6 February 2018

Presumed Innocence

Lately, the concepts of “innocent until proven guilty” or “presumed innocent” have been a subject of discussion following accusations of sexual assault against actors, directors, and politicians, among others.  It’s the side of the argument which in layman’s terms probably means “to have compassion for” or “wait for him to be judged in a court of law, first.”

Michael Spratt’s recent article attempts to explain what the term ‘presumption of innocence’ means, in terms of the legal definition, and the way it is being used inappropriately about one of the most well-known subjects of attention from the public – Patrick Brown, recently resigned leader of the opposition in Ontario.  Michael Spratt is a lawyer, so he knows the law. But I don’t think he knows much about common sense, which is, as I see it, an uninformed opinion in many cases. What I thought I knew 20 years ago, or a year ago, about something that I understood as common sense, is no longer. Many of my views are not the same as other people’s. And theirs are not the same as mine. It could have something to do with diversity – of experience, country of origin, culture, education, interests, family, or career. Or it could have something to do with growing older – a kind of wisdom developing, one would hope. 

I wrote a paper about wisdom once (Narratives and Wisdom, 2004), including interviews with women, in an attempt to find out what it was and if I stood a chance of achieving that state, with no luck. I might just as well have watched ‘Lucy,’ with Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.

Michael Spratt writes, “Certain columnists wrote that what happened to Brown was wrong and that ‘every man in the world is now vulnerable’." He takes a different point of view, that it makes sense to stop and realize that these men are doing something terribly wrong. He describes the allegations as “shockingly serious: Brown is alleged to have taken advantage of his position of power over very young women, plied them with alcohol and then made inappropriate sexual advances(The presumption, Jan 30, 2018).

The presumption of innocence,” he says, “should not be used as an excuse to disregard common sense.” But sometimes, using common sense can be as bad as relying on the common understanding of the presumption of innocence to guide one’s thoughts on a matter. One of the girls reported feeling intimidated because Patrick Brown had not been drinking but she had been. When I was growing up, it was men who had been drinking whose behaviour we needed to feel intimidated by. Now men have to be afraid of women.

Spratt continues, “The complaints were made on a confidential — not anonymous — basis to reputable journalists,” attempting to convince himself of their truthfulness, and of the ability of the journalists to understand. But there cannot only be common sense used where sex is concerned. There has to be some understanding of what the differences are between the sexes. Sexual freedoms, as they are called, are more widespread in society today both here and abroad, from what we hear in the news.  I wonder if men like Patrick Brown recognized the power they held over women, or did they see it as part of the sexual culture in our society today - the supposed freedom of young women to behave as though they were free to make those kinds of choices.  On the other hand, men are no longer permitted to treat women the way they have done in the past, when women’s voices were not being heard and acted upon.

In The Star, another story on Patrick Brown has one of the girls’ explanation:
 “Despite the fact that this happened, I didn’t want to let this impede on what I saw then as a career opportunity,” she said, adding that she’s choosing to speak out now to support women in similar situations.
“I don’t think that any woman young or old should be subjected to that and put in a situation where they have to decide between the career opportunity that’s in front of them and . . . taking themselves out of a situation that’s at best uncomfortable and at worst unsafe(Two women, Jan 24, 2018).
Is she saying that she drank to feel good, or to be able to be flirty unflinchingly, or to not feel the pain of what she was having to do in order to have Patrick Brown advance her career? I cannot see how that provides support to any other young women growing up, except to inform them this is what the world is like.
If she knows that what she is doing is so that it will help her get the career she wants, at what point did she decide to stop what she was doing, ie drinking, flirting, letting Mr Brown get close to her, telling him to stop, getting driven home by him and then later claiming it was sexual assault.  Surely, the problem was that she didn’t want sex as much as he did, that she didn’t even like him. It was all about the career.  And she seemed to know that if she didn’t allow him some gratification, he wouldn’t further her career. Don’t the young women of today even like or admire the men who they do this with?  She called Brown an “old, single politician preying on young girls.” (Two women, Jan 24, 2018).
That sounds remarkably similar to what Jessica Leeds, the woman on the airplane with Donald Trump, was doing. She left her first class seat beside him to return to her own in tourist class when he went below the waist. That was her cut off point. But was it sexual misconduct, or was it a mutually beneficial interaction that simply ended?
A year ago, I was in a situation where I was accused of being rude, in effect, (or “upset with”) to the staff of a specialist at a local hospital. It would appear that the idea of “presumption of innocence” didn’t need to be applied in that situation. I was deemed guilty by anyone who heard about it. A hastily written very negative black mark against me was put onto the report he wrote of that appointment, which was available to any doctor I wished to have as my family doctor, as well as to other doctors in the community I had appointments with.

I usually describe that part of the situation-in-its-entirety first, because it was so emotionally distressing, and it is the part that comes to mind. And besides, when I filled out the application for a Human Rights Tribunal it said to write the incidents down chronologically, as they happened. So I tried to do that.  It has been a fiasco, with backlogs, being put in a queue, clerical errors, and not having a caseworker, and being sent a ‘Notice of Intention to Dismiss’ (NOID) my application, by some unnamed person, because it might fall outside their jurisdiction.

I realized the other day how my application appears to whoever reads it, as chaotic, done in a chronological order, not even taking the most important incident first, to the extent that, the adjudicator who sent me a Case Assessment Direction (CAD) stated in the heading, McPherson v LHSC instead of McPherson v ‘The Dr et al’.  It seemed as though my case were getting pulled apart, with first one, then another administrative staff member of the HRTO looking at it, and making decisions that were not always the best ones or not explained in a way I could understand. See (Why and How, Dec 29, 2017).

As chance would have it, in my response to the CAD/NOID, I started writing about it again, but starting with the main incident, which was not about me being accused of being rude. It was about me being shortchanged on a diagnostic test the specialist offered me, and then presumably ordered for me, one that was unlikely to be sufficient to make a firm diagnosis. I made out an application with the HRTO that I was discriminated against, by him, on the grounds of age and gender, and marital and family status.

I don’t think I was able to get the adjudicator see that in the previous response I wrote. I didn’t know what was expected of me, and I was given only clues, no direction that made sense. No wonder it appears to him that I have taken on the entire hospital, seeing my allegations that I was discriminated against by being treated differently than other patients - because they accused me of being rude to the Dr‘s staff – and “upset with.” So the adjudicator worded it McPherson v  LHSC. So who is presumed to be innocent in this case? Well, it’s certainly not me.

