SDCWR Board Supports Hollee George in Seeking Accountability and Healing

Nov 27 2021

supplied to CBC by Hollee GeorgeSDCWR staff member Hollee George is bringing an action to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against the London Health Science Centre. In early November 2020 Hollee underwent a medical procedure in London. In her submission, she describes in detail the “discrimination (she) experienced as a patient at the LHSC during some of the most traumatic and terrifying moments of my life” and her continual frustration by the LHSC in her efforts “to access information, accountability and healing.”

She includes in her brief a call for the following public interest remedies:

1.Changes to the LHSC’s policies and practices regarding critical incident review to ensure a culturally inclusive/appropriate definition of “injury or harm” is used when determining whether the threshold for such a review has been met;

2.Changes to the LHSC’s policies and practices regarding patient discharges to ensure that, where immediate involuntary discharges would be likely to expose a patient to disproportionate risk of harm in connection with a Code-protected ground, that the patient is allowed a reasonable period of time to make arrangements for safer discharge or to wait until conditions for discharge are safer, and is not subjected to hostility, pressure, mistreatment, or reprisal for requesting this accommodation;

3.Appropriate educational training for LHSC doctors, nurses, and staff involved in patient care relating to anti-Indigenous racism in healthcare, culturally competent healthcare provision, trauma-informed healthcare provision, and non-discriminatory treatment of patients who use medical cannabis and/or who have mental health challenges;

4.The appointment of Indigenous Patient Navigators with formal mandates to collectively support and advocate for Indigenous patients in their engagement with every relevant department or process at the LHSC;

5.The appointment of an Indigenous patient relations specialist to assist when other Indigenous patients bring complaints;

6.The development of a robust anti-racism and anti-discrimination policy applicable to patient care, with specific content related to anti-Indigenous racism that is developed with appropriate expert advice;

7.The development of an Indigenous health strategy for the LHSC that is designed, drafted, planned, implemented and monitored in meaningful partnership with Indigenous patients and Indigenous health experts, and that considers what structural changes are needed to address injustices in health care quality, access, and outcomes for Indigenous people; and

8.Any other public interest remedies the Tribunal considers appropriate.

SDCWR supports this call. Each of the requested remedies is consonant with and reflects our mission and values, our work with and on behalf of the Disabilities and Human Rights group, and our commitment to the Indigenization and decolonization of our policies and practice.