All too frequently, the general public is prepared to accept the judgement of authorities and reject the pleas of individuals. In an article entitled "Maimonides seeks to bar son from visiting mother" by Joel Goldenberg in The Suburban, May 14, 2008 issue, we read that Mr. Michael Medalsy has been accused by the Maimonides institution of molesting his 74 year old mother.
If this accusation is true, he should be charged with a criminal act and tried accordingly. However, I doubt very much that the accusation is true. I suspect that the institution may be accusing the Mr. Medalsy to discourage him from complaining about his mother's care, to discredit him so that no one will listen to him.
I have spent many weeks and months over many years as an advocate and care giver for beloved family members and friends and I have seen actions by doctors, nurses, social workers and care givers that would break your heart as they broke mine again and again.
In one case a care giver would shower my aged husband with hot water and, when he - who was very bright and never a complainer - finally told me what had been happening, the care giver laughed and said my husband was just "too sensitive". In another case, a care giver would leave a beloved friend in soaking wet diapers for hours while I was away and when I found him that way and called her on it, she lifted her dress to show me her behind. In this particular case, the Pierrefonds CLSC took my complaint seriously and that care giver was fired. Justice was done in that case, but it is so rare.
In the hospital emergency "observation" section, a beloved friend was left in wet diapers for more than five hours. I sat by his bedside so exhausted, I could not change him again. My calls for help were ignored. Finally, I had to be taken into emergency myself for a suspected heart attack.
I walked into the hospital room of another patient to see this honourable man left naked and uncovered, with tubes running blood into a bag while the nurse had gone off to talk on the telephone where I found her yakking away. I could have died from the agony of seeing that dignified man left like that to the public view in his last precious days. He never knew I had seen him.
In another case, I brought a young doctor into the emergency department of the same Montreal hospital. She was having a miscarriage.The doctor finally came into the examining room and he was about to examine her wearing the rubber gloves he had been wearing to examine previous patients. He was offended when I asked if he intended to change his gloves. But he washed his hands and put on a fresh pair of gloves. Perhaps in that moment, that young doctor's life was spared. She is now pursuing her important work saving other lives.
I could report other shocking and even more cruel incidents, but this will suffice for now. Listen to the patient's family.