I don’t know if starting my latest response with the main incident, instead of the accusations by the girls, is enough to have the next adjudicator or admin staff member realize the situation I am in, that I have been ganged up on, because the Dr knows I know I was getting lesser treatment, as many older people probably are in our medical system. See (Ageism in Ontario's health care, Dec 21, 2017).

What is important, whether the Drs and their secretaries protecting him, or the girls like the ones who accused Patrick Brown, is getting their stories in, and the more of them the better, which makes them more powerful against him, and having the credibility that comes with who they are, now that they have careers, as well as getting their stories in first. If they can accuse him first, and be believed, or if the Dr at the local hospital can accuse me of something so chaotic that it can’t be taken in easily, and if they do it first, then they have the upper hand. They have the credibility, although it sickens me to know that they do, despite all they have done to me.

Those girls accusing Patrick Brown didn’t have to do that. They could have tried to find another way, instead of accusing him of that and destroying his career (Would-be Ontario PC leader , 2015). The girls at the hospital who colluded amongst themselves and with others including the Dr, to accuse me of something I did not do, didn’t have to do that.  Doctors don’t lose their licence to practice that easily. But the answer does not lie with Patient Experience, or Patient Relations, or with the media taking on people who pass their credibility test.  What is needed are people with the knowledge to sort out the problems, not to try to fit my experience into their framework and then dismiss it if it seems to them it doesn’t fit right, and not journalists doing a job they may not be capable of doing.

I find it appalling that the Dr and his staff have been granted credibility, in making accusations against me, that have affected my health and sense of well-being, and that my allegation against him, in regards to this specific incident in particular, has been diminished by having it included as just one of a number of allegations I made against the hospital.  The way the Application form was laid out, the name of the organization comes first in the list of respondents, followed by the list of individual respondents. But not all doctors are employees of the hospital. The specialist I saw was an independent surgeon/specialist, not just another employee who I was alleging had harassed me and discriminated against me.

There have been several mistakes made in the HRTO’s treatment of my application.  I hope that it won’t get dismissed because someone hasn’t been able to take in everything that I wrote about, or expects me to prove my allegations before I get to the hearing. As the closing sentence of Michael Spratt states, “At the end of the day, insisting on proof beyond a reasonable doubt outside the courtroom can lead to, and certainly does not protect from, injustice.”

Ageism in Ontario's health care and human rights (HRTO)
by Susan McPherson
Sue’s Views on the News
Dec 21, 2017

Narratives and Wisdom: the lives of women growing older
by Sue McPherson
S A McPherson web site

The presumption of innocence is for courtrooms, not politics
by Michael Spratt
CBC Opinions
Jan 30, 2018
retrieved Jan 30, 2018

Two women accuse Patrick Brown of sexual misconduct
Jan 24, 2018
By Victoria Gibson
The Star
retrieved Feb 2, 2018

Why and how I was discriminated against – explaining to HRTO’s Dr Fthenos
by Sue McPherson
Sue’s Views on the News

Would-be Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown driven to win
Torstar News staff
May 3, 2015
retrieved Feb 5, 2018

Added Feb 21, 2018
Party nomination committee weighed his candidacy amid sexual misconduct allegations, ethics complaint
By Amara McLaughlin
CBC News
Feb 21, 2018 

29 December 2017

Why and how I was discriminated against – explaining to HRTO’s Dr Fthenos

1. On November 6, 2017, I submitted a 50-page Application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, describing how I was discriminated against by 7 individuals (naming also one organization) in a total of 9 various incidents/events over a couple of years or so. The individuals were doctors, administrative staff, and other staff at a hospital.
2. This is the second blog entry I have written on this subject of this HRTO Application. See also, Ageism in Ontario's health care and human rights (HRTO), Dec 21, 2017.
3. Brief Chronology
June 27, 2017 – CPSO complaint submitted (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario)
Nov 6, 2017   –  HRTO Application submitted (Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario)
Nov 27, 2017 – email to HRT requesting status of Application
Nov 27, 2017 – email response from HRTO re status of Application – in a queue
Nov 28, 2017 – Letter by email to Dr Fthenos, Registrar, HRTO, to remind him of the CPSO
Dec 7, 2017 –   Letter to Dr S. Bodley, President, CPSO, informing him of the related HRTO
Dec 11, 2017 – Letter from Dr Fthenos, HRTO, Notice of Intent to Dismiss
Dec 18, 2017  – my letter to Dr Fthenos, HRTO Registrar, requesting extension,
                          among other things
Dec 21, 2017 – email to Dr Fthenos, Registrar, HRTO requesting response and time extension
Dec 21, 2017 – Ageism in Ontario's health care and human rights (HRTO).  Blog:
                         Sue’s Views on the News
Dec 21, 2017 – email to HRT requesting time extension on Notice of Intention to Dismiss and
Dec 21, 2017 – email to HRT requesting correction of clerical errors
Dec 29, 2017 – Why and how I was discriminated against – explaining to HRTO’s Dr Fthenos.
                         Blog: Sue’s Views on the News

One letter, then another
4.  On Monday, December 18, 2017, I wrote a letter addressed to Dr Georgios Fthenos, Registrar of HRTO, about a letter I received from his office, dated December 11, giving me a Notice of Intent to Dismiss my Application. At first I assumed their letter was in reponse to my own letter of November 28th (by email attachment), addressed to Dr Fthenos specifically, hoping to avoid the letter being taken up by someone else who had the authority to, thus not getting my concerns addressed. In response to the Dec 11 Notice of Intent to Dismiss, I sent a letter by regular mail, on Dec 18, 2017, addressed to Dr Fthenos, Registrar, HRTO, with questions and a request for an extension of time. Just before Christmas closing, on Thursday, December 21, I emailed a reminder to the Registrar at HRTO, about the request for an extension of time and about possible errors. I requested that he please send his response by Wednesday, December 27, 2017.  To explain how this works, I shall say here that emails to the HRTO are automatically addressed to the Registrar, to HRTO.Registrar@ontario.ca , but would not ordinarily go to the Registrar.  It is part of the mystique of the HRTO. I have not heard back, so I must continue to address my concerns about my Application and the way Dr Fthenos and the Tribunal are carrying out their duties.

