Disgraced pathologist Smith reprimanded
The egregious actions and abysmal failures of Dr. Charles Smith have disgraced the entire medical profession, Ontario's doctors' college said Friday in a severe reprimand to the discredited pathologist.
Smith, who was not at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to be chastized in person, was stripped of his medical licence last month.
Years after it became clear his mistakes led to several people being wrongly convicted of killing children, the college came down hard on Smith in its chance to express its "abhorrence" of the doctor's conduct.
"Your transgressions were egregious in nature, repulsive in result, and caused irreparable harm to many innocent victims," panel chairman Marc Gabel said to the empty chair reserved for Smith. "You had a duty to the public, to the administration of justice and to your profession. Your failure in all of these respects is abominable to this panel, to your fellow physicians and, as importantly, to the public."
Once considered an unassailable expert on child forensic pathology, an inquiry found that errors in Smith's work were responsible, in part, for several people being wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for killing children.
Smith is now blamed, in part, for sending innocent people to jail. He failed to gather relevant information and conduct appropriate investigations, he referenced social situations of parents that were irrelevant to the pathology, and gave unscientific, speculative and unsubstantiated opinions, the college said.
'Not man enough to ... take what's due to him'
The college's strong words provided "minuscule" comfort to Tammy Marquardt, the only one of Smith's victims to attend the reprimand, since he wasn't there to hear the public dressing-down himself.
"He’s not man enough to stand up and take what’s due to him," Marquardt told CBC's Trevor Dunn. "Even his counsel could have at least shown up."
Marquardt spent 14 years in prison after she was convicted in 1995 of killing her son, two-year-old Kenneth Wynne. Her conviction was overturned by the Ontario Court of Appeal last month.
When Smith appeared before the Goudge inquiry into pediatric forensic pathology, he apologized and said his errors weren't intentional. But Marquardt said the apologies, medical licence revocation and reprimand aren't enough to make up for the 14 years she spent in prison.
"Personally I'd like to see him to go jail, at least feel a little bit of what we felt: fear for your life on a daily basis," Marquardt said. "Live your life on a constant fight or flight and tell me how your body's going to hold up to that."
With files from CBC News