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Stage 4 Cancer Patient's Husband Denied Permission to Comfort and Support Her at Hospital
"Sadly, I have heard from other constituents as well who have encountered similar experiences. It is simply not good enough,” said Conway Ottenheimer.
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (July 2, 2020) – Helen Conway Ottenheimer, PC Opposition MHA for Harbour Main, is raising questions regarding the guidelines for support persons at hospitals after a stage 4 cancer patient's husband was denied permission to stay with her for comfort and support.

Conway Ottenheimer said she received a disturbing call earlier this week from a woman with stage 4 cancer who presented at the emergency department of the Health Sciences Centre and was initially denied permission to have her husband stay with her. "She was already under a significant amount of stress due to her emergency medical crisis, but her suffering was significantly worsened by the hospital's refusal to allow her husband to stay by her side," she said.

“The stress that this woman endured while seeking emergency care at the hospital was completely unacceptable. All of us were led to believe by the Health Minister that guidelines were in place to allow a support person to stay with an individual receiving medical attention in hospitals. The hospital's initial decision to turn this patient's husband away caused her undue stress and made an already traumatic situation much worse,” said Conway Ottenhemier.

"I was even more shocked to be told that officials explained to the woman that a support person is only permitted when an individual is nearing death. To say that this situation was upsetting to this woman is a complete understatement. It is obvious that the guidelines allowing support persons at hospitals is not clear."

“Our health system should provide comfort to people when they are at their most vulnerable. While this government is focused on opening up our province to the rest of Atlantic Canada, they are not focused on taking care of our own residents. Sadly, I have heard from other constituents as well who have encountered similar experiences. It is simply not good enough,” said Conway Ottenheimer.

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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