US & Canada

Toronto doctor sentenced for abusing sedated patients

Anaesthesiologist George Doodnaught (Toronto police)

A Canadian doctor who sexually assaulted 21 sedated patients while they helplessly watched has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Anaesthesiologist George Doodnaught, 65, abused the women, aged 25 to 75, while they were in his care.

The victims testified that they had been conscious when Doodnaught kissed, fondled and assaulted them, but they were unable to move.

All but one of the attacks occurred at North York General Hospital in Toronto.

The assaults - mainly conducted between 2006-10 - were concealed from other medical staff only by a surgical drape.

Victims weep

During the trial, the defence argued that the sedatives had caused the victims to dream they had been sexually assaulted.

Superior Court Justice David McCombs said on Tuesday that the doctor's "reprehensible conduct must be condemned in the strongest terms".

Many of Doodnaught's victims cried as he was sentenced, according to media reports.

The anaesthesiologist was employed at the hospital where the attacks occurred for more than two decades.

At the time of his arrest in 2010, hospital chief of staff Dr David White said it was possible for an anaesthesiologist be alone with a patient.

Doodnaught's lawyer has said he plans to appeal against his conviction, which was delivered in November.

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