Disciplinary hearing to be held for N.S. doctor acquitted in opioid case

The College of Physicians and Surgeons has called a disciplinary hearing for a Halifax-area doctor who was acquitted of fraud and unlawful possession of narcotics in October 2017.

The regulatory body had received a complaint against Dr. Sarah Dawn Jones in August 2015 and forwarded the information to police.

Jones was charged in 2016, and it was alleged she had prescribed 46,000 oxycodone and OxyNeo pills over an 18-month period.

Her licence to practice medicine was suspended as the college launched its own investigation, but that was put on hold while the court proceedings were underway.

In its Notice of Hearing, issued on October 30th and released today, the college laid out ten points which it says constitutes professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming, incompetence, and demonstrates incapacity.

The allegations include that Jones prescribed amounts of opioid medication to a patient that were excessive, unsafe, or otherwise inappropriate, failed to properly monitor the patient's use of opioids, and continued to prescribe high doses of opioids after there was demonstrable harm to the patient, such as choking, falling and confusion with dosing.

With regards to patient boundaries, the college alleges Jones ignored and/or failed to act on indications the patient was not using the opioid medication properly or safely, frequently picked up and delivered the patient's opioid medication and removed unused opioid medication from his home.

Jones is also accused of providing false or misleading statements about her own health, lied to her family doctor to obtain early refills of her own medication, and edited online patient records while she was suspended.