James Latham Peters, 63, has pleaded guilty to 55 counts of negligently causing serious injury to patients at a Croydon abortion clinic.
Peters was allowed to continue practising under supervision despite having having freely admitted to the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria that he was addicted to the drug fentanyl.
His defence lawyer, John Dickinson SC, said it was "mind-boggling" that a drug addict was placed in a situation where he could access the drug.
"It's little bit like putting a sugar-addicted child into a candy store and saying to him, behave yourself," he said.
Mr Dickinson said Peters had married a heroin user, had become addicted to opiates by the mid 1990s, and would inject himself with the fentanyl before surgery.
However, he argued Peters did not know the needles he used to inject himself would then be used on his patients and tried to avoid that from happening.
"He is 63 now. A disgraced doctor. He will never practice again. His name is infamous. He has fallen along way," Mr Dickinson said.
He urged the judge to not be overwhelmed by the emotional stories of his victims, reiterated that his client had pleaded guilty and argued his actions, while negligent, were not intentional.
Judge Forrest told the court Peters must have known he was placing his patients at risk.
"It's hard for me to accept that a man as accomplished and intelligent as your client obviously is had no appreciation whatsoever that he was placing these women in danger of injury by his conduct," he said.
He said Peters' actions were a "gross and unjustifiable departure from the standard of care expected from an anaesthetist," and said there was an overwhelming need for doctors to know such behaviour will not be tolerated.
The crown submitted Peters should be jailed for between 14 and 16 years.
He will be sentenced later this month.