An Auckland GP who prescribed large doses of morphine to her patient-turned-lover has been suspended for nine months and ordered to pay $120,000 in costs.

The man died in September 2006 from the combined toxicity of morphine, methadone and other drugs.

He worked as a technical expert at the same clinic as the doctor. He suffered several injuries between August 2005, when he first consulted her about his back pain, and February 2006.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, after a hearing in February, has found the doctor guilty of malpractice, negligence and bringing discredit to the medical profession - and that her behaviour amounted to professional misconduct.

She has been suspended for nine months from April and ordered to undertake a Medical Council sexual misconduct assessment.

She was denied permanent name suppression, but a temporary naming ban remains in force because she has appealed to the High Court against the tribunal's verdict.

The prosecuting lawyer, Mike Heron, told the hearing the doctor supplied the man with 755 ampoules of injectable morphine between January and September 2006 and, in addition, prescribed 60 ampoules and 872 tablets or capsules.

The tribunal said that in mid-2006 they entered an intimate relationship, "and from early August 2006 were living together. She continued to prescribe and administer morphine. She said she was using a morphine reduction template, with the intention of reducing his dosage."

The tribunal found the doctor continued to care for the man medically after they started an intimate and/or sexual relationship. She had failed to appropriately and sufficiently transfer his care to another GP in accordance with Medical Council guidelines.

Despite not pleading guilty, the doctor did, the tribunal said, accept she exercised poor judgment on some matters, approached the hearing constructively and agreed she should accept responsibility.

Her lawyer, Harry Waalkens, QC, told the hearing the doctor accepted many of the facts in the case, but did not believe they warranted discipline. She was a highly respected doctor with no previous complaints against her.