# 2014-137 - Release - Medical

Release - Medical

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–12–19

The grievor enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and shortly afterwards started being treated for mental health issues. A few years prior to her release, the grievor was prescribed a smoking cessation medication, and soon thereafter suffered a psychotic episode which led to the assignment of permanent Medical Employment Limitations (MELs) that breached the Universality of Service (U of S) principle, and led to the initiation of an administrative review (AR)/MEL. The Director Military Careers Administration (DMCA) made a final decision on the AR/MEL that the grievor did not meet all bona fide occupational requirements and would be released under item 3(b) - Medical. The grievor argued that it is the use of the smoking cessation medication which caused the psychotic episode. She also raised concerns about the events which led to her release.

After requesting subject matter expert comments from the Director Medical Policy (D Med Pol), the Surgeon General, acting as Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. The IA stated that all members are required to meet minimum operational standards related to the U of S principle, and in the grievor's case, based on the assigned MELs and other relevant information, the DMCA made the decision to release her. He also noted that, according to the grievor's medical file, MELs which breached U of S principle should have been assigned to the grievor years before as it was well-documented that she suffered from a chronic relapsing mental health condition. He found that the MELs and the permanent medical category assigned to the grievor were reasonable and appropriate and, given the MELs had not changed, the grievor's release was also appropriate.

The Committee had to determine whether the MELs assigned to the grievor were valid given her medical condition and whether the subsequent decision to release her for medical reasons was reasonable and in accordance with applicable policies and regulations.

The Committee reviewed the applicable policies concerning the assignment of MELs and the impact of the smoking cessation medication prescribed to the grievor. Furthermore, the Committee considered the D Med Pol comments, who admitted that the smoking cessation medication may not have been the best tool to stop smoking but was not the sole factor in the grievor's psychotic episode. Given the grievor's longstanding history of mental health issues and the medical treatment she required, the Committee found that the grievor's assigned MELs were warranted given her medical condition and administered in accordance with policies. The Committee found that the smoking cessation medication prescribed to the grievor was most likely not the only factor that contributed to the psychotic episode, which did not signal that her MELs were inaccurate.

The Committee also reviewed the AR/MEL process and the governing policy. The grievor was assigned permanent MELs that indicated the grievor required medical follow-up more frequently than every six months and was unfit to work in a military environment. Based on these findings, the AR/MEL was conducted on the basis of the assigned MELs. The Committee agreed that the grievor was neither employable, nor deployable within the CAF and could not meet the minimum operational standards under the U of S principle. For these reasons, the Committee found that the decision to release the grievor under item 3(b) was reasonable and rendered in accordance with the applicable policy.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–07–07

The CDS agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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