A nurse has been struck off the nursing register, after allegedly failing to provide good care to English physicist Stephen Hawking, shown in this February 8, 2015 photo, a ruling published Tuesday shows. Hawking died on March 14, 2018. He was 76. File Photo by Paul Treadway/UPI | License Photo
March 12 (UPI) -- The former nurse of Stephen Hawking is unfit to practice, Great Britain's Nursing and Midwifery Council said in a ruling published Tuesday based on an assessment of her care for the acclaimed late scientist.
Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time who became one of the world's best known physicists, was diagnosed in 1963 at age 21 with amyotrophic lateral disease, more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. It gradually paralyzed him over decades and Hawking died in March 2018 at age 76.
Patricia Dowdy, 61, who worked for him for eight years, has been eliminated from the nursing register since she "failed to provide the standards of good, professional care that we expect and Professor Hawking deserved," the NMC ruled in a private hearing.
The NMC ruling was published Tuesday.
Dowdy was suspended for 18 months in 2016 based on allegations of improper care for Hawking, incorrect qualifications, financial misconduct, dishonesty and failing to cooperate with the NMC.
Matthew McClelland, the NMC director of fitness to practice, said Dowdy will no longer be allowed to practice as a nurse.
"As the public rightly expects, in serious cases such as this - where a nurse has failed in their duty of care and has not been able to evidence to the panel that they have learned from their mistakes and be fit to practice - we will take action," McClelland said.
"As a result of the verdict, others will not have to go through what they suffered from this individual," a spokesman for the Hawking family said, also thanking the NMC "for their thorough investigation."