Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Victorian nurse has registration cancelled for touching and groping unconscious patients
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Victorian nurse has registration cancelled for touching and groping unconscious patients

08 Jul 2024

A nurse has had his registration cancelled and is disqualified from reapplying until April 2025 after intentionally touching and, in one case groping, the breasts of two unconscious female patients.

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The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) referred Mr Blair Easdon to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) after he self-notified to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) that he had deliberately touched, and on one occasion groped, the breasts of two female patients while they were unconscious, at the end of their surgical procedures.

Between June and December 2019, Mr Easdon was practising as an anaesthetic theatre nurse at a private hospital. Twice during this time, he touched a female patient on the breast while they were anesthetised and unconscious. On the second occasion, he groped the patient’s breast.

On each occasion, the patient did not and could not consent to the touching as they were unconscious, and Mr Easdon knew, or ought to have known of this lack of consent.

In December 2019, Mr Easdon made a self-notification to Ahpra. In January 2020, his then employer also made a notification to Ahpra in relation to this conduct, and his employment at the private hospital was terminated.

In January 2020, the NMBA accepted an undertaking by Mr Easdon not to practice, pending a final regulatory outcome. As a result, he has not practised as a nurse for more than four years.

Mr Easdon was charged with two counts of sexual assault in relation to his conduct. In July 2021, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a Community Corrections Order without conviction for a period of 18 months. In March 2020, Mr Easdon commenced ongoing treatment from a psychologist in relation to his conduct. In September 2023, Mr Easdon’s psychologist assessed his risk of re-offending as low.

The NMBA and Mr Easdon agreed on the factual allegations. The tribunal found that Mr Easdon’s actions amounted to professional misconduct.

The tribunal ordered that Mr Easdon:

  • be reprimanded,
  • have his registration cancelled, and
  • be disqualified from applying for registration for a period of one year until 9 April 2025.

‘[Mr Easdon’s] conduct was dishonest, disrespectful, showed a serious lack of compassion for patients and a willingness to transgress personal and physical boundaries even when he knew it was wrong to do so,’ the tribunal stated.

‘Conduct of the kind [Mr] Easdon engaged in represents an egregious breach of trust and has the potential to erode the confidence patients and their families have in the nursing profession.’

The tribunal also acknowledged and were satisfied that Mr Easdon has showed insight into the illegality of his actions and the fact he had acted inconsistently with the standards of a registered nurse.

‘When taken with the comprehensive admissions he made to police, we were satisfied that, when looked at holistically, weight should be given to [Mr] Easdon’s honesty.’

Read the full decision on AustLII.

Page reviewed 8/07/2024