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Nurse acquitted of manslaughter suspended

Joanna Flynn 'engaged in dishonourable and unprofessional conduct:' CNO
2017-06-08 Joanna Flynn
Joanna Flynn stands outside Barrie court with her lawyer on June 8, 2017 after a jury cleared Flynn of manslaughter in a patient's death. Sue Sgambait/BarrieToday

The College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) has suspended a Midland nurse found not guilty of manslaughter for removing a patient from life support in 2014.

A disciplinary committee handed down the five-month suspension to Joanna Flynn on Monday. 

The committee ruled that Flynn "contravened the standards of practice of the profession and engaged in dishonourable and unprofessional conduct by discontinuing life support for a client without the required medical authorization and failing to record that medical authorization to discontinue life support had been refused by the responsible physician."

In March 2014, Flynn removed Deanna Leblanc from life support at Georgian Bay General Hospital without a physician's permission, which she testified at her 2017 trial was allowed under CNO guidelines. 

The crown had argued Flynn overstepped her role, should have obtained a doctor's order and coerced Leblanc's husband for consent. 

A jury found Flynn not guilty. 

In addition to the five-month suspension, the discipline committee ordered Flynn to inform employers of the results of the discipline hearing and to notify the college of all nursing employers.