Stella writes… they tell us to lie

 

Today, Seniors at Risk introduces a new series about one family’s journey through the health care system as they try to protect their elderly father from institutional elder abuse. Daughter Stella chronicles their story and her views of the Canadian health care system and its impact on her dad Charlie. Stella Writes will appear regularly on Seniors at Risk.

Stella writes

 
I live in British Columbia, Canada.  We have a government health care system administered province by province.  Some years back, our provincial government set up regional health authorities and new rules were put in place.  Since then, patients and their families have been playing ‘catch up’ as we struggle to learn what this all means.
 
I have an elderly father in a senior’s facility and our family has lost all control of him.  My dad Charlie has been diagnosed with dementia, been placed under Adult Guardianship and (more…)

Regulator of Physicians hides details of doctor misconduct

 

We used to trust our doctors. In fact at one time, doctors were so trusted, we gave them the right to regulate themselves through provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons. Our courts defer to their judgment, and assume doctors automatically possess profound knowledge, impeccable skills and unassailable integrity.
 
But, Canadian doctors have squandered the public’s (admittedly naïve) trust. In Canada today, many people fear doctors and the health care system, and with increasingly good reasons.
 
Today, we bring you two chilling stories, one from Ontario and one from British Columbia, that demonstrate how doctors have lost our trust.

College of Physicians and Surgeons keeps secret the details of incompetence

October 22, 2012

An Ontario surgeon found guilty of professional misconduct and incompetence, including causing death, has been allowed to continue to see patients while details of his infractions are kept secret from the public.

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons is resisting revealing the details about the 22 instances of misconduct and incompetence that they confirmed, stating:  “the disciplinary committee’s ‘rules of procedure’ allow (more…)

Update of previously reported case – Ajax Pickering Hospital

 

UPDATE Sep 9, 2013:  There’s been a new development in the case of the 69-year-old Toronto-area stroke patient that Seniors at Risk reported on last year.

In June 2013 the man’s wife launched a court appeal of the decision that had been rendered by the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB). The CCB confirmed that Marilyn Nelson is the legal substitute decision maker for her husband Arthur Hippe by virtue of him having appointed her to be his power of attorney for personal care. However, the CCB also ordered Ms. Nelson to consent to the doctors’s proposed treatment plan.

The latest court documents reveal the story.

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A previously reported case in Ontario has moved into the court room. The hospital, doctors and staff are named as parties in a civil suit brought by the spouse of a man who is being detained in a hospital against his will, and that of his spouse and power of attorney, and his family.

Court documents reveal violation of legal rights by the health care providers, as well as intimidation, coercion, threats and mistreatment of (more…)

Hospital “commissars” threaten to ban wife unless she agrees with doctors

 –––––––  Sep 13, 2012 | Related Article | Update of previously reported case – Ajax Pickering Hospital  Court affidavits and evidence reveal deception and intimidation by hospital, doctors and the Public Guardian and Trustee. –––––––

Another story of abuse by health care providers. Seniors at Risk has been working with this Ontario family for the past month, after it was brought to our attention by one of our website readers.

Marilyn Nelson and her spouse Arthur Hippe, both in their sixties, have shared the last 26 years together. Today though, the loving couple is prevented from seeing one another, except for two hours a day in a Toronto-area hospital, where they are not permitted a single moment of privacy.

Arthur Hippe suffered a stroke in late May 2010 and was admitted to Ajax Pickering Hospital east of Toronto. He is paralyzed on his left side and his speech has been affected. He remains in the same hospital today, apparently having received no post-stroke rehabilitation.

Arthur granted Marilyn his Power of Attorney for Personal Care on May 12, 2009, giving her the legal authority to make all his medical care consent decisions. However from the very beginning, the hospital disregarded Marilyn’s legal authority, refused to provide her with Arthur’s medical records, and made continual efforts to thwart her in making care consent decisions on Arthur’s behalf. Marilyn has asked on several occasions that Arthur be moved to a rehab or residential care facility, but the hospital continues to claim that there are no beds available.

Ajax Pickering Hospital is one of two hospitals operated by the Rouge Valley Health System, led by CEO Rik Ganderton (formerly an executive with IBM Canada). The hospital’s motto is “Patients First!”

