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Message from the Publishers of this Website

Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) has served notice under the Libel and Slander Act of Ontario that it considers the content of this website to be defamatory and has demanded that it be “permanently removed from the Internet,” failing which it threatens to commence court proceedings for damages and to seek “injunctive relief.”  It has also served notice of its claim for “prejudgment interest.”  

The authors and publishers take this allegation very seriously. We were shocked by the deterioration that we witnessed in our mother’s condition during her stay at MAHC, staggered by what was revealed in her chart about the care she did, and did not, receive and enormously frustrated by MAHC’s handling of our concerns.  These sentiments are no doubt interwoven in the voices that animate this website and our separate video.  No defamation was ever intended and we believe none has occurred.  MAHC has been invited to specify which of the several thousand words in the posts and pages of this site it objects to, but it refuses to provide that information, thus depriving the authors of the ability to correct any alleged inaccuracies. 

We believe, and have made every effort to ensure, that the content of this site reflects a fair, reasonable and accurate depiction of facts, events and circumstances related to our mother’s care, and that the users of the healthcare system and the public that pays for it require the information contained herein for their own protection. The family is not represented by legal counsel and has never threatened legal action. We have repeatedly sought an explanation from MAHC for why so many breakdowns in our mother’s care occurred while she was a patient.  Our efforts have been unavailing even into their third year. 

This website was created as a last resort because of the hospital’s refusal to provide the information sought along with credible assurances that similar breakdowns that place other patients at risk will not be permitted in the future.  This, we believe, is only responsible.  When an institution supported by taxpayer funds refuses to be forthcoming, there are few options that ordinary citizens seeking accountability in the healthcare system have but to share their experiences and take their concerns public. We have done so reluctantly and only after exhausting all other avenues.

The prospect of facing legal action by a large organization with such financial resources that it is able to retain one of the most expensive law firms in Canada is, frankly, chilling.  Such actions on the part of institutions to which society gives significant responsibility and power over the lives of citizens are not conducive to the public’s fundamental right to shine the light of scrutiny and accountability on them. In fact, this may be the first case in Canada where a taxpayer-funded hospital has begun legal proceedings against a family who has publicly expressed concerns about the care received by a loved one.  It is a precedent that should alarm patient advocates and healthcare policy makers who believe that transparency and accountability are essential cornerstones in the delivery of sound care.

It would be an unforgivable betrayal of the trust our mother placed in her family for us to remain silent, to fail to stand up for her right to compassionate and healing care, and to do all we can to prevent the nightmare she experienced from being inflicted on  other patients and families.

This latest turn in a long series of traumas and blows takes our journey, now into its third year, onto a new and uncharted path. Our quest for answers from MAHC, and for accountability in the Canadian healthcare system, continues.