Doctors accused of battery refuse to release hospital patient

– hospital lawyers ask to have court file sealed

 

October 17, 2013 Update

CHEX-TV removes Time to Die from their website

CHEX-TV’s investigative series Time to Die chronicles the story of Arthur Hippe, a 69-year-old stroke patient, and his wife Marilyn Nelson’s efforts to have him released from Ajax Pickering Hospital. Seniors at Risk reported that CHEX-TV aired Part 1 of the investigative series Time to Die on October 3, 2013. CHEX-TV posted Part 1 to the TV station’s website archives. We have since discovered that CHEX-TV removed Part 1 after being threatened by lawyers for the Rouge Valley Health System, the organization that operates the hospital.

BUT you can still view Part 1 of Time to Die by clicking on the video that Seniors at Risk has posted below.

Lawyers threaten CHEX-TV

Lawyers for Ajax Pickering Hospital are threatening action against CHEX-TV. This appears to be the reason CHEX-TV chose not to run Part 2 of their investigative report. CHEX-TV had planned to air Part 2 the day after Part 1 aired. Scroll further down to read about the hospital’s latest effort to keep information from the public.

It’s a desperate plea from an Ajax woman. She says her husband is being held hostage by a hospital there and given anti-psychotic drugs against her wishes. Pamela Vanmeer has been investigating this case for months and tonight brings us part one of her special series Time to Die.

 

READER COMMENT:

Del asks:  “Can you give us the link to Part 2 Time to Die [CHEX-TV investigative report]? I am unable to find it. I would like to know what the “specific provisions” are that are going to be given in Part 2.”

RESPONSE:

Part 2 of Time to Die has not yet been aired by CHEX-TV.

The morning after Part 1 was aired, lawyers for Ajax Pickering Hospital (Rouge Valley Health Systems) complained to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council in an apparent effort to have the TV station’s license removed. They alleged that CHEX-TV’s investigative reporter, Pamela Vanmeer, lied to the hospital about whether she had recording equipment with her while visiting Arthur Hippe in hospital.

It is noteworthy that the hospital and their lawyers did not deny any of the facts reported in the CHEX-TV investigative report.

The reporter had permission to take photos of Arthur from Arthur Hippe’s wife, who is his Power of Attorney for Personal Care.  As the hospital requested, the reporter did not take or broadcast pictures of staff, other patients or visitors on hospital property. It is not against the law for anyone, including a reporter, to bring recording equipment into a hospital.

The owners of CHEX-TV (Corus Communications) appear to have been intimidated by Ajax Pickering Hospital (Rouge Valley Health System) into not broadcasting Part 2 of Time to Die, the rest of the story about the hospital’s refusal to release Arthur Hippe, and their mistreatment of him and his rights, and of his wife, Marilyn Nelson. CHEX-TV is awaiting the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council’s response to the hospital’s complaint.

We ask the obvious question, “What is Ajax Pickering Hospital hiding?”

 _________________________________________

Story Background

Doctors who admitted to secretly administering the antipsychotic drug Haloperidol (Haldol) to a 69-year-old stroke patient are refusing to transfer him to another health care facility, despite ongoing concerns for his safety and well being.

This case was scheduled to be heard in Superior Court on October 1st, but the appeal date is being set for a later date. Lawyers for the Ajax Pickering Hospital (Rouge Valley Ajax & Pickering) are now asking to seal the court file, presumably to prevent information incriminating the hospital and doctors from being made public. The man’s family has given permission for the information to be made public.

Documents filed in court reveal that the hospital made an offer in March 2013 to pay for the man’s care at home for the rest of his life, an offer the hospital made in writing but did not honour.

Arthur Hippe has been at Ajax Pickering Hospital since May 2010 after having suffered a stroke. His wife, Marilyn Nelson, is Mr. Hippe’s appointed Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POA). She and Mr. Hippe’s family consider the frequent use of the antipsychotic drug Haldol to be unnecessary, inappropriate and harmful. Medical experts confirm their concerns.

