Emergency room doctor suspended after being caught on video mocking patient suffering anxiety attack: 'Are you dead, sir?'
An emergency room doctor in California has been suspended after she was caught on video mocking and cursing a patient who said he had an anxiety attack.
The doctor, identified by the San Jose Mercury News as Beth Keegstra, was recorded on June 11 while questioning the behavior of 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell.
"I'm sorry, sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying," she can be heard saying in a video that has been viewed more than four million times.
Bardwell asked his father to record the incident after growing suspicious of Dr. Keegstra's behavior, according to ABC.
At one point Bardwell, a 6-foot-9 basketball player complained to the doctor at El Camino Hospital that he could not inhale. It was at this point that Dr. Keegstra said, "he can't inhale! Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don't understand, you are breathing just fine."
The doctor asked if the patient wanted narcotics, but Bardwell's father said Samuel suffers from anxiety attacks and usually takes the drug Klonopin. He had not been able to pick up a prescription for two days and had an attack during basketball practice, according to the Mercury News.
Near the end of the conversation the doctor tells the patient, "you have changed your story the whole f------ time."
"In my mind, I don't think she should be practicing medicine at all," dad Donald Bardwell told ABC's "Good Morning America."
El Camino said in a statement that her demeanor was "unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care" at the hospital. The doctor has been removed from a list of approved physicians assigned to emergency care at the hospital.
“Please be assured that this recent interaction is not reflective of the care and services our over 3,000 dedicated caregivers provide every single day," the hospital said.
Bardwell told ABC that he is considering legal action against the hospital.
“I think she needs to be terminated. On top of that, the hospital needs to be investigated,” Samuel Bardwell told CBS in San Francisco.
- With News Wire Services