One day, Marilyn came to visit Arthur and saw that he was staring vacantly, a marked difference. She asked hospital staff if he was on any new medications and was told he was on Zyprexa.

Marilyn Nelson researched the drug and found, to her horror, that, in addition to numerous toxic side effects,  Zyprexa and other antipsychotic drugs are well-known to increase the risk of strokes (cerebrovascular events). Asserting her legal right to provide consent (or not), she instructed the hospital physicians treating Arthur, including Dr. Romas Stas and Dr. Carman Price, to take Arthur off Zyprexa. That’s when the relationship with the hospital escalated further into bewildering hostility, says Marilyn.

One of us has to go, and it’s going to be you!

The doctors did not agree with Marilyn that Zyprexa and other antipsychotic drugs were harmful to Arthur, and in a meeting with the doctors and other hospital personnel, Marilyn says the doctor told her “One of us has to go, and it’s going to be you!”

So, what’s going on, you ask? How is it that a hospital and doctors can ignore a legal document stipulating that another person has full authority and responsibility to make medical care consent decisions?

As Seniors at Risk has reported (more…)

A new twist – doctor banned from visiting mother by health facility autocrats

 

Cases of elder rights being stripped by health care providers and public agencies are coming to light from coast to coast across Canada.

A reader notified Seniors at Risk of this St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador story.

It’s a story with an interesting twist.

The daughters of an 88-year-old hospital patient say that Eastern Health authority cut their visiting rights to their mother because they raised concerns about the care their mother was being given.

The twist? One of the daughters is a medical doctor.

The story of Elsie King and her daughters Yvonne and Grace was exposed by CBC Radio, St. John’s. This is the kind of journalism that CBC excels at, and should be encouraged (and funded) to do more of.

Here are the transcripts from the CBC’s podcasts of the on air broadcasts last month. Read and judge for yourself. You can listen to the broadcast too. Links to the online audio podcasts are provided at the end of each transcript.

Learn how health care facility staff, doctors and administrators can easily separate and damage families with little apparent consideration for the difficult times that the patient and the family are encountering.

Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.

Take a stand against institutional elder abuse.  

Elsie King’s daughters take Eastern Health to Court over hospital visitation

CBC On the Go – Tuesday June 12, 2012 ­– St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador

An 88-year old patient’s daughters say Eastern Health cut their visiting rights when they questioned the care she was receiving. Eastern Health says it cut visits because their behaviour toward staff was unreasonable and aggressive. Each is taking the other to court.

Host Ted Blades with Jessica Doria Brown

Transcript:

There’s a battle going on at Eastern Health (St. Johns, Newfoundland) and the family of an 88-year-old woman.

Yvonne and Grace King say their mother Elsie was getting inadequate care at the Health Sciences Centre and when they spoke up about it, the health authority punished them by cutting the amount of time they’re allowed to spend with her.

But Eastern Health says it restricted their time at the hospital because of their rude and aggressive behaviour towards the staff.

The situation has gotten so bad that the sisters are taking Eastern Health to court and one of the sisters, Grace, to court as well.

From the sisters’ perspective, they say their mother has been getting second-rate care because of her advanced age. Yvonne King says staff delayed giving their Mom antibiotics, and they wouldn’t use a safety belt consistently to transfer her from her bed to the chair. They say that the staff have referred to her as “nursing home material”.

They say the hospital staff really resented it when they asked about their mother’s care. Yvonne King says the nurses wouldn’t even follow the doctor’s orders when…  [MORE]

King family vs. Eastern Health

CBC On the Go – Tuesday June 13, 2012 ­– St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador

Update on the King family vs. Eastern Health story. Bob Buckingham, the lawyer for the Kings tells Ted that court proceedings have been postponed indefinitely because Eastern Health has relaxed the restrictions it placed on Elsie and Yvonne visiting their mother Elsie at the Escasoni Complex.

Host Ted Blades with King family lawyer, Bob Buckingham

Transcript:

Host:  Yesterday we reported on the story of Yvonne and Grace King. The King sisters told us that they were punished for speaking up for what they said was the inadequate care their mother Elsie was getting at Eastern Health Sciences Centre. Their punishment? The health authority had severely restricted the amount time the daughters could spend with their mother. But Eastern Health told us their time was cut because of their rude and aggressive behaviour towards staff.

