Sex with patient gets Toronto nurse the boot

November 19th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 19 (IANS) A Toronto nurse is facing an ouster from her profession for having sex with a psychiatric patient. She was fired from service at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health last year when her romantic liaison with the patient came to light.

At her disciplinary hearing here Tuesday, the nurse admitted that she committed a grave professional and ethical offence when she “sexually abused the patient by engaging in sexual intercourse, among other things”.

The five-member disciplinary panel will now recommend revocation of her professional licence by the College of Nurses of Ontario.

According to the facts presented before the panel, the patient was admitted to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2004 after some criminal charges were filed against him.

On his mental assessment, he was found not criminally responsible for his actions as he suffered from a mental disorder. The nurse’s romantic entanglement with the man started when he started buying her coffee and presenting flowers in late 2005.

When the man told the nurse’s colleagues that she was his girlfriend, the hospital manager asked her whether she had problems with the patient on issues of professional ethics.

However, she is said to have reported no problems with the man on “boundary issues”.

But then the man, who was discharged in 2006 and was now being treated as outpatient, left a message on the hospital manager’s voice mail, saying that he and the nurse have been “sleeping together” and that they are a couple.

This forced the hospital to order an investigation into her conduct in February 2007. After the inquiry panel found a DVD showing her and the man having sex, the nurse was fired from her job and now faces a ban from her profession.

Before committing suicide this July, the man had also filed a lawsuit against the hospital for negligence in his treatment.

According to media reports, he named himself as John and the nurse as Jane in the lawsuit.

In the lawsuit, he also said that the nurse had told him she was pregnant with his child. It is known whether she has delivered the baby or not.

The nurse was not present in Tuesday’s hearing and was represented by her lawyer.

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