A medical practitioner in the United Kingdom has managed to avoid going to jail for importing drugs on the plea that he did it to cope with the stress he had to bear at his workplace, a hospital.
The doctor has previous convictions on drug abuse and drunken driving as well.
Dr. Michael Condon was with the National Health Service (NHS) of the U.K. and was posted in the accidents and emergency A&E ward of a medical facility.
Among the reasons for the stress experienced by him, as cited in court, was that two children died under his watch in the ward/hospital.
The judge seemed to accept this argument and delivered an order of 200 hours of unpaid work.
Drugs Ordered on Dark Web in Small Quantities
What went on Condon’s favor was that the quantities he had imported from Amsterdam were quite small and the total value did not exceed £100 ($135).
This and the fact that the defendant accepted the crime and said it was just for his personal use and not for selling further convinced the judge.
The judge went a step further and conceded that the job of a doctor, particularly in the A&E ward, could be very stressful and, in a way, empathized with Condon.
The fact that the doctor had used a darknet market to order the drugs for himself came to light when law enforcement obtained a warrant to search his house after they intercepted the third parcel addressed to him.
They found in his computer the invoices and the proofs for the payments made—all of which were presented in the court by the prosecution.
A Question of Morality and Justification
Strangely, Dr. Condon’s case is being discussed at the same moment as another similar case in the U.K.—a female doctor was found using drugs from the hospital she was working at, and the reason her lawyer cited in defense was the same, to beat the stress.
She too escaped a prison term, though the judge in that case came down heavily on her for being irresponsible and that the trust between the doctor and the patient in such cases came under question.
As mentioned above, the judge in Condon’s case, however, did not refer to this risk of a doctor posted in an emergency ward taking to drugs.
In the case of the female doctor, the NHS has cited the regulations for doctors and has taken the incident seriously.
It is possible the NHS authorities may take a closer look here as well, though the doctor has escaped for the time being.