary to ensure every person has access to the care they need and deserve,” Charbonneau added.

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