This case went to Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) in January 2013, a body that adjudicates disputes between patients and doctors. The CCB confirmed Ms. Nelson’s legal authority to make care consent decisions for Mr. Hippe. However, inexplicably, the CCB also ordered her to comply with the doctors’ treatment plan. She is appealing that decision in Superior Court.

Arthur Hippe has left-side paralysis and is unable to speak more than a few words or phrases. He requires a wheelchair for mobility, but he does not require any artificial life support devices such as a ventilator, feeding tube, catheter, etc. Marilyn Nelson and Mr. Hippe’s family have requested that Mr. Hippe be transferred to another facility where he can be assessed and provided with care more suitable for stroke patients. Doctors at Ajax Pickering Hospital refuse to transfer Mr. Hippe even though another, more appropriate, care facility have said they are willing to accept him as a patient.

The issue of battery, a Criminal Code offense, arose while the Consent and Capacity Board hearing was in progress. On February 1, 2013, immediately after applications for a hearing were filed with the CCB, lawyers representing Ajax Pickering Hospital physicians, Dr. Romas Stas (GP) and Dr. Carman Price (internist), gave written assurances that Mr. Hippe was no longer being administered Haldol (haloperidol).

At the same time, counsel for Mr. Hippe, Alvin Schieke, had issued a warning notice in writing to the doctors’ lawyers, saying, “…any application of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiolytic or mood stabilizing drugs, chemical compounds or treatments to my client without the express, written consent of his Substitute Decision Maker [POA] shall be considered a battery.”

On March 5, 2013, it was discovered that the doctors had secretly administered at least four doses of Haldol since February 1, without obtaining consent from the patient’s Substitute Decision Maker or even informing her of the medical treatment after the fact – a direct contravention of Section 25 of Ontario’s Health Care Consent Act (HCCA).

The Ontario Health Care Consent Act does permit a one-time “emergency” administration of a drug without consent, but requires the physician to notify the patient or substitute decision maker as soon as possible thereafter. Repeat administration of a drug without consent is not permitted under the Act.

In an email written to the doctors’ lawyer on March 7, 2013, Mark Handelman, counsel for Marilyn Nelson, stated that these incidents were “a clear breach of the provisions of s.25 HCCA, even without regard to the unequivocal withdrawal of consent to that specific treatment. Your failure to comment on Dr. Price’s attempts to contact [the SDM] at any point is telling. Frankly, I find Dr. Price’s current handling of this matter –– with 7 lawyers looking on –– astonishing.”

The Consent and Capacity Board panel (in this case a single person, Toronto lawyer Lora Patton) did not address the admission of this unlawful conduct by the doctors in her reasons for decision. While a CCB Order confirmed that Marilyn Nelson is Arthur Hippe’s lawful Substitute Decision Maker (SDM), Ms. Patton ruled that nevertheless, Ms. Nelson must consent to the doctors’ treatment plan, which includes the frequent administration of Haldol. If she does not consent, she will lose her SDM authority, likely to the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee office. Marilyn Nelson is appealing, asking Superior Court to overturn the CCB Decision forcing her to consent to the doctors’ treatment plan.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned other court decisions – including that of the Consent and Capacity Board – that permitted doctors at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital to secretly administer an antipsychotic drug to a patient.

[ Anten v. Bhalerao, http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/decisions/2013/2013ONCA0499.pdf ]

The doctors at Ajax Pickering Hospital have resumed administering Haldol to Mr. Hippe despite Ms. Nelson’s objections. The hospital has refused to provide her with medical records to confirm the frequency and amount of medications he is being given, and she fears that his life is in imminent danger as a result.

Lawyers for the doctors and hospital now asking to have court file sealed

Lawyers for the doctors and Ajax Pickering Hospital recently applied to have the court file sealed claiming Ms. Nelson included “privileged information” and other materials they don’t wish the public to know about. They did not identify what information they object to, and have asked that the entire file be sealed.

