NEWS

N.S. doctor charged with trafficking prescription drugs

06/03/2013 05:29 EDT | Updated 08/03/2013 05:12 EDT
A Nova Scotia doctor faces charges of trafficking in prescription drugs after a lengthy police investigation that was sparked by the suicide of one of her patients.

Dr. Violet Hawes had her licence suspended after allegations she prescribed drugs to a patient to feed her own habit.

The patient, Doug Carpenter, 49, took his life in the parking lot of the Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital.

He left his family documents saying Hawes coerced him into a scheme where she prescribed him Hydromorph Contin so she could use the drugs herself.

In his note, he wrote “Dr. Hawes did this to me.”

In August 2011, Hawes admitted to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia that she wrote prescriptions to a patient for her own use.

In October of that year, the college permanently banned her from prescribing any narcotics. She was also ordered to undergo treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, and she was fined $10,000.

A spokesperson for the college told CBC Monday that Hawes has not met the conditions of her punishment, and she has not applied to get her licence back.

Criminal charges

The news of charges overwhelmed Carpenter’s three daughters.

“I was shocked at first because it took so long to get the phone call in the first place,” said Jenny Carpenter.

She and her two sisters took their father’s story and note public after his death to raise awareness about the case.

“In the end, it’s what he wanted. He wanted this to be known. He wanted it not to happen with anyone else.”

The sisters plan to attend every court date. They said while nothing could bring their father back, seeing Hawes serve jail time would bring them comfort.

“We won’t give up,” said Lisa Carpenter. “He wouldn’t want us to.”

Hawes is scheduled to appear in court July 22.

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