5. In the letter dated Dec 11, 2017, containing the Notice of Intent to Dismiss, signed automatically by Dr Fthenos, the Registrar, I was informed that my Application did not identify specific acts of discrimination within the meaning of the Code, as it appeared I had explained only in general terms that I have been treated unfairly without connecting the “unfairness” to one of the grounds set out in the Code. See one example from my Application of an incident that I explain in terms of the Code that they did not see as an incident. Dr Fthenos, or the unnamed person doing the work for the Registrar, presumably has the power to dismiss my Application if I don’t write it up in the manner they expect it to be done. My Application has not yet been accepted to be processed, so there is no caseworker I can approach, only address my concerns to the Registrar, Dr Fthenos. But I don’t know if he gets to see anything I write and send to him. The concern of whoever wrote to me was not the letter I wrote to Dr Fthenos on Nov 28, however. It was how I wrote up part of the Application for the HRTO.
Ontario Human Rights Code
6.  Under the CODE, incidents that Applicants bring to the HRTO must be about discrimination on particular grounds: disability, creed, sex, sexual harassment and/or solicitation, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, and age (brief version of grounds). In my Application I have named discrimination on the grounds of sex (being female) and age (being an older female), marital status (being single), and family status (being part of a family but not living together). I have tried to supply the information I was asked for, but the request did not give any details except that I must relate my claims to the CODE. The writer was presumably seeing what I have complained about as incidents of meanness, or unfairness in general, not as being related to any of the grounds mentioned in the CODE.  But people  - doctors, nurses, admin staff, etc, are not unfair in general, I wouldn‘t think. They have something going on in their heads when they treat one patient better than another, or deny adequate diagnostic treatment to some patients but not others. I doubt that the desk staff draw straws to determine which patients will get what kind of treatment on this day, as they look at them waiting patiently in the waiting room. They know, from what they see in their files, or who is accompanying them (if anyone), or from how old they look, how ill they seem, and so on, what kind of treatment they will be offered. When people are treated unjustly in hospitals, one at least hopes it isn’t because of some characteristic irrelevant to life’s journey not usually acknowledged as a stigma such as colour of hair, probable time left to live, ability to cope, style of writing, or whether one is needed by a significant other or family.
7.  I believe I do understand what I am expected to do although I question the authority of the person who has said I must, and of the necessity of stating each incident, for each respondent, and showing its meaning under the code. The person who informed me, in the Notice dated Dec 11, didn’t explain which sections needed to be rethought, and rewritten, and I was unsure what I needed to be doing. I believe that having 7 respondents makes it more difficult to connect the acts of discrimination to the different parts of the Code I am basing my claims on. It is more difficult, I think, to see the whole picture when the incidents of discrimination, and how they relate to the Code, are looked at as distinct incidents. And it is probably only when the entire situation is looked at that it can be recognized for what it is – a situation of discrimination on the grounds of sex and age, and family and marital status.

Explaining Discrimination within the Code - and an example
8.  In the Application Form, Part C, Under the heading ‘Questions about Discrimination on the Ground of Age,’ for example, the question reads: Explain why you believe you were discriminated against based on your age. I believe I have answered that. I tried to answer, “How” as well as “Why.” It is possible that when a subject such as discrimination is a familiar one, that a person tends to take for granted that the reader – the caseworker or even Dr Fthenos himself, in this case, can understand what I am saying, and how I was discriminated against. I have been studying and writing about aging and gender for many years now, at universities I have attended and on my own. But do the individuals who work at the HRTO understand the complexities of all types of discrimination? Why did the person who responded to me say:
the narrative setting out the incident of alleged discrimination fails to identify any specific acts of discrimination within the meaning of the Code” (Letter, Dec 11, 2017, signed automatically, Georgios Fthenos, Registrar).

