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Tirade of a vindictive doctor

 

Doctors are supposed to offer support to families in times of medical crisis.  Here’s one at MAHC who went out of her way to make like even more difficult at the worst possible time, even to the point of fabricating an incident to discredit the family.

Just seconds after informing us that our mother had been diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and was unlikely to survive, she launched into a tirade of hostility and accusations within earshot of other patients, visitors and staff.  She shouted “You have been very rude to the nursing staff and I personally do not like dealing with you. In the four years of working here I have never met a family like you. You are very difficult to deal with. I don’t even like to look after your mother because of you.” 

She recorded this and other comments verbatim in a progress note and placed it in our mother’s chart.  She then accused us of being “litigious people” and announced, “Everyone is already aware that you will be suing all of us.”  This was another of her fictional inventions.  We had never even hinted at any intention of suing the hospital or anyone connected with it.  She had a history of creating entires in the chart that mocked concerns we had expressed to nursing staff about our mother.

Just the day before, and in response to the concerns we voiced about our mother’s deteriorating condition (which eventually led to aspiration pneumonia), the doctor wrote in a progress note, “They seem to be micromanging her care. Perhaps they are ready to take her home.”  Less than 24 hours later, she would advise us that our mother was unlikely to survive.  

A week earlier, this same doctor, whom we had encountered on only one occasion, had expressed objection over our fear that our mother’s anti-seizure medication had been abruptly stopped, contrary to well-documented pharmacological warnings.  When we asked that it be gradually tapered instead, the doctor complained in a progress note, “Very difficult to please them, no matter what anyone does.”  She would later admit, as we had asserted, that she made a prescribing error, as well, when she ordered the medication to be given by mouth when she knew her patient could not swallow and was at high risk of choking and aspiration. To some at MAHC, wanting things done safely and according to established safety practices was another example of our being “difficult” and “unreasonable,” as this doctor asserted.

This same doctor made repeated references in the chart to what she called our “poor treatment of nursing staff.”  She often cited events that never occurred, blaming us for a nurse apparently quitting her job, for instance, and using preposterous phrases like “caused quite a stir last night.”  No such concerns were ever expressed or noted by the nursing supervisory chain of command. 

We later discovered after reviewing the chart that the doctor had fabricated an allegation that she had been “pushed…into the hallway” by a family member.   She later admitted, after months of efforts by the family to have the defamatory record corrected, that the allegation that improper physical force was used on her was “incorrect” and that no force was ever used.  It would be difficult to overstate the impact that this false and malicious accusation had, along with the myriad others, on the family, or our humiliation that it had been placed in the medical chart where other members of our mother’s care team and hospital officials would have seen it and likely drawn an extremely adverse inference from it.  

The doctor has hired a major Toronto law firm.  The hospital decided that this was the kind of doctor it wanted to showcase in its promotional video.

 

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