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Saturday, September 18, 2021

London, Ont.-area psychiatrist suspended after sharing conspiracy theories with patient

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MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. — A psychiatrist working in London and at a St. Thomas, Ont. hospital has been suspended for 12 months after inappropriate communication with a patient.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) found Dr. Nina Leah Desjardins violated physician/patient boundaries and communicated inappropriately with a patient and his wife. She had been treating the patient for a year-and-a-half starting in July 2017.

The CPSO ordered Desjardins be suspended for 12 months, undergo education, practice supervision and pay costs.

According to the CPSO report, she communicated with her patient about a mistrust of psychiatry, conspiracy theories and QAnon, among other things, and continued the communication through Twitter direct messaging for weeks.

The patient began to refer to Desjardins as his ‘guru” and ‘master,’ and the college found the relationship and their communication contributed to the patient’s paranoid state and eventual hospitalization in Feb. 2019.

In addition, Desjardins reportedly did not disclose the online communication to hospital staff and did not communicate with the patient’s family as expected about his irrational behaviour.

In addition to the professional sanctions, Desjardins has been ordered to see a therapist monthly for at least two years.

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