Yet here is one such incident , one more time, that I included in Section C (Goods and Services) of my Application. It was the last one I mentioned, about the doctor who attempted to find a solution but only belittled what I had been through and how serious this matter was. Besides the letter-writer not being able to find one single incident of discrimination, I believe it is only respectful to provide a name when writing a letter that contains the possibility of a momentous decision. A person writing anonymously can say anything and not have to take responsibility for mistakes. Furthermore, that person neglected to provide details of which section or which question s/he need to have me make changes to. 
9.  In the Application, in the section about the Code, I explained how I understood the relevant parts of the Code and included them in my response – not in narrative form but in numbered paragraphs. If the comment by the person who wrote to me was about Question 8, I was simply doing what I was expected to do, according to the Applicant’s Guide to Filing an Application:
You must tell the HRTO what happened to make you believe that the respondent has discriminated against you based on one of the grounds in the Code.  .  .  . start from the beginning and end with the last incident of discrimination . . . . include what happened, who was involved, when it happened, where it happened. .  .  .  we encourage you to tell your story in chronological order” (p 19).
If it comes across as a narrative, with numbered paragraphs, describing each incident in order, it only makes me wonder if the writer understood what was expected of the Applicant, especially when there was so many incidents and respondents. It must come across as a rather long narrative, but that is what was asked for.   
10. I imagine that if a person has named only one Respondent, it is easier to say something to the effect that, This person discriminated against me by bullying me because he thought he could get me to back down and shut up because I was old and needed the health care I was getting even though it was substandard. But I would have to repeat the same sentence 6 or 7 times, for each of the respondents who bullied me. I wonder if the person writing to me has had experience doing Applications that have involved 7 individual respondents and 9 incidents/events.
Three excerpts – Ageism and Public Interest Remedies
11. As an example of how I laid out the section about “Why” in Part C, I include a link here to the first 3 paragraphs out of 13 in total, of my response in the section on Discrimination on the grounds of Age. See 2017 Dec 28 excerpt age discrimination  .  Secondly, I have included the first couple of pages from my response to the question on discrimination on the grounds of family and marital status, explaining "why" I believed I was discriminated against.  I also include the section ‘Public Interest Remedy’ also called the Remedy for Future Compliance,  that was part of the Application to the HRTO, Nov 6, 2017, on how to improve the hospital’s approach to problems of discrimination, including prevention. Although the paragraphs are not numbered, it is only one page long and is clearly specific about what I see as necessary and how to solve each problem.
Proving discrimination
12. I believe Dr Fthenos or the writer of the letter may have been mistaken in implying strongly that I need to prove my case in writing, bit by bit, before I get to the Hearing. As I have stated before to him, my case relies on circumstantial evidence, and so will become much clearer as time goes on. It may not be evident at this time that the incidents I had to put up with were due to the grounds I stated – age, sex, etc, family and marital status, but taken on the whole – each piece as part of the whole – and it will be clearer to any reasonable person that they are part of a wider situation of discrimination that I was subjected to.
Sending mail between HRTO and others  
13. The information in paragraphs 12, 13, and 14 has been included in emails I sent to the HRTO yesterday, Dec 28, in an attempt to have errors in calculation of time corrected, and to request an extension of time to respond to the Notice of Intent to Dismiss.
In the letter dated December 11, 2017, I was given a deadline – Monday, January 8, 2018 – to respond to a lack of detail in my Application for a Human Rights Tribunal, in effect allowing me only 23 days to deal with it, from December 15 to January 8.   The Rules of Procedure of the HRTO state,
Where a document is delivered by a party or sent by the Tribunal, receipt is deemed to have occurred when delivered or sent: 1. by mail, on the fifth day after the postmark date” (Rule 1.22).
If Rule 1.22 applies to the Registrar, for this document sent to me, then even if the letter was sent to me (and postmarked) on the day it was written, December 11, 2017, it would be deemed to have arrived on December 16, leaving me 23 days to respond.
'Notice of Intent to Dismiss' Rules
Under Rule 13 of the Rules of Procedure, DISMISSAL OF AN APPLICATION OUTSIDE THE TRIBUNAL'S JURISDICTION, it is stated that
“Where it appears to the Tribunal that an Application is outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, the Tribunal shall, prior to sending the Application to the Respondent(s), issue a Notice of Intention to Dismiss the Application. The Notice will:
a) be sent to the Applicant only;
b) set out reasons for the intended dismissal; and,
c) require the Applicant to file written submissions within 30 days
” (Rule 13.2 ) 
14.  The Registrar Dr Fthenos could have given me 30 days to respond to his notice, but he only allowed me 23. The writer/Dr Fthenos seemed not to have taken into account the extra 5 days for getting through Canada Post (Rule 1.22). And it still wouldn’t add up to 30 days. Neither was I granted the full 30 days mentioned in Rule 13.2, after receiving Notice of Intent to Dismiss.
15.  Even if the Rule 13.2 had said I was to be given 30 days to respond, I understand he has the power to lengthen or shorten any time limit in these rules (Rule 1.7, Rules of Procedure). In that case, one would have thought the Registrar or his secretary would have mentioned what rule they were using to decide how much time to give me to respond.
16.  There is another aspect to this problem of the possibility of having my Application dismissed. Under Rule 13 of the Rules of Procedure, DISMISSAL OF AN APPLICATION OUTSIDE THE TRIBUNAL'S JURISDICTION, it is stated,
The Tribunal may, on its own initiative or at the request of a Respondent, filed under Rule 19, dismiss part or all of an Application that is outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal” (Rule 13.1, Rules of Procedure).
In other words, if Dr Fthenos decides one part or all of the Application isn’t within the jurisdiction of the HRTO, because he is reading my Application in a certain way, or for some other reason,  is it possible that he can dismiss not only that one part but the entire Application? He has already stated (or the reviewer/caseworker has) that he cannot identify a single act of discrimination within the meaning of the Code in the Application I wrote.  It seems almost as if I am expected to prove in my Application that I was discriminated against, rather than have a Hearing at which to discuss the incidents and alleged discrimination. 
Making Changes to Section C
17.  Nevertheless, I will attempt to make changes in the format of that part of the Application that deals with the Code, linking specific incidents with the applicable Code. I thought I had done that, to some extent, but presumably not enough to be recognized as such. And I can only hope that I am granted additional time to complete the changes. The power of the Registrar, or his staff who write letters in his name, to dismiss my Application when I have myself have found what appear to be errors in calculation of time, a lack of detail in the reasons given to me for the Notice of Intent to Dismiss, no acknowledgment of any specific acts of discrimination in my Application, and scant information on which sections in my Application need changes, leaves me hoping that when it comes to the more important decision, of whether I can continue on with the Application for a Tribunal or not, special attention will be paid to handling it fairly and with social justice in mind. The Rules of the Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario (SJTO) state:
The rules and procedures of the tribunal shall be liberally and purposively interpreted and applied to:
a) promote the fair, just and expeditious resolution of disputes,
b) allow parties to participate effectively in the process, whether or not they have a representative,
c) ensure that procedures, orders and directions are proportionate to the importance and complexity of the issues in the proceeding
My HRTO Application
18.  As it stands currently, the Application I have submitted to the HRTO has not yet been processed, having only been looked at by an unnamed person at the HRTO office in Toronto and/or the Registrar, Dr Georgios Fthenos, and declared that
a review of the Application and the narrative setting out the incidents of alleged discrimination fails to identify any specific acts of discrimination within the meaning of the Code allegedly committed by the respondents” (Dr Georgios Fthenos, Dec 11, 2017).
My Application is 50 pages long. I have described each of the nine incidents. I have described how each of these affected me. And I have described how each relates to the Code of the HRTO – how they were acts of discrimination  under the Code.  I have described how family and marital status and the intersecting grounds of age and sex are understood within the Code, and stated this is how I was discriminated against.  I have included here excerpts from both the beginning of the section in my Application on age and sex discrimination, and on family status and marital status. But I will make changes to that section.
Initial emails with HRTO
19.  Following is the initial sequence of emails and letters back and forth between the HRTO and myself. My HRTO Application had been received by them on November 6, 2017, and given a File Number, but at no time did I receive notification that my Application was being worked on – being processed. When I emailed for the status of my Application, on Nov 27, 2017, I was informed the same day by email that it was in a queue. I did finally contact the HRTO (also called the Tribunal and/or the Registrar) on November 28, by email plus attachment, to inform the Registrar that my Application included information about a related investigation under way, at the CPSO (College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario). That complaint was about another doctor, whose attitude and behaviour towards me was due, in part, to his knowledge of the negative reports written by the specialist/surgeon I had named in my Application to the HRTO. These two investigations are connected, and I wanted to ensure that the CPSO was aware of this Application. When I had attempted to inform the investigator at the CPSO of the HRTO Application, she simply said that each investigation was confidential so the CPSO would not know about the HRTO Application. As it happens, they are not confidential. I was required to include details of the CPSO complaint, including the original complaint form (dated June 27, 2017), in my Application to the HRTO.
20.  After I wrote that email to Dr Fthenos, on November 28, 2017, explaining about the CPSO investigation, in return I got a letter in the mail, containing no mention of my concerns, but informing me of his 2017 Dec 11 Notice of Intent to Dismiss  .
Human Rights Legal Support Centre and the Summary Hearing
21. On speaking with the Human Rights Legal Support Centre they told me that the HRTO didn’t deal with incidents involving medical decisions.  I didn’t know that, but I still have 6 or 7 other incidents the Tribunal could investigate. The person at the Legal Centre did not want to discuss anything more with me with me when I said to her the medical decisions were just just the start of it. I know I must have made mistakes in the Application, and I would appreciate the opportunity of correcting them, and giving evidence, rather than see the entire Application dismissed.  I gather, ordinarily, that this decision of the Notice to Dismiss would be made at a Summary Hearing, where the Applicant would be able to defend their position, but the Tribunal has not requested a Summary Hearing, although the Respondent apparently could, but I thought not until my Application had been processed, which would mean that the Respondents named in my Application receive notice from the HRTO that this matter was being investigated. I am unsure whether a Summary Hearing would be of greater benefit at this point.
22.  I submitted my Application to the HRTO on Nov 6, 2017. I received confirmation but for several weeks it was in a queue, I was told on November 27 when I inquired. Then, on Dec 11, I was sent by mail a Notice of Intent to Dismiss my Application and given until January  8 to respond. The way Dr Fthenos, Registrar and human being, or his assistant, unnamed, has left it (intentionally or not) is that I am subject only to the decision made by him or the assistant, whether or not to dismiss my Application. See Paragraphs 5, 7, 11, and 16. 

