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Failure To Discipline A B.C. Doctor In A Woman's Death Is A "Slap In The Face," According To Her Mother

A mother from British Columbia says she won't give up her fight for accountability even though the doctor who made a mistake while caring for her critically ill daughter and who later died wasn't punished.

That is because of the failure to discipline a B.C. doctor in a woman's death.

If a doctor is sending a patient home and found responsible by the (regulator) and she ultimately dies because of it, why is that not enough to lose his licence? It’s an absolute slap in the face.

That was what Ann Forry told Global News.

The Shocking Treatment Inside The B.C Hospital

In November 2020, Ann Forry's 29-year-old daughter Natasha died of toxic shock.

Even though her symptoms were getting worse, she was sent home three times from the emergency room at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver with instructions to come back if they did.

Ann Forry's mother, made a complaint to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. after her daughter died.

The next review focused on the actions of one doctor, who has not been named, and found that he should have admitted her to the hospital and did not document her assessment well enough before letting her go.

Forry said:

This was her third visit, and this was pointed out in the report, that why in her third visit was she being sent home with no diagnosis? He should have admitted her, and that’s what they said in the report.

Even though the group that regulated doctors in B.C. was critical, the only thing that happened to the doctor was that he had to meet with the college to talk about what he had learned.

In its last letter to Forry's mother, the college said that the doctor had "attended for an interview with Registrar staff to discuss the issues raised by your complaint".

It said:

This satisfies the recommendation made by the Inquiry Committee in its conclusion of the complaint.

Mother's Only Hope For Justice

Natasha was wearing a floral dress and was leaning against a wall
Natasha was wearing a floral dress and was leaning against a wall

Forry, this is more proof that the B.C medical review process, which the government often talks up as a way to get answers and hold people accountable, is not there to help patients or their families.

Worse yet, she said that the doctor tries to appeal the decision against him, but was turned down.

Mother Forry stated:

I feel like the process is absolute garbage and it is a waste of time. It is so much retraumatizing for what happened and on and on, and then you have nothing — there is no accountability. So was it worth it? No. But as her mother I had to do something, this is all I’ve got.

Reasons For The Agreement On Alternative Means Of Getting Justice

When Global News asked the college why they didn't do anything else about the doctor, they said that their investigations are protected by privacy law.

Only things that go to a disciplinary hearing are made public, and doctors can avoid that step if they agree with the citation and suggested action from the college.

Now that the review process is over, Forry said that she is going to focus on making changes to B.C.'s wrongful death laws in order to get people to take responsibility.

Under the province's current law, compensation for wrongful death is based only on a person's future earning potential, and families have few options for getting justice through civil litigation.

Forry said she doesn't want a payout, but she thinks that the threat of a big fine could help keep other families from going through what she did.

Forry said:

It is about the money and I will tell you why it is about the money.

Because if Lions Gate or the doctors actually lost millions of dollars in lawsuits, they would look at retraining those doctors, the hospitals, making sure all the procedures were in place and protect the patients better.

Attorney General David Eby has promised to look over British Columbia's wrongful death laws by the end of the current government's term. But the file hasn't changed much in the year and a half since Natasha's death.

Forry again said:

It’s really frustrating and heartbreaking for me because since Natasha died, there’s at least two other children that I know have that have died because of medical negligence. This is what they can look forward to. This is what B.C. medical and health care looks like.

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