Nova Scotia

Halifax-area dentist admits to allowing jail guard to do dental surgery

Louis Bourget’s admission is contained in an agreed statement of facts that formed part of a disciplinary decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Board.

Agreed statement of facts says guard extracted teeth from sedated inmate while another guard filmed procedure

A dentist chair and equipment are seen in this stock photo. Louis Bourget, a dentist with practices in the Halifax area, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, has admitted to allowing an unqualified person to perform dental surgery on a sedated inmate. (Daniel Frank/Pexels)

A Halifax-area dentist has admitted to allowing an unqualified person to perform dental surgery on an inmate from a Newfoundland jail.

Louis Bourget's admission is contained in an agreed statement of facts that formed part of a disciplinary decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Board, the body that regulates the profession in that province.

According to the statement, two guards accompanied patient Blair Harris to Bourget's dental practice in Gander, N.L., from the Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre on Oct. 16, 2020. Bourget has offices in Gander, northern New Brunswick and the Halifax area.

While Harris was sedated, Bourget allowed one of the guards to extract teeth while the other guard used his phone to record the procedure and posted the video on social media, the statement said.

In its decision, the board noted that Harris would have been unable to give informed consent to what was done to him because he was sedated. He only learned what happened afterward when he experienced complications from the procedure.

Also disciplined by N.S. board

The decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador board in November of last year comes five months after a similar decision by the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, the regulatory body for that province.

The Nova Scotia board found Bourget's actions in his Gander practice amounted to "infamous conduct."

Bourget admitted to breaching the code of ethics for the dental profession in a settlement agreement with that board.

Both boards filed written reprimands against Bourget and imposed brief suspensions on his licence to practise. Those suspensions have since expired. He was also fined $3,000 by the Newfoundland and Labrador board and ordered to cover the costs of the investigation — about $22,000.

Bourget's problems don't end there. Police in Newfoundland have charged him with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. He is to be arraigned on those charges in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in March, along with one of the correctional officers, Ronald McDonald. 

The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has indicated in its decision that should Bourget be convicted, the board will revisit the sanction imposed on him.

Harris has also launched a civil suit against Bourget and others

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