Hospital above-board in dealing with allegations: expert
The arrest of a veteran Toronto anesthetist on sexual assault charges may raise questions about the vulnerability of patients, says one legal expert, but it appears hospital administrators acted quickly to address the allegations levied against one of their staff.
Toronto police revealed Thursday that Dr. George Doodnaught, who has worked at North York General Hospital for 28 years, had been charged with three counts of sexual assault after patients alleged they were assaulted while they were under anesthetic. Investigators then made an appeal for any other potential victims to come forward.
None of the allegations against Doodnaught have been proven in court.
The 61-year-old Doodnaught has not worked since a patient complained in February and an investigation was launched, hospital president Bonnie Adamson said Thursday.
Adamson said the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario had been notified and the hospital continues to co-operate with police in their investigation, which will also identify whether the hospital needs to improve any of its practices.
Legal analyst Steven Skurka told CTV's Canada AM that the allegations may raise questions in the public's mind about the presence of witnesses when anesthetics are administered.
But Skurka said the hospital appears to have handled the case appropriately, despite the fact that some members of the public may wonder why they didn't know about the problem earlier.
"But remember the hospital removed the doctor…it was reported to the College of Physicians and Surgeons," he said.
"So, I think it's fair to say the police actually asked the hospital not to release the information because the investigation was being continued, that there was no jeopardy to any patients. So in the end, I think they acted responsibly."
With files from The Canadian Press