23. At best, I am at risk of having the Registrar, Dr Fthenos, dismiss my Application on his own ability to reason, and his own knowledge of discrimination on the grounds I  have mentioned (has he read through the 50 pages?).  Worse, it could be someone – unnamed – who is just learning how to process HRTO Applications.  I do have concerns. It’s one thing to have respect for someone in authority, and to show respect, but quite another to trust the outcome, especially when mistakes have been made already, and comprehension of discrimination on the basis of age and sex has not been demonstrated to me in the letter I received (2017 Dec 11 HRTO Notice of Intent to Dismiss), signed automatically 'Georgios Fthenos'.

21 December 2017

Ageism in Ontario's health care and human rights (HRTO)

In November, 2016, I was subjected to false accusations and lies (which amounts not only to harassment/verbal abuse but also to discrimination under the Human Rights Code) in reports written by a specialist/consultant at LHSC (London Health Sciences Centre), and other employees.  I identified that incident, among others, as discrimination on the grounds of sex and age, and marital and family status, separating it into nine distinct incidents, and submitted an Application form on those grounds to the HRTO (Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario).  I named eight Respondents, one of them being the organization LHSC, the rest being individual Respondents.

Writing up this Application was complex enough. It was impossible to make all the connections that would enable a caseworker to understand at one reading what it was all about. But this was only the Application, not the hearing. And nothing stands still. Even since submitting my Application, on November 6, 2017, there have been other interactions, not in person but by mail, or email, or telephone.  The distortions of truth coming from those interactions have been more than simply frustrating. They’re enough to make a person lose faith completely not just in the human race but in the  safety or value of speaking in person to someone who might then tell lies and manipulate one. There was also the doctor who wrote to me, copying his letter, sent by standard mail, to several of his colleagues. I don’t have that option, to start sending so many letters off to people, and so am limited to using mainly email, a means of making contact that is not reliable or proof of anything except that one may be a nuisance, probably, something that may not apply so easily to a letter writer.  Then it came to be that emails themselves – not mine but other individuals - were likely being manipulated, but I had no power to stop that from happening.

It is difficult to be an older person in Ontario and not have the resources or support to fight the battle, not just against the original source of discrimination and ageism as a patient, but then with the HRTO. I don’t qualify for Legal Aid and don’t have the funds to get a lawyer or even a paralegal otherwise, as far as I know. Despite seeking the more reasonable alternative in the London area I didn’t find a paralegal who appeared to have knowledge of the complex system of human rights in Ontario. That’s different from human rights abuses that happen abroad. Here, it’s about discrimination on grounds that are listed in the Human Rights Code, such as age, sex, race, marital status, etc, that occur in education, or employment, or in areas such as goods and services.  

The woman at the HRTO Legal Centre will only say to me now, after hearing the first part of my Application (about this being about a doctor) that they don’t deal with cases about doctors’ medical decisions. That is how this situation started – regarding a medical decision made by the doctor, but it has gone way beyond that. In fact, looking back at it more objectively, I believe the main incident for the HRTO (since he has been absolved of responsibility of  treating me inadequately and carelessly) must then at least be about the damning reports the doctor wrote about me, no doubt egged on by his loyal staff.  This will get sorted out, as time goes on. It is just difficult to pull it all together when others say that’s not allowed, or that’s not the problem.

I wonder if the participants in this in entire situation were knowledgeable enough to realize that the larger they make it – the more complex and involving more people than just the doctor – the less likely it becomes that the HRTO or any other complaints system I went to would see as an issue they can resolve – or was it simply that they figured if they ganged up on me, I would give up and go away. According to the doctor’s reports, not just one or two, but all his admin staff accused me of being rude. I only recall seeing two of them – the front desk clerk and the person who showed me to my appointment, but then there was the audio clerk too. And the appointment-taker, so named because she was only the voice on the other end of the telephone, there to make – and break – appointments.

