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Medical regulator revokes licence of Toronto neurosurgeon who murdered wife

Last Updated Apr 24, 2020 at 4:48 pm EST

Dr. Mohammed Shamji, 40, and Dr. Elana Fric-Shamji, 40, are shown in this image from Fric-Shamji's facebook page. Ontario's medical regulator is set to hear the case today of a Toronto neurosurgeon who murdered his wife two days after she filed for divorce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook

Ontario’s medical regulator has revoked the licence of a Toronto neurosurgeon who murdered his wife two days after she filed for divorce.

The disciplinary committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario heard the case of Mohammed Shamji by teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shamji, who called in to the hearing from prison but did not speak during the proceedings, admitted through his lawyer that he was found guilty of an offence that is relevant to his suitability to practise medicine.

The doctor was initially facing another allegation of professional misconduct – that he failed to disclose criminal charges related to a 2005 domestic assault when applying for independent practice – but the college’s counsel said it chose to proceed on only the “vastly more serious” allegation.

Shamji pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder in the 2016 killing of his wife, Elana Fric Shamji, who was also a physician.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14 years.

Court heard Shamji attacked his wife two days after she served him with divorce papers, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and dumped it in the Humber River.

The college’s counsel, Lisa Brownstone, told the disciplinary panel that only revoking Shamji’s licence could truly express the “repugnance” of his actions.

She urged the panel to consider the fundamental principle of medicine – to do no harm.

“There can obviously be no greater harm than intentionally causing death, brutally murdering a spouse and the mother of three children in a fit of rage and domestic terror,” Brownstone said.

“This activity…was followed by the spine-tingling behaviour of disposing of Dr. Fric’s body, going to work, performing surgery and carrying on as if nothing happened. Then, trying not only to cover up his actions, but to implicate someone else.”

Shamji accepts the consequences of his “violent and heinous crime,” his lawyer, Peter Leigh, told the hearing Friday.

“He is in prison and the vast majority of his relationships which he once held dear, most notably with his children and now with his profession, have been destroyed,” Leigh said.

“As in the criminal proceeding, in this proceeding Dr. Shamji has taken responsibility and he’s accepting the severe consequences, being revocation, that are commensurate with the nature of that violent crime.”

The defence lawyer declined to comment when asked by The Canadian Press through email whether his client plans to reapply for a medical licence, either in Ontario or elsewhere.

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