Nova Scotia

Chiropractor accused of professional misconduct now facing competency hearing

Controversial Halifax chiropractor Dena Churchill is facing a competency hearing with her profession’s regulator.

N.S. College of Chiropractors challenging Dena Churchill's professional competence

Dena Churchill has closed her Halifax-based chiropractic office. (Facebook)

A controversial chiropractor from Halifax is facing a competency hearing next month with her profession's regulator.

A committee of the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors will consider an allegation of professional incompetence against Dena Churchill in a hearing to be held Jan. 23-25.

A notice posted on the college's website Friday said the allegation against Churchill is she "was professionally incompetent as a result of incompetence arising out of mental incapacity."

Churchill also faces a hearing in May to test 15 allegations of professional misconduct and one of conduct unbecoming a chiropractor related to extensive posts she's made online regarding discredited views on vaccines, unfounded cancer therapies and other subjects outside her scope of practice.

In a Facebook post in November, Churchill announced she was closing her practice, Oxford Chiropractic Inc.

John Sutherland, executive director at the College of Chiropractors, said the college is obligated to hold hearings whether Churchill maintains her licence or not. The hearing stems from a fitness to practise assessment conducted Oct. 24. 

"This hearing is relative to the college's contention she's not fit to practise," Sutherland said. 

Churchill's licence was suspended last month and Sutherland said that decision was related to the college's concerns.

"In a regulated profession, just because you may decide not to renew your licence doesn't mean that you are not expected to answer for actions as a regulated health professional," said Sutherland.

"The college will definitely be pursuing both of these matters with her."

About the Author

Michael Gorman is a reporter in Nova Scotia whose coverage areas include Province House, rural communities, and health care. Contact him with story ideas at michael.gorman@cbc.ca