Hospital retaliation and my fight for patient rights


I found myself compelled into the complex world of health care advocacy under extraordinary circumstances last year when I went to my university administration to request a table to do a free speech petition because of a personal and troubling experience. My mother, a respected pediatric intensive care doctor, had been abruptly terminated from her workplace after she raised concerns about patient safety.

Throughout my studies as an undergraduate, I frequently encountered challenges acclimating to the inevitable hardships and struggles that surfaced, so I decided to look into issues at the hospital more thoroughly after learning about my mother’s unfair dismissal and the underlying safety concerns she had identified. During the course of my research, I gained a greater understanding of the hospital’s dismal safety record, which in turn strengthened my resolve to push for change. In addition to my mother’s situation, I was aware that the health of other patients admitted to the hospital could be in jeopardy.

The university reached out to relevant parties, and despite the fact that we agreed to meet at a particular date and time, there was a change of plans. Additionally, my university insisted on charging me $250 each time I wanted to use the free speech table. Consequently, I filed a petition on Change.org and utilized social media in order to get the word out about the situation. In addition to that, I penned an editorial for the school newspaper that demanded an investigation.

The response I received was one of intimidation rather than consideration and conversation. A legal-threatening document was sent to my family with the fabrication of charges that my mother had ghostwritten my advocacy work. There were threats of legal action. The influence that they exercised over me was terrible. This was more than simply an attempt to keep me silent; it was a horrifying picture of the power of influential entities. There have been ongoing attempts to intimidate and silence me.

My story is centered on the significance of communicating one’s thoughts and feelings and exercising one’s right to do so. It emphasizes the necessity of protecting patients and providing individuals of all ages with the opportunity to advocate for change without the fear of being punished.

Both the safety of patients and the efficiency of lobbying are concepts that I have a deep belief in. Your support does more than only help me; it also protects the right of every patient and their family to receive health care that is both competent and safe.

Patient safety ought to be a right rather than a privilege. Demonstrate your support for my cause and let people know that we young advocates will not be silent.

Samson Cournane is an undergraduate student.


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