Dialogue Volume 14 Issue 4 2018 - Page 56

DISCIPLINE SUMMARIES DR. GEORGE DOODNAUGHT PRACTICE LOCATION: Toronto AREA OF PRACTICE: Anesthesiology HEARING INFORMATION: Admission; Plea of No Contest On May 22, 2018, the Discipline Committee found that Dr. Doodnaught committed acts of professional misconduct in that he was found guilty of an offence relevant to his suitability to practise, and that he engaged in sexual impropriety with a patient, sexu- ally abused his patients, and engaged in conduct or acts or omissions relevant to the practice of medicine, that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable, and unprofessional. Dr. Doodnaught admitted the allegation that he had been found guilty of an offence relevant to his suitability to practise, and entered a plea of no contest to the other allega- tions. Dr. Doodnaught was an anesthesiologist who prac- tised primarily at North York General Hospital in Toronto. On November 19, 2013, Dr. Doodnaught was criminally convicted of sexually assaulting 21 patients. The trial judge found that all of the assaults took place while the patient was in surgery under conscious sedation that was administered by Dr. Doodnaught. During the surgeries, Dr. Doodnaught made sexual comments to his patients, kissed the patients on the mouth, fondled their breasts, and/ or placed his penis in the patients’ mouths or hands. Many of the patients told Dr. Doodnaught to stop, but were unable to resist due to the anesthetic. Other patients were unable to tell Dr. Doodnaught to stop due to the anesthetic. In several instances, Dr. Doodnaught later told the patients that they had made the comments or initiated the sexual touching. Many of the patients subsequently reported the abuse to their friends or family members, who responded that such things could never happen in a busy oper- ating room. Consequently, many of the patients did not initially report their concerns to hospital authori- ties or the police until they saw media reports of Dr. Doodnaught’s arrest for sexual assault. 56 DIALOGUE ISSUE 4, 2018 The Committee found that Dr. Doodnaught en- gaged in sexual abuse of patients, disgraceful, dis- honourable and unprofessional conduct, and sexual impropriety with a patient in respect of 10 further patients. The Committee found that Dr. Doodnaught sexually abused these patients during and after their surgeries by placing his penis in their hands and/or mouths, fondling their breasts, kissing his patients on their mouths, and making sexualized comments to the patients. The Committee noted the aggravating factors of Dr. Doodnaught’s repeated inappropriate sexual comments and unacceptable touching, and his false statements to patients that they, not he, had made the comments or initiated the touching. The Com- mittee also considered how the disbelief experienced by the patients left them embarrassed and humili- ated, with no way to address their recollections until media reports of Dr. Doodnaught’s arrest came to light. The Committee also emphasized that Dr. Doodnaught’s egregious behaviour occurred with 31 patients over many years, with increasing frequency over time, and that it was deliberate and planned. The Committee emphasized the extreme vulnerability of the patients at the time of the abuse because of the anesthesia administered by Dr. Doodnaught. ORDER The Committee ordered revocation of Dr. Doodnaught’s certificate of registration; a repri- mand; payment to the College of costs for $10,180. Dr. Doodnaught was also ordered to reimburse the College for funding provided to patients under the program required under s. 85.7 of the Health Profes- sions Procedural Code, by posting an irrevocable letter of credit or other security acceptable to the College in the amount of $497,860. For complete details, please see the full decision at www.cpso.on.ca. Select Find a Doctor and enter the doctor’s name.