The situation had gotten so bad that each side was taking the other to court:  the sisters to get the visitation restrictions lifted; and Eastern Health to keep them in place.

They were supposed to be in court today, but things have changed.

Bob Buckingham is the King family lawyer and he… [MORE]

 

Top doctor’s claim – 130,000 elderly patients killed ‘prematurely’ every year; elderly woman starved to death in hospital

Readers of Seniors at Risk sent us two stories yesterday that will shock people who are not already aware that thousands of our elders’ fundamental human rights are being violated, and their lives put in danger, while supposedly in the ‘care’ of a modern and civilized health system.

In the first story below, one of Britain’s top doctors exposes the widespread practice in health care facilities of prematurely ending elderly people’s lives with morphine injection and withholding of food and water. The practice is based on a scheme known as the Liverpool Care Pathway, named for the U.K. city in which it was perfected.

Its unregulated, under-the-radar use extends far beyond the U.K. Evidence indicates its adoption (and abuse) here in B.C. Families are often told their loved one “died peacefully”, when in fact they died in the painful distress of dehydration, starvation and narcotic poisoning. By eye-witness accounts, this is an excruciating way to die.

The other story, equally horrifying, is from Canada. An elderly Winnipeg woman starved to death after not being given any food for 14 days during her 45-day stay in hospital. The hospital board said it was “sorry”.

Seniors at Risk is continually being made aware of these and similar cases of institutional elder abuse, almost daily. It is an epidemic, and a disgraceful atrocity.

When our existing laws, lax as they are, are not enforced, when no one is held personally accountable, when health organizations are not open and honest about their practices, and when there are no consequences for such reprehensible acts, then these crimes become inevitable and increasingly frequent.

Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.

Take a stand against institutional elder abuse.  Start by reading these two stories:

Top doctor’s chilling claim: The NHS kills off 130,000 elderly patients every year

By STEVE DOUGHTY  – MAIL ONLINE  – PUBLISHED: 23:08 GMT, 19 June 2012 | UPDATED: 13:20 GMT, 21 June 2012

  • Professor says doctors use ‘death pathway’ to euthenasia of the elderly
  • Treatment on average brings a patient to death in 33 hours
  • Around 29 per cent of patients that die in hospital are on controversial ‘care pathway’…

NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients (more…)

Elder Abuse Awareness Day – June 15

ON THIS DAY WE REMEMBER AND HONOUR these nine people and all other seniors who have suffered, or are still suffering, abuse of their legal and human rights in British Columbia’s health care system, and elsewhere.

   

 

 

 

 

Please take a few minutes to learn about and to share their stories with other people.
 

 

DOLORES Brent, Trail, B.C.

 

GARY Davis, Langley, B.C.

 

ROLAND Hunter, Vancouver, B.C.

 

ERNA Luttmer, Vancouver, B.C.

 

ELDON Mooney, North Vancouver, B.C.

 

KATHLEEN Palamarek, Victoria, B.C.

 

HILDA Penner, Abbottsford, B.C.

 

STEPHEN Piccolo, Kamloops, B.C.

 

JEAN Wilder, Invermere, B.C.

 

 

  

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – http://www.inpea.net/weaad.html

 
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Help STOP institutional elder abuse – write your elected representatives, voice your concerns online, let others know what’s happening, or… take whatever steps you think will help make a difference to protect seniors’ legal and human rights from abuse by Canadian health care institutions and public agencies.

The Coalition to Support SENIORS AT RISK

 

Jean Wilder still being held unlawfully, PGT applies to seize control of her assets

 

Jean Wilder of Invermere, B.C. is still being held unlawfully by the Interior Health Authority, with the full knowledge and apparent approval of the Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C.

No information has been provided to the family, despite repeated requests, about why she is still being held against her will more than three months after she was suddenly confined to Columbia House care facility and her family and friends were banned from visiting.

In our last report on Jean Wilder‘s family’s efforts to protect Jean and her rights, Marc Normand, Jean’s designated power of attorney, had just submitted the accounts for the two months he has been acting as her POA to the Public Guardian and Trustee’s office, as they had demanded.

In his submission to the PGT of the accounting statements, Marc Normand  asked the PGT for information about the unsubstantiated non-specific allegations made about him by the PGT in a “referral”, and requested information that would confirm the legal status of Jean Wilder, who the family views as being held unlawfully and without cause.

