Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it is hard to fathom the cruelty and abuse by some doctors and nurses on sick, vulnerable and dying people. It is hard to reconcile that the ultimate helping professions can have so many people who exhibit truly sadistic and sociopathic behaviour.
To understand how ubiquitous medical abuse and neglect is in our health care systems we only have to look at the recent example in the news of the death of Joyce Echaquan who livestreamed abuse by nurses in the days before she died.
Unfortunately MaryAnne Martin-Smith knows what it feels like to be dying while being medically abused -- perhaps ‘tortured’ is a more accurate description.
MaryAnne went to the hospital for simple back surgery and expected to be out the same day, but without back pain. But what happened to MaryAnne is like something out of a Stephen King novel: a surgeon unwittingly slices open MaryAnne’s arteries causing blood to pour into her abdomen, squishing her organs and causing immense pain -- which nurses and doctors ignore in spite of MaryAnne’s pleading for help.
When the medical staff finally acknowledge MaryAnne is dying, it is one shocking error after another -- the medical staff have to bring MaryAnne back to life 3 times -- not wanting to die alone, MaryAnne begs for the nurse to call her husband -- and the nurse tells MaryAnne to stop being so selfish.
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Be my Guest
I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer.
If you are a survivor, a victim’s surviving family member, a health care worker, advocate, researcher or policy maker and you would like to share your experiences, please send me an email with a brief description: RemediesPodcast@gmail.com
Need a Counsellor?
Like me, many of my clients at Remedies Counseling have experienced the often devastating effects of medical error.
If you need a counsellor for your experience with medical error, or living with a chronic illness(es), I offer online video counseling appointments.
**For my health and life balance, I limit my number of counseling clients.**
Email me to learn more or book an appointment: RemediesOnlineCounseling@gmail.com
Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete
I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.
I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.
Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.
I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.
Counseling / Research
I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.
Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.
I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.
I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.
Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.
My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.