North Van chiropractor challenges suspension

A North Vancouver chiropractor who has been ordered to stop practicing while the College of Chiropractors investigates complaints about the type of services he was advertising has filed a lawsuit fighting the decision in court.

Dr. Daniel Jason Sullins, who has an office on Mountain Highway, filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court July 18 asking the court to quash an order by the college June 18 suspending him from practice.

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According to court documents filed by Sullins, the suspension followed a hearing by a three-person panel June 11, which ordered that he stop practicing immediately until an investigation can be completed.

The college “takes the position that evidence in the matter is overwhelming with respect to the ongoing risk that Dr. Sullins poses to the public,” according to material filed as part of the petition.

The petition also refers to an RCMP officer visiting the North Vancouver clinic, although no further information is given.

Michelle Da Roza, registrar for the B.C. College of Chiropractors, said in an email she couldn’t comment on the specifics of ongoing investigations but added the probe was spurred by the college’s monitoring of Sullins’ marketing in relation to the college’s “efficacy claims policy.”

Under college rules of professional conduct, “chiropractors must not advertise health benefits of their services when there is not acceptable evidence that these benefits can be achieved.”

According to the college’s professional conduct handbook, that evidence should be from sources like peer-reviewed studies that have been independently replicated.

Sullins’ website refers to him as being trained in “board certified functional neurology,” specializing in a treatment referred to as “brain balancing.”

A notice posted on the college’s website makes a note of Sullins’ suspension, pending completion of its investigations.

“The college has three ongoing investigations into Dr. Sullins’ practice,” the notice reads. “Based on the information before it, the panel was satisfied that there was a real risk to the public if it did not make an order ... and that ordering a suspension was appropriate.”

In his petition to the court, Sullins argues the disciplinary panel did not give him proper notice of the June 11 hearing.

At the time of the hearing and immediately prior to that, Sullins was “caring for his wife and newborn son and was not frequently at this clinic,” according to the petition.

Sullins was therefore not aware of the hearing and did not attend, according to the claim.

Sullins also argues in his court petition that the panel did not adequately assess “whether there was a real risk to patients, colleagues or other member of the public if the suspension order was not made” or adequately consider “the seriousness of the risk to members of the public.”

The panel also didn’t take into account “the impact which a suspension order would have on Dr. Sullins,” according to his court petition.

None of the allegations made by the college or contained in the court documents have been proven.

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