Back in 2016, Stephen Hawking’s family filed a complaint against the physicist’s nurse, Patricia Dowdy, who hasn’t been allowed to practice ever since. Now, a secret hearing is investigating what happened, but not so many details are known.
A secret hearing involving Stephen Hawking’s former nurse is now being held
Professor Hawking passed away last year in March, at the age of 76, at his home in Cambridge. His former nurse, Mrs. Dowdy, who is now 61 years old, worked for him for approximately 15 years and was seen at his side quite often.
At the moment, a secret hearing over allegations of misconduct involving Mrs. Dowdy is taking place at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK. No one knows the exact details of these allegations, as neither the media nor the public can attend this meeting.
The secrecy of this investigation has raised some concerns amongst people
Because a decision to hold the tribunal behind closed doors has been made, some people have started thinking about open justice. Based on some information from the NMC website, the reported “misconduct” apparently took place in Cambridge.
Other documents that are available to the public show us that Hawking’s former nurse was suspended in 2016 and she has been banned from practicing since that moment. However, this decision is usually taken when the allegations are severe.
What happens next?
The hearing against Mrs. Dowdy is expected to last for quite some time, and meanwhile, it will continue to remain behind closed doors. The former nurse did not make any comments on the current situation.
According to some sources, the allegations seem to be “pretty serious.” The Director of Fitness to Practise at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Matthew McClelland, has mentioned that “We will publicly share the outcome and any sanction when the hearing has concluded.”
The fact that no one is even talking about why this hearing takes place has raised some concern amongst the public. It remains to be seen what follows next.
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.