Thursday, April 16, 2009

Don't get admitted to Toronto East General Hospital!

A friend whose elderly mother recently spent some time at Toronto East General Hospital had numerous experiences with substandard nursing care and found a Do Not Resuscitate form buried in her mother’s papers. I’ve reproduced the form in a previous post. Beware. Paperwork will kill you, in more ways than one.

My friend wrote a three-page letter to the board of directors of Toronto East General Hospital instructing that the DNR form be destroyed, and setting out the many instances of substandard care.

My friend is being ignored by the Toronto East General Hospital administration. She is furious for several reasons.

1. This form was not signed by the patient nor by my friend, who has power of attorney over her elderly mother’s health care. In fact, my friend was not even advised by the hospital of the existence of this form. Toronto East General just snuck it into the paperwork.

2. This form was signed by a registered nurse. A registered nurse is not qualified to judge a patient’s mental competence. That is a psychiatrist’s job. A registered nurse is also not qualified to determine a patient’s diagnosis or prognosis. That is a physician’s job. So how does a hospital justify having a nurse sign a death order on a patient?

3. Worse, this form could be signed by a registered practical nurse; someone with a couple of semesters of training at secondary school level. Would you want that person deciding your mental competence, and the length of your life?

4. Despite writing every member of the board of directors of Toronto East General Hospital, my friend got back a meaningless form letter that attempts to push her off to the “Patient Relations Consultant”. Ya, you’d better be patient if you deal with that new level of bureaucracy. I’ve dealt with them personally, which was an utter waste of the finite time of my life. ‘Nuff said.

5. Ooh, there will be an investigation of the substandard care. Right. Yay. Whoopdeedoo.

6. One director wrote my friend claiming that the Hospital’s President and CEO is “talented”. If this CEO is so talented, how could he miss the big paragraph in my friend’s letter instructing that the DNR form be destroyed? Oh, I forgot. He probably didn’t read my friend’s letter, or the form letter he signed, or the faxes she sent subsequently that he ignores.

My friend’s mother served in the Armed Forces in the Second World War. This lady helped preserve the freedoms we take for granted, including those of the board of directors of Toronto East General Hospital and the nurse who signed her death warrant. The lady’s life should not be ended at someone’s whim, with the underhanded use of a form that the lady didn’t sign, and her substitute decision maker didn’t sign, didn’t see and wasn’t told about.

Whatever you do, don’t get admitted to Toronto East General Hospital. Caring and compassion, my ass.

This is medical care under McGuinty and his Fiberal minions in Ontario. Substandard, and a hospital can sign a form to kill you off so you won’t jack up their already-high mortality statistics.

Can we get DNR forms signed on McGuinty and Co.? Could be the best thing that ever happened to this province.

I wonder how Dalton McGuinty would feel if he found a DNR form buried in his mother’s papers? Or Furious George Smitherman, if he found a DNR form for his partner buried in papers?

Bet’cha those DNR forms would be destroyed in a New York minute. Ah, it’s good to be the king.

But the average person doesn’t stand a chance in McGuinty’s Onscario.

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