A nurse in Nottingham who allegedly tried to market cannabis oil to a cancer patient has been struck off. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found Eliska Neuzilova to be guilty of the offense, having failed to prove that she would not have profiteered should the patient have bought the cannabis oil from a company that she was associated with.
The body felt that she “failed to maintain professional boundaries” and gave “unsolicited medical advice” to the patient. A fitness to practice committee, therefore, found her unfit to practice.
Ms. Neuzilova was working at the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham; this is where she met with the patient in June 2018. At this time, she was working as an agency nurse in the neuro-spinal post-operative unit of the hospital. The patient, who has since died, was suffering from terminal cancer.
The patient’s family contacted the hospital and informed them that Ms. Neuzilova had tried to convince the patient to consume cannabis oil as medication. The patient was also advised to stop consuming sugar so she could get better. Given that the patient was quite vulnerable at this point, they would have easily caved into the pressure. The council also found that Ms. Neuzilova was involved with a company that markets cannabis products.
The council found that Ms. Neuzilova has posted a leaflet to the patient’s email that contained information about cannabis oil. The council was not persuaded by the claim that the nurse went to such great lengths for purely altruistic reasons and not for the financial gains, as she claimed. In addition, this was a misuse of the patient’s personal information.
Looking at the nursing charts, it was found that Ms. Neuzilova had filled in some documents that had been missing retrospectively. She had failed to document giving medication to the patient and recording information about her fluid intake and output.
Ms. Neuzilova failed to attend the hearing. In her absence, the panel found that her actions amounted to misconduct. They put it in writing that “A health care professional giving advice on supplements or treatments that are not supported by medical evidence is inappropriate and potentially dangerous.”
Studies about the benefits of using cannabis to treat cancer are anecdotal and preliminary. Some studies have shown that the major cannabinoids, THC, and CBD have tumor-suppressing properties. Cannabis may also be used to relieve chronic and that is common in cancer.
Cannabinoid-based drugs have also been used in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. That said, offering cannabis to patients in Europe is off-the-mark and Ms. Neuzilova was found fully guilty of the offense.