Emily M. MacGregor JH722527
Allegations and Plea
The College alleged that the Member was found guilty of a criminal offence relevant to her suitability to practise, namely theft under $5,000; misappropriated Imovane and lorazepam from the workplace; provided Imovane to her partner without a physician’s order; and engaged in conduct that would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
The Member admitted to the allegations, and the College and the Member jointly submitted an agreement to the following facts.
The Member provided Imovane to her partner who was sick with pneumonia. She stole 7.5 mg of Imovane from her workplace by removing it from a bulk basket where unused medications were placed when clients were discharged or transferred. Her partner did not have a prescription for the Imovane. The Member also stole one tablet of lorazepam for her partner and said she could not get more because the tablets are counted.
A few days later, while the Member and her partner were out for dinner, her partner felt unwell and was short of breath. He checked into a nearby hotel, then went to a walk-in clinic where he was diagnosed with bronchitis. They returned to the hotel room. The Member left for the evening and, when she returned the next morning, found her partner dead in his room. The coroner determined that he had died of natural causes.
The Member was subsequently charged criminally and found guilty of theft under $5,000 for stealing the Imovane.
The Panel found that the evidence supported findings of professional misconduct as alleged. The Member’s conduct demonstrated a disregard for nursing standards, and dishonoured and shamed the Member and the profession. Her conduct cast serious doubt on her moral fitness, and it would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional.
Submissions on Order
The College and the Member jointly sought an oral reprimand and a four-month suspension. The Member would be required to complete specified remediation activities in preparation for a series of meetings with a nursing expert. For 24 months after the suspension ended, the Member would be required to advise the College of her employers, provide employers with a copy of the Panel’s decision and reasons, and only practise for an employer who agreed to advise the College if the Member breached the standards of practice of the profession.
The Panel accepted the joint submission as reasonable and in the public interest. The Member accepted responsibility for her actions and cooperated with the College by agreeing to the facts and proposed penalty. The penalty satisfies the principles of specific and general deterrence, rehabilitation and remediation, and protection of the public interest.