Marilyn Nelson’s appeal factum – a document already widely distributed online, including on the Seniors at Risk website – includes evidence of “battery” and evidence confirming the hospital’s lawyer’s offer “pay for Mr. Hippe’s care at home for the rest of his life.”

The Ajax Pickering Hospital withdrew this offer two weeks later without an opportunity for discussion. Ms. Nelson believes the offer was not genuine and was a deliberate act of bad faith on the part of the doctors and hospital.

 

OTHER STORIES ABOUT ARTHUR HIPPE published on Seniors at Risk:

 

Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.

Take a stand against institutional elder abuse.  

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11 Comments »

  1. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… My Dad was literally murdered in a hospice facility. Before my Mom put him there for a RESPITE she was PROMISED he would receive NO medication — per his wishes and my Mom’s. She would take him home after his 5 day stay. That was the only way he would agree to going to the facility.

    We did not know he was receiving any drugs…they deliberately deceived us — and only when we asked for and received the medical records did we find out how many drugs he had been given.

    Comment by L. S. — October 3, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

  2. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… This situation is so incredibly wrong.
    I can totally identify with this woman, except I was fighting for my son. Today, I am still doing that and I am also fighting for my Mother who has a POA who has more power in that capacity, than my Mother has in Her own capacity! It’s crazy. I too am denied access to my Mother who is 78 with Alzheimers, living somewhere in the Province of Ontario in a private home with cathedral ceilings, somewhere I think in the Hamilton region!
    Not even so much as a court order, ever, to keep me away. Just a powerful POA who has the audacity to write me and advise me I am Powerless.
    Serious, Mister Minister, Attorney General, whatever, whoever you are. Get it Together. Stop abusing our Elders & our Children & our most Vulnerable.
    It ticks ME off.
    This is another example of the Practices of Punitive Medicine and Physicians abusing their power which really, is supposed to be about; Protection for the Patient, not the Physician.

    Comment by Moira — October 3, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

  3. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… I have known Arthur for more than 10 years, and have seen the wretched conditions he is being held in. Most people would not wish this on their worst enemy. Arthur has never been given physiotherapy nor speech therapy, though it was on his treatment plan over two years ago (I saw it myself). Nor has he been given any treatment involving stimulation, nor is he even allowed to take a breath of fresh air! His wife is his only visitor (distance is a problem for others) and she is literally under guard when she visits him.

    In fact, I witnessed the Power of Attorney shown in this video… you can clearly see my signature on the page. I know what Arthur wanted for himself… and this is not it.

    I would not take my dog to that hospital. Shame on the “doctors” who call themselves “healers”. They have done more to damage Arthur than to help him, despite the strength and vigilance of his wife, and her constant battling for his best interests.

    No, you do not want to allow one of your own family members to wind up in this house of horrors, and you do not want the “system” taking control, as they have with Arthur’s life, ignoring his rights, his Power of Attorney, and, according to other doctors, failing to do the things that would make his life the best it could be. You need to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

    Do it today. A catastrophic health event can strike any of us without warning, and you must know what you are likely to be up against, should things go awry, as they have for Mr. Hippe.

    Thank you Pamela Vanmeer and CHEX… you are doing a wonderful service to all your viewers by exposing this information and I wish they could clone you and send this across the country. This nation owes its seniors more than this. Arthur deserves better, and so do YOU.

    Comment by Dee — October 3, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

  4. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… It appears that we live in a medical police state. Canadians are such sheep. Italians would be rioting in the streets. Americans uh, closing down gov’t services as an act of protest. Obamacare – we have had socialist monopoly medicine in Canada for decades.

