Devon

Plymouth GP Judith Ames abused position after patient's death

A doctor began a relationship with the husband of a patient weeks after she died, a tribunal has heard.

Dr Judith Ames, 55, who worked at Mannamead Surgery in Plymouth, met Robert Owens, while treating his wife Joyce for lung cancer.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal was told Dr Ames accepted Mr Owens' marriage proposal 19 days after his wife's death.

It ruled her actions were sexually motivated and an abuse of her position.

'Free spirits'

At the fitness to practise hearing in Manchester, Dr Ames told the panel she did not have feelings for Mr Owens when his wife was alive, but a relationship had quickly developed.

She moved into the Owens' former marital home within weeks of Mrs Owens death in March.

Mr Owens, who said he was a committed Christian active in his local church, told the hearing he and Dr Ames were "free spirits" and they planned to marry later this year.

But the tribunal said Dr Ames broke medical guidelines about maintaining boundaries between doctor and patient.

If the panel considers her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct, Dr Ames could have restrictions placed on her work or be struck off the medical register by the panel.

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