I tried to explain that at one point, probably in the Application, that part of that problem, the one with the front desk clerk, could have been a matter of perception (with discrimination as its basis).  If she, as secretary of the doctor, saw herself as above the patients – or above some patients – they may consider it rude even if the patient speaks to attempt to understand something. Treating patients as children is one form of ageism – as people not competent, or on the other hand as not worthy, being only patients in the hierarchy. Besides that, the front-desk clerk may also have had poor self-esteem, and thought I was being critical of her, which I wasn’t. I just thought that, 2 years down the road, I could try to make sure that my reports didn’t keep going to the original referring doctor. On the other hand, her behaviour (which wasn’t immediate, only coming to light weeks later) may have been done to me to turn the tables, as it were, knowing that I realized I was being shortchanged on the diagnostic test that had been offered me. Thus, accusing me of being rude, in effect, treating me like a child, was to do the opposite of what I was about to bring into the open, the fact that the doctor saw it okay to treat me, an older female, having no family close by and no husband, the way he did. Thus, by the doctor accusing me of being rude, the real reason behind my attempts to get answers about the test I was being offered, when I had already been dismissed so quickly by the doctor at the appointment, was at risk of being ignored completely.

I have been put in a situation of trying to understand why this or that happened to me, and whether it was legitimately a case of discrimination on the grounds of one or more of sex and age, and marital and family status.  And I have had to do it for every incident, of which there were nine in the Application I made – 9 incidents, 7 individuals. If the HRO believes in social justice, I hope they would make it as bearable as possible for me to engage with them in achieving a just solution.  

At this time, there is a delay in processing new Applications, I have been informed, which are taken in the order they are received.  So, meanwhile, no caseworker has been assigned to my Application, made on November 6, 2017.

29 January 2017

The Women’s March, social injustice, and personal experience

About a week ago a piece was written for the Washington Post that I found to be out of place in the Opinions section. I hesitate to provide the title of it, as it might automatically turn readers against me, for not viewing it with the sensitivity it requires, at least on one level. But here it is - the title 'My wife died just after Election Day. I'm attending the Women's March for her'. 

Death so often does necessitate the offering of condolences, ignoring errors in judgement or in practice, and just generally thinking of uplifting things to say. But then why would anyone choose to publish an obituary in the Opinions section of a newspaper?  Perhaps the reason was that it wasn’t an obituary in the usual sense. It was as much about the husband of the person who had died as about the deceased. And yet, scores of comments in the Comments section following the article were written in a manner that resembled condolences more than comments.

One might ask, was the article telling us the opinion of the writer on some social or political  - or economic  - issue? Not exactly, no, the writer appeared to be questioning his own sense of masculinity, in preparing to march in place of his deceased wife in the Saturday’s Women’s March, held in Washington and in places around the world, on Jan 21, 2017. Those who marched did so for a variety of reasons, many of the marchers no doubt being personally motivated, others marching for the rights of women who are marginalized in society, some having specific interests, such as abortion rights for women, violence against women, etc.

Mr Ikins’s wife suffered a tragic death, a fall down stairs, a coma, and finally, release through death. I can relate to that experience of having a fall. A year ago today I suffered a slip and fall, through which I broke my femur. Luckily  - I think – I survived, not having severed an artery and having a fast-acting, thoughtful neighbour, paramedics ready to do their bit, and an expert surgeon to care for my injury. Since then I have had to walk using a walker, but in a few days I will have the nails removed from the knee – nails that held the rod in place while the leg healed. So I am hoping for the best outcome. But by chance, my equilibrium – my sense of balance, experienced as a kind of giddiness, has affected my ability to walk normally too. Mr Ikins says that Nov 8 was the worst day of his life.  It was not a great day for me, either.

On November 8, 2016, I attended an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist, to tell him about the symptoms I had been having, but found my concerns being dismissed by a specialist who was overbooked, overworked that day, no doubt, and who was not expecting this new set of symptoms. For some reason, he was also defensive, and spent far too much time explaining to me why he sent the last report to my old family doctor, the one I had laid a complaint against with the CPSO, and filed an application against with the Human Rights Tribunal.  I had realized the report went to that doctor, despite my requesting from his appointment taker/secretary that it not be, but it was anyway, in order to abide by the regulations. 

On my way in, I had asked the girl at his clinic front desk if the report could be sent to a different doctor this time, and she said she thought so, but to ask the doctor when I saw him, which I did. All this took precious time away from my concerns – of the balance issue – disequilibrium.  Finally, he offered me a partial VNG test (look it up). I agreed, and later, at home, looked up the test on google. I saw that I had been offered only a piece of the set of 4 tests, and so decided to try to get the tests I needed. To skip to the end of this story, the appointment-taker/secretary and the staff at the ENT clinic lied about me, and the ENT specialist cancelled the appointment I had with him. I am now left with no suitable options for a proper diagnosis nor for treatment options, nor to repair the damage to my reputation.  The only possible option I have, which won’t help my vestibular/vertigo problems, is to lay a complaint against this doctor too.

Returning to the article written by Charles Ikins, I have to say I question whether Charles Ikins’s perception of the reasons for the march were rather limited. He saw it as being for women who experience indignities of the kind Trump had presumably committed, the very reason his wife was protesting.  And he decided that it would not be unmasculine for him to march in place of his wife, to honour her beliefs and commitment.

For the most part, I believe the women’s march was about fighting for the rights of women, and especially marginalized women, women who do not get the same kinds of opportunities and treatment that other women do – some of them single women, poor women, women without husbands, black women, old women, and so on. The maintaining of rights of women – abortion, sexual rights, and so on, were also reasons women marched.

I thought that the Washington Post had used a grieving husband’s thoughts and piece honouring his wife as a political manoeuvering – publishing it on Trump’s Inauguration Day, the day before the women’s march. Taken on its own, as a piece intended for friends and family, the article could be seen as having merit. But published in the Washington Post, for the public to read, it came across as something very different.

Part way through the article, Mr Ikins mentions the admonition for participants to “check your privilege.” He says he thinks he knows the meaning of the phrase, and yet the article itself is an example of what the privileged should try not to do. Instead of seeing things through their own eyes only, and taking for granted the things they have, the material advantages in life, and seeing their own cause as the one most worthy, they might try to see what others experience in life.

It is part of the human condition for tragedy to strike families – all of us - tragedies that are not anyone's fault. That's not going to help the writer of the article talked about here, but it needs to be said. Furthermore, some people in life – women among them – struggle in ways the privileged might not even be able to imagine – and it is not always men who are responsible for the injustices.  Finally, I have reservations about the value of a Women’s March if President Trump is chosen to be the most recent scapegoat for feminists seeking to unite women over a cause - any cause – to enhance interest in the feminist movement.

