Nova Scotia

Doctor accused of using profanity and physical force agrees to retire

A Windsor, N.S.-area doctor has retired rather than face a disciplinary hearing over allegations or professional misconduct and incompetence.

Nova Scotia doctor avoids disciplinary hearing over professional misconduct allegations

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia accused Dr. James Robert Leahy of professional misconduct and incompetence. (Robert Short/CBC)

A Windsor, N.S.,-area doctor has retired rather than face a disciplinary hearing over allegations of professional misconduct and incompetence that include using profanity with patients and even physical force.

The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons — the body that administers and disciplines doctors in the province — announced this week its agreement on retirement with Dr. James Robert Leahy.

He was accused of inappropriate behaviour with an underage patient during 10 months in 2014. According to the college's notice of hearing, Leahy used profane and disrespectful language both to and about the minor, who is only identified as Patient A.

Leahy was accused of using similarly inappropriate language involving a second patient, Patient B. The college said Leahy also made inappropriate sexual comments to the patient.

But the longest list of alleged infractions relate to a third patient, Patient C. According to the college, Leahy not only used profane language, he also used physical force and locked the patient in his room at a nursing home.

Tried to restrain patient

The college alleged Leahy used poor judgement when he failed to try to de-escalate the confrontation with Patient C, tried to single-handedly restrain him and asked police to leave the nursing home where the patient was living.

The college also noted that Leahy had failed to act on advice he'd been given in the past about his unprofessional behaviour; advice that dated back to 1992 when he was told to put more effort into improving his communications with patients.

Before his retirement, the college had placed restrictions on Leahy's licence to practice preventing him from prescribing drugs covered by the province's prescription monitoring program. He was also not allowed to write any new prescriptions for benzodiazepines.