Canada Doctor Accused of Sexually Abusing Sedated Patients Gets 10 Years in Jail

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 26, 2014 11:45 AM EST

George Doodnaught, the Canadian anaesthesiologist who had been accused of sexually assaulting sedated patients, was sentenced to imprisonment for 10 years.

The age of the victims of the 65-year-old physician ranged between 25 and 75. The victims were the patients he was given responsibility for. The sedated patients helplessly watched themselves getting sexually abused, while Mr Doodnaught took advantage of their medical condition.

Later on, his victims testified against him, clarifying that they had remained conscious when Mr Doodnaught assaulted them in various ways, including kissing and fondling. However, their medical condition of helplessness propelled them to be silent witnesses of the act. Mr Doodnaught performed all his acts of sexual abuse in a Toronto hospital named North York General Hospital, except one, BBC reported.

Justice David McCombs called Mr Doodnaught's actions "reprehensible" at the Superior Court on Tuesday, Feb 25. He said that the physician's conduct ought to be "condemned in the strongest terms." Media reports confirmed that several of Mr Doodnaught's victims were seen crying after he had been sentenced. Mr Doodnaught had been employed for over a couple of decades at the hospital before he was convicted of sexually abusing his patients.

When Mr Doodnaught got arrested in 2010, Dr David White, the hospital chief, admitted that it was very much likely that an anaesthesiologist would spend time with patients alone as the nature of his job would allow him to. According to reports, Mr Doodnaught conducted the abuse on helpless patients between the period of 2006 and 2010. Other medical staffs were not able to notice anything as there was a surgical drape between them and the victims.

The argument placed from the defence was based on presumptions that sedated patients were likely to have daydreams of being sexually abused. There were efforts to refute all the allegations against Mr Doodnaught by calling the sexual abuse as "daydreams" of the patients. However, Mr Doodnaught's lawyers obviously failed to convince the judge.

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