Kootenay doctor suspended for having sex with patient | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kootenay doctor suspended for having sex with patient

Image Credit: PIXABAY

A Kootenay doctor has been suspended for two years for having a sexual relationship with a patient.

According to a Jan. 5 College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. decision, Dr. Norman Keith Lea, who practiced in Nakusp, had a sexual relationship with a patient between August and December in 2018.

"He repeatedly met with this patient on a personal and social basis, his relationship with her became sexual, and they had sexual intercourse at his medical clinic, in the on-call room at the Arrow Lakes Hospital and at other locations around the community," the decision read.

The decision said the doctor and the patient sent each other messages on social media that were flirtatious and sexualized.

The doctors' regulator said Dr. Lea had violated the patient-physician relationship by entering into a sexual relationship with the woman.

"The (regulator) stated that (Dr. Lea) violated boundaries in the patient-physician relationship by not only entering a sexual and intimate relationship with a patient but doing so during her scheduled appointments with him in his office," the decision read. "The (regulator) expressed its concerns that Dr. Lea practised in a small, rural community, and conveyed that this practice setting requires an even greater degree of caution."

Dr. Lea signed a consent agreement admitting to his conduct.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons suspended Dr. Lea for two years, although that will be reduced to 18 months if he keeps to the terms of his suspension.

The doctor's licence was also downgraded to the "Conditional–Disciplined" class of registration and he will have to complete a "multi-disciplinary" program.

According to a 2021 report from Nakusp Mayor Tom Zeleznik and council, Dr. Lea had been practicing in the town since 1988 and was in the process of winding down his practice.

The Mayor's report said Dr. Lea received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his dedication to ensuring medical coverage and services to residents.

"His efforts to ensure the emergency room was and is to this day kept open... literally made the difference between life and death," the Mayor's report says. "He is active in the community and has, and still is a great support advocate in the doctor and nurse recruitment for our community and area."

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