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A disgraced P.E.I. surgeon has two weeks left to appeal disciplinary action over professional misconduct including having a sexual relationship with a male patient.
The Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons have ruled on a board’s recommendations, but college registrar Dr. Cyril Moyse would not comment on its ruling until the appeal period has expired.
The board recommended in December that the Council of the College revoke Dr. David Ashby’s licence for two years before he is allowed to reapply for it. Ashby would be required to receive proper counselling to address doctor-patient boundary issues, which he admitted to violating.
Proposed sanctions also included Ashby paying a $10,000 fine and making a $30,000 contribution towards costs of dealing with his case.
Ron MacLeod, chairman of the board of inquiry, strongly advised Ashby in December to cease practising immediately.
He said the doctor’s case involved “very serious matters’’ and described Ashby’s actions as an “affront’’ to patient-doctor boundaries.
Ashby admitted to violating a doctor-patient boundary through the development of a personal, and, later, sexual relationship with a patient, which led to providing the patient with financial and other support and improperly prescribing anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications.
He also admitted to prescribing anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications to the patient without proper diagnosis and being outside the scope of his medical practice.
Ashby has practised on P.E.I. his entire career.
He worked at the Prince Edward Island Hospital from 1977 until the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) opened in 1982, where he has been practising ever since with one rather jolting interruption.
In 2007, Ashby voluntarily withdrew from performing surgical procedures when he tested positive for hepatitis C in association with a routine physical examination.
He returned to work in the QEH operating room in early 2009 after receiving treatment and results from tests that confirmed he no longer had hepatitis C.