Mother dies week after son says she was pressured to leave hospital
MONTREAL – A Montreal man has filed a complaint against Suroît Hospital in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield after he claims his mother, a terminally-ill cancer patient, was discharged and then died a week later.
According to Martin Pilon, his mother Lise Tomlet, was pressured by her doctor to leave a hospital after spending a month there.
Pilon said his mother was a metastatic lung cancer patient.
“She mentioned the cost of staying if she was not being discharged, which was $800 a day,” he said.
“I was very angry and I let the doctor know and she acknowledged I was angry. Why not wait until I was there to tell me?”
Pilon said the oncologist who cared for his mother dismissed her and said she had six to nine months to live.
She couldn’t go to a palliative-care facility, because they only takes patients who have less than three months to live.
“So, they even recommended she move to a boarding home – a boarding house where a nurse would come a couple of times a week,” Pilon said.
At that point, Pilon said the family moved his mother to another facility, but that things then took a bad turn.
“I think the trauma of having to move to a nursing home was too much for her to handle,” he said.
“She went down very quickly.”
Tomlet died a week later.
The hospital insisted it’s all a big misunderstanding and that they followed protocol.
“When a patient is dismissed, and that they are waiting for longterm care, the patient starts paying as if they were in longterm care,” saidChantal Arsenault with Suroît Hospital.
“The cost is anything between $800 and $1,780 – per month.”
The hospital also added the doctor might have overestimated Tomlet’s life expectancy.
“Medicine is not an exact science,” Arsenault said.
Paul Brunet, a patients’ rights advocate, said cases like Tomlet’s are not unique.
According to him, budget cuts are putting pressure on hospitals to dismiss patients.
“They probably acted in conformity with the rules, but disrespectfully, not with the dignity that that patient deserved,” Brunet said.
“For that, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
Although Pilon insisted he doesn’t want anything from the hospital, he has filed a complaint against it.
“If we can change the lives of one patient and his or her family, that’s what we want,” Pilon said.
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