‘Ottawa’ Doctor who Struggled with Addiction Drawn into Eve Stewart Case
An Ottawa doctor, who has spoken publicly about his struggles with drug addiction, has had his licence suspended and is facing a disciplinary hearing in connection with the case against Ottawa cosmetologist Eve Stewart.
Dr. Daniel Sweet, the one-time chief of anesthesia at Cornwall General Hospital who later engaged in addiction counselling and worked as a general practitioner in Ottawa, is alleged by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to be guilty of “disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional conduct” for providing Stewart with Botox with which she injected clients.
Sweet’s licence was suspended earlier this year. The allegations involving Stewart and other allegations of prescribing controlled substances to patients are the latest in a string of disciplinary actions against the doctor going back for more than a decade, mainly related to an earlier ban on prescribing narcotics.
In 1999, the University of Ottawa graduate gave a moving interview that was widely published in medical literature about the “Pandora’s box” he opened when, as an exhausted medical resident, he took some drugs to help him get some badly needed sleep.
That led to a decade of “daily chemical dependency, a near-death experience in 1989, months of difficult treatment in Toronto and at home, relapse, more treatment in Atlanta and the loss of his job as chief of anesthesiology at Cornwall General Hospital,” according to the article, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and elsewhere.
He talked about how he would inject leftover narcotics, often requesting extra when he ordered medication as part of his job. One time he made a “near-fatal error”, putting the wrong drug in a syringe. At the time of the interview, he was recovered and working as an addiction specialist out of a clinic in Ottawa.
But in 2002, the College found him guilty of discreditable conduct, saying he had been prescribing small amounts of opioids to addicts in his care as part of what he termed a “harm reduction” program, and was not careful about the amounts or who was getting them. He was banned from prescribing narcotics. Sweet has faced several other disciplinary actions since then.
He was also the subject of a Change.org petition campaign earlier this year from patients asking that he be able to continue practising medicine. Eighty-seven people signed the petition, including several who described him as the best doctor they ever had.
“He is the most patient, caring humane, smart, empathetic, competent doctor one could ask for and is a rare find (in) the medical field nowadays,” wrote Dany Adaimy, who started the petition. “My aging parents need him back since he has been a life saviour (sic) for them.”
Sweet could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, the College will ask a court later this week for jail time for Stewart, the owner of Eve’s Laser Clinic on Viewmount Drive. She had earlier been banned from performing any controlled acts, including injections, after she was found to have performed cosmetic surgery on clients in her Ottawa laser clinic. She has no medical training. The College alleges she is now guilty of contempt of court for violating the earlier ban by continuing to administer Botox. According to documents filed in court, she also offered to perform a nose job for a client’s daughter.
Stewart maintains she has done nothing wrong.
Sweet was drawn into the case when, during an undercover investigation, he was identified as the doctor who supplied Stewart with Botox, according to court documents.
Sweet’s disciplinary hearing before the College, which is the regulatory body for doctors in Ontario, begins in July.