Ontario doctor allegedly murdered 89-year-old Quebec man in hospital: police

·3 min read
Ontario doctor allegedly murdered 89-year-old Quebec man in hospital: police

An eastern Ontario doctor allegedly murdered an 89-year-old Quebec man in hospital last week, police said Monday as they probed multiple suspicious deaths at the facility.

Ontario Provincial Police had said Friday that Dr. Brian Nadler was charged with first-degree murder, but provided few other details.

On Monday, they identified Nadler's alleged victim as Albert Poidinger of Point-Claire, Que., and said he was pronounced dead on March 25 after police were called to the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital.

Police spokesman Bill Dickson said investigators were able to quickly gather evidence that allowed them to arrest Nadler and charge him with first-degree murder.

"We are now looking at several other recent suspicious deaths at the hospital," Dickson said, declining to specify how many deaths the force is examining.

"The investigation began last Thursday when we were called to the hospital, so it's in the early stages."

The allegations have left the eastern Ontario town with a population of 10,000 reeling, said Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly.

"Hearing this news happening at their local hospital, that touches the community deeply," she said in an interview Monday.

"I think the community is very sad. They are also confused about what transpired and how this could happen. We know very little."

Assaly said she had urged residents not to speculate on what might have happened.

"The rumour mill doesn’t help or assist in any way," she said. "I don’t think people should participate at all, they should let the investigators do their job."

The hospital said in a statement Monday that it continues to work with police as investigators probe the suspicious deaths.

"We have met with the bereaved families affected by this tragic situation to offer our condolences and support," the hospital said.

Patients should continue to come to the hospital if they need to, and should keep their appointments, the facility said.

"We understand that our patients, their families and the community at large are anxious and distressed," it said.

The mayor said she is thinking of the staff at the hospital, who have endured a massive renovation, escalating COVID-19 cases and now the ongoing investigation.

"I really feel for them," Assaly said. "It's been a trying time."

The hospital declared its second COVID-19 outbreak in a week on March 25, the same day Poidinger died.

There have been five recent deaths at the hospital related to COVID-19, the hospital said last week.

Nadler, 35, of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., remains in custody.

His lawyer, Alan Brass, declined on Friday to discuss the charge, but said Nadler maintains his innocence.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario said it also plans to investigate.

Its registry indicates Nadler is a specialist in internal medicine who graduated from McGill University in 2010.

He previously practised in Saskatchewan, where the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons said he was charged with unprofessional conduct for allegedly using a profane term when referring to a female colleague following an argument in 2014.

He was also accused of altering a patient's medical file without noting the date or time of the change.

Saskatchewan's College of Physicians said the situation was resolved after Nadler agreed to take courses in professional ethics and medical record keeping.

Nadler also practised medicine in Nevada starting in 2018, according to the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners.

The board said he completed a yearlong fellowship in geriatrics at the University of Nevada, Reno, in September 2019.

It said he had previously trained as a neurological surgery intern in Alberta, where he also did his residency in internal medicine.

His certificate to practise medicine in Ontario was granted in February 2020, according to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

Nadler is next scheduled to appear in court in L'Orignal, Ont., on April 6.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2021.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press