British Columbia

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded for sending anti-COVID vaccine email to patients

A registered massage therapist in Vancouver was recently reprimanded for using his clinic's database to send an email to patients criticizing the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and mandatory vaccination for health professionals. 

Ian Glass has agreed to a 2-day suspension of his registration and $500 payment

In the email, Ian Glass didn't communicate that recommendations or advice about vaccinations were outside his scope of practice as a registered massage therapist, according to the notice. (Shutterstock/Prostock-studio)

A registered massage therapist in Vancouver was recently reprimanded for using his clinic's database to send an email to patients criticizing the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and mandatory vaccination for health professionals. 

According to a newly released public notice from the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia, Ian Glass sent a "lengthy email" from his work email address to about 205 people in January 2022, mostly his patients. 

"The email primarily contained criticism of a proposed mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health professionals, but also included two statements regarding the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines," the notice said.

In October 2021, the province announced a plan to make vaccination a condition of licensing for everyone from dentists to registered massage therapists.

B.C. ended up dropping those plans, and instead officials promised that patients would have access to information about their providers' vaccine status.

COVID-19 vaccine
The notice says Glass's email contained statements regarding the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. (CBC)

In the email, Glass identified himself as a registered massage therapist and didn't communicate that recommendations or advice about vaccinations were outside his scope of practice, according to the notice.

The notice says Glass admitted that he accessed his clinic's record-keeping platform to get patients' email addresses.

He also admitted using the carbon copy function while sending the emails instead of blind carbon copy, meaning people's personal information was shared with others without consent. 

Massage therapist sent flowers to patient

After the email was sent, the notice says, a patient contacted Glass and his clinic to say she was concerned about the disclosure of her email.

Glass then used the clinic's database to get the patient's home address and sent her flowers as an apology, according to the notice.

Glass has acknowledged that he contravened several sections of the college's code of ethics and bylaws. 

The college took disciplinary action late last month. Glass agreed to a two-day suspension of his registration, a formal reprimand, undertakings not to repeat the conduct, completion of education on professional ethics and boundaries and a $500 payment for some costs of the investigations.

Neither Glass nor his employer responded to CBC's requests for comment. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yasmine Ghania is a reporter with CBC News, currently based in Vancouver. Previously she worked in Saskatchewan where, among other things, she uncovered sexual abuse allegations at a private Christian school and deep problems within a police force. You can reach her confidentially by email: yasmine.ghania@cbc.ca or https://www.cbc.ca/securedrop/

now