By Michael Alison Chandler
Washington Post - Opinions
Jan 12, 2017

By Charles Ikins
Washington Post – Opinions
Jan 20, 2017

1 January 2017

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada - a question of truth!

Yesterday, the Prime Minister gave his recorded New Year’s speech for 2017, while the shortened, official printed version appears on the PM’s online government pages.

The speech (including the video) is the subject of a brief CBC announcement and summary (Jan 1, 2017) followed by a discussion of Trudeau’s speech, his policies, and claim that he will “always stand against the politics of fear and division, and focus on what brings us together – that is my New Year’s resolution to you.”

What could be more divisive than to state one will stand against the politics of fear and division. Why is the word fear so often used when the subject is perceived discrimination?

Do people or groups discriminate because of irrational fear, because I think that’s what Trudeau is implying, that some Canadians object to some immigrants and refugees because of some irrational fear.

Following the statement announcing the PM’s speech are comments from Canadians, probably, presenting their views.
The speech (including the video) is the subject of a brief CBC announcement and summary (Jan 1, 2017) followed by comments by readers about Trudeau’s speech, his policies, and claim that he will “always stand against the politics of fear and division, and focus on what brings us together – that is my New Year’s resolution to you.”

What could be more divisive than to state one will stand against the politics of fear and division. And why is the word fear so often used when the subject is perceived discrimination?

Do people or groups discriminate because of irrational fear, because I think that’s what Trudeau is implying, that some Canadians object to some immigrants and refugees because of some irrational fear.

Following the statement announcing the PM’s speech are comments from Canadians, probably, presenting their views. Some of the PM’s remarks were so specific that they could only contribute towards divisiveness among Canadians who, if their main concern in life happened to be omitted, might only feel antagonism towards the attention paid towards transgender individuals, for instance, or the increase in benefits of the middle class.

One important omission, in my view, is any mention of the healthcare system, and in particular, how older Canadians are dealing with that in their own lives. Associated with that might be the concerns of the disabled, as many older Canadians will be headed towards that category in due course. When people feel they have been treated unjustly and decide to speak out against the injustice, does that make us bad Canadians?

If I, as a senior, decide to speak out about my experiences trying to get answers from a certain specialist (his appointment-taker/secretary, actually) and none are forthcoming, does it make me divisive, or is the divisiveness caused by the specialist who refuses to discuss my symptoms, tells me my feeling of disequilibrium is actually low blood pressure, or tries to place the reason for it on a condition there is no evidence for, and then, when I do not agree with his interpretation of my feeling, only reluctantly he tells me he can send me for a caloric stimulation test? Or perhaps the divisiveness is caused by the a-t/secretary who refuses to answer my questions about what test I am being sent for and what tests overall does the clinic conduct, so that I then approach Patient Relations to try to find out, to no avail. Everyone involved simply clams up, leaving me with no information, no appointment, nothing.

My main point, however, is simply that one cannot mention all groups and concerns in one New Year’s statement, so there cannot help but be a certain amount of divisiveness. 
List of References

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada to mark the New Year 
Ottawa, Ontario
Dec 31, 2016
retrieved Jan 1, 2017

Prime Minister Trudeau delivers a message on New Year's Eve
Dec 31, 2016 
retrieved Jan 1, 2017

Trudeau takes stand against 'fear and division' in New Year's message
The Canadian Press
CBC News
Jan 01, 2017 5:42 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 01, 2017 5:42 AM ET

6 December 2016

PM Trudeau’s statement on violence against women and the Montreal Massacre: my thoughts

Following is the message I left online for Prime Minister Trudeau on his official government page at  https://pm.gc.ca/eng/connect :

I read the PM's statement today about the event at Montreal on Dec 6, 1989. I beg to differ, but the women were not killed simply because they were women. that is now an outdated way of looking at it. It was complicated, and it was about some men having to give up opportunities of the career they dreamed of. Marc Lépine must have been treated badly by women - staff - and feminists to have done what he did.

I know what it's like to not be able to have the career you wanted, because you didn't have enough money, or were too old when you went to university - I was 43 when the killings happened - an undergrad at university. Since then I got my MA and started a PhD, which I did not have enough support for, moneywise. When women go for it, they have to use every resource they can drum up. I was too old to start having to compete with younger women, and could not buy my way into a better position.

I never had a career either, but I did learn to write, and so I write, on Sue's Views on the News. Or at least, I used to write. Now I struggle just to get the healthcare I need, a good part of the time, unsuccessfully. What with women secretaries using their power to make things worse, and doctors probably thinking these women are to be trusted, and seeing no reason to provide care to a 70 year old with no husband, no family nearby to be at appointments with me, that no one is gaining anything worthwhile from, I have been left out. Like Marc Lépine, I have not been treated fairly nor compassionately.

This was not a typical situation of violence against women. Most violence against women happens between a couple who at least know one another and are often married. The killings committed by Marc Lépine were about a man being left behind while feminists prospered.


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario: https://pm.gc.ca
December 6, 2016

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women:

“Twenty-seven years ago today, 14 young women were murdered at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal simply because they were women.

“On this somber anniversary, let us reflect on what Canadians – women, men, and youth – can do to rid the country and the planet of the scourges of misogyny and gender-based violence.
“The statistics on violence against girls and women are unacceptable. Far too many girls and women, here in Canada and around the world, suffer physical and psychological harm at the hands of others – often people they love and trust.

“On this day – and every day – we recommit ourselves to finding solutions that help prevent future acts of violence. Men and boys are a vital part of the solution to change attitudes and behaviours that allow for this violence to exist. There must be zero tolerance for violence against women, and only with everyone’s support can we build a Canada that is safe for all.

“That is why the Government of Canada is investing in several programs, both in Canada and around the world, to help promote gender equality by supporting education and prevention efforts, as well as helping those who have been targeted by gender-based violence. For example, we will continue to grow and maintain Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses, so no one fleeing domestic violence is left without a place to turn.

