Ontario doctor faces three more murder charges in deaths at Hawkesbury hospital

An eastern Ontario doctor who had already been accused of killing an elderly patient was released on bail after being charged Wednesday with three more counts of first-degree murder against other elderly people.

Dr. Brian Nadler, 35, of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, is an internal medicine specialist who worked at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital in eastern Ontario, between Ottawa and Montreal.

Nadler was first charged with first-degree murder in March 2021 after the death of 89-year-old Albert Poidinger of Pointe-Claire, Que., at the hospital.

Ontario Provincial Police announced Wednesday that Nadler now faces three new first-degree murder charges in the death of Claire Briere, 80, of Rigaud, Que.; Lorraine Lalande, 79, of Hawkesbury, Ont. and Judith Lungulescu, 93, of East Hawkesbury Township.

Police did not release details of those deaths on Wednesday.

“The allegations against Dr. Nadler will be vigorously defended,” Nadler’s legal team of Brian H. Greenspan, David M. Humphrey and Naomi M. Lutes said in a prepared statement.

“All four patients died of COVID-19 and Dr. Nadler provided excellent palliative care,” the statement continues. “When the facts are fully presented, we are confident that he will be vindicated.”

After his arrest last year, police said they were investigating multiple suspicious deaths at the hospital.

They did not specify the number of deaths under scrutiny.

“The (investigation) is still ongoing at this time,” said Acting OPP Sgt. Erin Cranton said on Wednesday.

Nadler was released on bond after a hearing Wednesday, Cranton said. Nadler’s file with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario notes that he was prohibited from practicing medicine and may not “associate or communicate in any way, directly or indirectly, by any physical, electronic or other means, with employees of Hawkesbury General Hospital and patients and families treated at Hawkesbury General Hospital except in the presence of counsel for the purpose of preparing a defense.”

Nadler graduated from McGill University in 2010.

The Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons website shows he was convicted of two counts of professional misconduct after he was charged with using a profane term with a female colleague and altering a patient’s medical record without date or the time of change.

“The matter was resolved when Dr. Nadler agreed to take courses in professional ethics and record keeping, and submitted a letter of apology to the board,” reads a note on the university’s site.

After her original first-degree murder charge, then Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters in Queen’s Park it was “very disturbing” to hear about the murder charge.

“It’s something we all take very, very seriously,” he said, calling it an “isolated incident.”

According to the state Board of Medical Examiners, he did a fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno, in geriatrics from September 2018 to September 2019. His license expired in June 2021.

Peter Edwards is a Toronto-based reporter who primarily covers crime for the Star. Contact him via email: [email protected]


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