A nurse in Washington State is facing charges for allegedly conducting a sexual relationship with a patient whose mental health issues he was treating with various medications, including Effexor.
Michael Alan Gregory is being charged by the state’s Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission with unprofessional conduct. Gregory is a registered nurse and advanced registered nurse practitioner. The current sanctions for sexual misconduct can range in severity from Gregory getting a reprimand, to monitoring him while he works, to having his licenses revoked, says Mary Dale, discipline manager for the commission.
“It really depends on the specific details of the case,” Dale said.
For now, however, Gregory can still work at Village Family Health in Bellingham. He did make a statement on June 10.
“I am cooperating with an ongoing investigation by the Nursing (Care) Quality Assurance Commission, relating to a former patient I provided care to several years ago,” Gregory said. “I continue to be hopeful for a fair and impartial review of this case.”
Gregory is accused of taking advantage of a woman known as patient A after her treatment began on August 8, 2007. They got involved in a sexual relationship within two months. Gregory is said to have diagnosed the woman with an adjustment disorder, major depressive disorder and insomnia caused by a mental disorder. To treat her, Gregory prescribed the woman Effexor, Cymbalta, lorazepam and Ativan.
The victim is believed to be vulnerable to his advances due to her history of mental disorders, substance abuse and sexual abuse. The commission stated, “Because of her history and her diagnoses, Patient A was particularly vulnerable.”
Gregory is said to have added post-traumatic stress disorder to her list of diagnoses after he started having sex with her, but didn’t say why he gave her that diagnosis on her chart. Gregory and Patient A continued their sexual relationship until 2009.