    Comment by hermes — October 4, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  5. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… […] seniorsatrisk.org ARTHUR needs your help. Since this video clip ran on CBC- CHEX Peterborough on Thursday, Oct 3, 2013, the Ajax Pickering Hospital – Rouge Valley Health System lawyers have gone ballistic and are threatening CHEX with a lawsuit and to file a complaint with the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. […]

    Pingback by Doctors Accused Of Battery Refuse To Release Hospital Patient — October 7, 2013 @ 9:19 am

  6. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… I just cannot get over how sick this truly is! I have a brother who cannot communicate as well as Arthur and have had a couple of comments that they wouldn’t want to live like this and that they would pull the plug… Keep in mind, he’s heavily sedated! Plus he wants to live!! He kept on smiling at me and kissing all the women’s hands, he was just having a day that you and I take for granted but hasn’t the ability to express himself like you and I.. Does this mean that anyone like Arthur or my brother doesn’t have a right to live, I Shure hope the hell hope that they have the same rights as we do, no matter how much we want to play Gods role! There’s only one God that can make that call and that’s certainly not a Hospital, Doctor or you or I! If he wants life, he should have it and yes with his wife if both so wish!! I wish them both all the warmth and Love in the world. May God bless them till the end.

    Comment by Trivia — October 7, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

  7. DOCTORS ACCUSED OF BATTERY… Can you give us the link to Part 2 Time to Die?

    I am unable to find it.

    I would like to know what the “specific provisions” are that are going to be given in Part 2.

    Comment by del — October 17, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  8. LAWYERS THREATEN CHEX-TV… People need to take a stand and speak up! While studying law in London, Ont at UWO (on my own), I came across the:
    ‘Canadian Health Facilities Law Guide’
    @1984, CCH Canadian Limited
    Section 11, 120 pages 6040-6041
    Forcible Administration of Treatment pg. 6040

    “A difficulty yet to be adressed in Canadian case law is the issue of forcible administration of psychoactive medication. Even with precise provincial law permitting forcible use of medicine and other types of treatment it must be remembered that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms may nullify such legislation. This could be accomplished if a patient who refuses treatment files a lawsuit under the Charter.
    Without case law on the matter, however, the impact of the Charter on the right to refuse pharmacological treatment is now the subject of speculation. Nevertheless, the role of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms cannot be underestimated.
    No mental health administrator or practitioner wants to see court action on the right to refuse treatment. Once a case is filed, it generates considerable media attention that can project a highly negative picture to the community. To avoid such difficulty, be it with compelling medication or any other form of treatment, the requirements for consent must be followed closely. In addition, health facilities and professionals must establish guidlines for handling patients who refuse treatment.”

    Could this be why they want court documents sealed and the media silenced? http://www.broadpowers.com
    Gordon W Stewart President, PSWA Canada, Civil Liberties Advocate. Victoria, BC

    Comment by Pacific South Western Advocates Victoria BC — October 25, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

  9. LAWYERS THREATEN CHEX-TV… I wonder if Seniors at Risk might publish ways we can protect ourselves and our loved ones, since Part 2 isn’t going to be aired. This entire issue scares the living daylights out of me! It’s hard to believe this is going on in Canada, yet I do understand it actually is going on. My heart goes out to anyone in this situation.

    Comment by Sydney — October 26, 2013 @ 6:29 am

  10. LAWYERS THREATEN CHEX-TV… I completely empathize with the situations described in the news story and the comments that followed. I experienced a similar nightmare in BC for almost seven years. Despite complaints to the RCMP and every level of health authority and provincial government, I was lied to, threatened and stonewalled every step of the way. My POA was ignored or mocked.

    Just how do we get ALL Canadians to understand the absolute horror of what is being done to vulnerable seniors in these hospitals and long term care facilities?? I know that this website-and the hundreds of comments myself and others have made on websites like CBC-help raise awareness but how do we STOP these health authories from assaulting and murdering our loved ones?

    Comment by sharon harris — October 26, 2013 @ 10:09 am

  11. LAWYERS THREATEN CHEX-TV… Thank you for everything you do for others who are fighting a losing battle against government care! So sad to hear that a reporter puts herself on the line like this, and then her employer gets threatened. Only in Canada!

    Comment by M&M — October 27, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

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