To this day, the PGT has apparently not provided one iota of evidence to Marc Normand that he has acted improperly in managing Jean Wilder’s assets. The PGT alleges that someone has accused him of something in a “referral”, but no one from the PGT has provided any substance to confirm, or information about, the “referral” allegations.

Public Guardian misleads Wilder family

The PGT had given Marc Normand to May 10, 2012, a discourteous and unreasonable deadline (one week) to submit the accounting, but he did manage to comply with that deadline.

Then, on May 17th, Marc Normand received a stunning letter in the mail. In the PGT’s response, Launa Monette, a Regional Consultant in the PGT’s Kelowna office, states:

“I have completed my assessment and (more…)

Wife wins court order to see husband of 33 years in B.C. hospital

 

Another story has been sent to Seniors at Risk that exposes inhumane and autocratic behaviour by health care facility staff towards seniors and their family members.

The situation in British Columbia health care facilities has become so dysfunctional that families, in times of great distress, are forced to resort to the B.C. Supreme Court to compel our publicly-funded health care providers and authorities to use common sense and display considerate behaviour.

Although this couple was successful in obtaining a court order against the health authority and the health care facility, few families can afford the extraordinary legal bills (usually $250 – $350 per hour) to hire lawyers for this purpose.

It begs the question – Are human rights and justice available only to the weathy and well-positioned in British Columbia today?

Story below.

Wife wins right to see husband in hospital

Judge grants unsupervised visits; VIHA calls it ‘a good outcome’

By Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist June 3, 2012

 
A Victoria woman has won the right to unsupervised visits with her husband of 33 years in Victoria General Hospital after Vancouver Island Health Authority imposed a ban restricting her to 20-minute conversations, over a speakerphone, twice weekly.
 
Retired cancer researcher Dr. Carol Haines, in her mid-60s, can now see her husband, Fred Oster, 67, a retired Royal Roads University professor, in hospital after the couple petitioned the courts.
 
On Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Judge Bob Johnston immediately granted daily, unsupervised visits to Haines from 1 p.m. until 4: 30 p.m. effective until June 11. VIHA and the petitioners will meet again Friday in an effort to reach a permanent agreement on visitation at the hospital.
 
Haines had been banned because of questions from VIHA about her psychiatric health, her impact on her husband’s health and the stress she placed on staff, the court heard. …
 
Oster suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in September 2011 that left him unable to live independently. Vancouver-based lawyer Joe Arvay, representing the couple, told the court Oster had been “involuntarily detained at Victoria General Hospital” since March 6. 
 
Restrictions on Haines’ visits have varied from daily, hourly supervised visits to two calls of 20 minutes twice weekly, over a speakerphone. The petitioners (more…)

Update – false arrest at Lions Gate Hospital

 

A reader sent us another, more detailed, story about the court award for false arrest at Lions Gate Hospital (excerpts below). Mr. Park’s elderly mother died of cancer “soon after the ordeal.”

This story describes the attitude and rough treatment of patients and visitors by staff, doctors and police, something that is apparently becoming more common in B.C.’s health care facilities.

Former North Van council candidate wins $15,000 for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment

By Todd Coyne – North Shore Outlook  Published: May 10, 2012

“A former District of North Vancouver council candidate was awarded $15,000 in damages Thursday after winning his lawsuit against the RCMP for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. …
 
“Cpl. Norman took Mr. Park to the ground with the assistance of another officer and two or three security guards where he was restrained, held down and handcuffed,” the judge ruled.
 
“I characterize her actions as inattentiveness to rights, lack of care about her grounds for arrest and the authority for which she attended the hospital and the manner in which she treated Mr. Park after the arrest — keeping him for more than four hours completely unnecessarily.”
 
On June 5, 2006, Park had accompanied his elderly, cancer-stricken mother to the chemotherapy department at Lions Gate Hospital. While they did not have an appointment on this particular day, Park and his mother were in the habit of dropping in and speaking with her doctor — a habit that caused “something of a nuisance to the oncologist,” according to court documents.
 
This time the doctor flatly refused to speak with Park and his mother and threatened to call security if they did not leave the department.
 
Park and his mother decided to complain to hospital administration but were stopped on their way by two Paladin Security guards who (more…)
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