On Oct. 17, 2018, a panel of the Inquiry Committee approved a Consent Agreement between BCCNP (formerly CRNBC) and Katey Mclellan of Prince George, BC, to remediate practice issues relating to boundaries and unprofessional conduct.
In October 2015, Ms. Mclellan entered into a romantic relationship with a "near client" who had recently left, against medical advice, the substance abuse rehabilitation facility where Ms. Mclellan was working. Once Ms. Mclellan's supervisor at the facility was alerted to the relationship, via social media posts, he subsequently terminated her employment and filed a complaint with the college. Ms. Mclellan continued to pursue the relationship with her former client, after her termination from the facility.
After an investigation, a panel of the Discipline Committee concluded that Ms. Mclellan had engaged in a power-imbalanced personal relationship with a near client that was, apart from any actual exploitation, conduct unbecoming a registrant. From a professional standards perspective, given the client's very recent departure from a residential program that he did not complete, and his ongoing vulnerability, the client was someone with whom Ms. Mclellan could not have a romantic or sexual relationship at that time, no matter how well-intentioned.
The Panel recognized that Ms. Mclellan did not intend to exploit the client's vulnerability, or to prioritize her emotional needs over his ability to obtain further treatment. Such factors, however, do not alter her duty to meet written standards under the Health Professions Act, or to refrain from unprofessional conduct based on professional standards that all registrants know or should know.
Given that the former client still had, given the circumstances and due to his vulnerability, many qualities of a client - he was a "near'-client" – and as such the Panel determined that Ms. Mclellan failed to maintain appropriate boundaries. The panel concluded that by engaging in a romantic and eventually sexual relationship with the former client -shortly after he discharged himself prematurely from a long-term addiction treatment program, Ms. Mclellan:
The Inquiry Committee on Sept. 25, 2018, made the following orders:
The Committee is satisfied this outcome will protect the public.