Nova Scotia

N.S. doctor admits to some charges against her

CBC News has learned that a Nova Scotia doctor under investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons has admitted to some of the charges against her.

Dr. Violet Hawes was blamed for writing prescriptions and having a patient fill them out for her

CBC News has learned that a Nova Scotia doctor under investigation by the College of Physicians and Surgeons has admitted to some of the charges against her.

Dr. Violet Hawes of Middle Musquodoboit had her licence suspended in November 2009.

The following month, one of her former patients committed suicide and blamed her.

Doug Carpenter was 49 when he took his life in the parking lot of the Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital at the end of December in 2009.

One of the notes Doug Carpenter's family said he left in an envelope, with instructions that it should be given to the CBC. (CBC)
He left behind notes for his family.

"It's just tough being young and trying to deal with all this," said Carpenter's daughter Jenny-Rae, now 20. "It's been pretty hard. We cry a lot," she said.

Her father left a note for his family saying "Dr. Hawes did this to me."

In hand-written notes found later, Carpenter outlined how Hawes would write a prescription, give it to him to fill and then demand he turn over the drugs to her. The notes were found in a sealed envelope with instructions to give those papers to the CBC.

According to the family, in addition to having a doctor-patient relationship, Carpenter and Hawes were also friends. Carpenter's family said the two went on hunting and fishing trips together and he confided in his doctor.

In one of the notes, he wrote that he felt powerless to say no.

The body that disciplines doctors in Nova Scotia has been investigating the allegations.

The Carpenter family's lawyer, Melissa MacAdam, has been informed of the results.

She passed them on to the family in a letter obtained exclusively by CBC.

Dr. Violet Hawes has admitted to a violation of physican/patient boundries, among some other charges against her. (archived image)
She wrote that the lawyer for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Marjorie Hickey, said "Dr. Hawes has admitted to ... inappropriate prescribing of medications and taking the prescriptions prescribed to your son."

It also said the doctor has admitted to a violation of physician-patient boundaries.

Carpenter's daughter said at least progress is being made

"It's good that she's admitting what did wrong, but it doesn't make it right."

Hawes' interim suspension remains in effect indefinitely.

A spokesperson at  the College of Physicians and Surgeons said it's hoped the matter will be settled in a few weeks.

Possible punishment ranges from a reprimand to loss of licence.

It's not the first time Hawes has been investigated by the college.

In 1995, Hawes was found guilty of professional misconduct for having sexual relations with at least one patient. A private hearing was held and at the time, the college decided there was no need to suspend her licence.

Hawes had no comment Thursday when she was contacted by CBC News.

 

now