“As we mourn today with the families and friends of those bright and talented young women who were victims of that senseless act of hatred, I encourage everyone to think about how their own personal actions matter. Start by joining the conversation online using the hashtag #ActionsMatter. Together we can change minds and stop gender-based violence before it starts.”

26 January 2016

The Human Rights Tribunal process is a farce

Having been involved in Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal process since the summer of 2015, I can now say for certain the Human Rights process  - at least the way it was conducted in my case - is a farce. It may work for some people, of course, but I hasn’t worked for me.

One of the reasons I say this is that, while attempting to get one of the main issues of contention between the Respondent and myself, the Applicant, resolved, I can see how the process has worked in his favour. And if the process itself hasn’t, while running its natural course, then the people working in it have enabled it to benefit him.


The Application I made to the HRT was to declare that the Respondent – my family doctor at the time – had discriminated against me on the grounds of sex, marital and family status, and age. I followed the rules and submitted 5 ‘important documents’ and one audio recording that I would be using at the hearing, as well as providing a list of them, stating the importance of each, as required in that section of the form. As the Applicant, I also had to provide a thorough description of the two incidents of discrimination and how they affected me, and what remedies I was seeking, which did not include a monetary remedy only ones directed to the Respondent himself and recommendations within society. See Remedies sought from the HRT.

Then it was up to the Respondent to write an official Response, using an HRT form for that, which he did in July, 2015. On it he wrote the name of only one document – The Medical Chart of McMcPherson – giving the reason it was important as “describes the care provided to Ms McPherson.”  It was at about this time that I inquired from the Legal Support Centre what was menat by the term ‘Document.’ I got no answer on that.

This was the first of the three times in all that the Respondent and the Applicant (myself) were required to declare what documents we were bringing to the hearing – or relying on, or might be using.

I did respond the Respondent’s official response, but the Form 3 I used said only respond to new issues, so that matter of the one bundle of documents – being my Medical Chart – remained unaddressed.


The second time we were required to declare the documents  - in a formal Disclosure of “Arguably relevant Documents” - was by September 1, 2015, which I did, submitting my by then 7 documents plus 2 audio recordings by the deadline, but receiving nothing in return from the Respondent.

I contacted the Respondent and the HRT via an official form and was hastily sent the bundle of items previously mentioned by the Respondent – the Medical Chart. There were no dates on them, not in chronological order, no description of each page or their importance, nor their relevance, as was stated to be the new requirement – that they be arguably relevant.

I was concerned about the bundle being passed off as a single ‘Document’ but was advised by HRT to wait as a third deadline would soon be approaching, and perhaps all would be resolved by then.


The third and last deadline was Dec 29, 2015, by which time the Applicant and Respondent were to have submitted all the documents they were going to “rely on” at the hearing in February.  By this time the Respondent had put numbers and titles on each of the items in the 103-page Medical Chart. But nowhere was the importance of the ‘Document’ or it relevance included, except meant to be as a “description of the care provided to Ms McPherson.”

I objected strenuously. And the Respondent’s lawyer objected in return, and in two Interim Decisions and one Case Direction, decisionmakers at the HRT sided with the doctor – the Respondent.  I get to use my 7 pages, and he gets to use 103 – if he needs to.

If I need to defend myself against anything that is raised by the documents he produces in self-defence, I don’t have anything. We both submitted documents starting in April, his in July, 2015, me providing insight as to why mine were important, the doctor providing nothing, except to say they described the care provided to me.

Negotiations and arguments

Forms 10 and 11 abounded then, between the Respondent’s lawyer and myself and the HRT, as we attempted to persuade the Interim Decisionmakers, Laurie Letheren and Dawn Kershaw, of the merits of our requests – me for adjournment to allow the Respondent time to provide the relevance of each of the 103 pages, his lawyer to plead that he had the right to a speedy hearing.

As time went on, his lawyer made the argument once again that I had placed the care provided to me at the centre of this matter, while I argued that no, like Evan Solomon, Mike Duffy, Jian Ghomeshi and Joe Fontana, when accusations are made against them it isn’t the good they have done that is at the heart of the matter. It is when mistakes are made, or discrimination carried out, that it ends up at a Tribunal and these are the matters to be looked at, not the good these people did. The lawyer’s Form 11 saying what she did, there, was ignored by the Interim Decisionmaker, Dawn Kershaw, in her Jan 15, 2016 Interim Decision, as were my remarks about what this case should be about.

Each time, the Interim Decisionmakers argued that this matter of the adjournment and the relevance of the items in the Medical Chart should be left to be decided at the hearing.  And then I realized that this was not going to happen. It couldn’t happen. It was an illogical decision the Interim Decisionmakers had been making every time they said it.

It would take time, if the Respondent were ordered to write down the relevance or importance of each of the items in the 103-page Medical Chart. There’s not a hope that could happen at the hearing, while we are all sitting there. It would seem that they  - the HRT Registrar, Richard Hennessy, or the adjudicator, Dawn Kershaw - had no intention of deciding in my favour, that the doctor would have to provide the relevance of each of the documents.

What that means, in terms of the hearing, is that if I produce a document or an example of ill-treatment or disrespect he wishes to dispute, he can produce a document from the 103 pages to prove his argument. However, having only 7 documents and 2 audio recordings, I am limited in how I can make a point or defend myself against his accusations. I can speak, but I have not been granted credibility. So it is the harsh words and distortions in documents written by the Doctor and his receptionist that will be believed.

What’s worse is that, during this whole process, I was led to believe that the process would be fair, yet I was not given the option of seeking documents to contradict the 103 pages he decided to rely on.  In fact, how could I? How could I begin to guess what he was going to produce, at the hearing, from his array of documents that he first mentioned back in July?

Three times the doctor produced that Medical Chart as his Document of importance, relevance, to rely on. And each time he not obliged to prove that the items in it were.

Discontinuity between the lead-up and the hearing

Late in the process it also sinks in that everything that happens during the initial process has nothing to do with the hearing. All that happens during these months of preparation, the HRT sending directions as to what should be submitted and when, and how they should be described, is forgotten once the hearing starts. What that means is that all the talk, all the arguments, all the lack of description regarding importance, relevance of the pages, etc. in the Medical Chart mean nothing once the hearing starts. It means that I can request that the doctor provide the relevance, right there, at the hearing, but that the adjudicator, Dawn Kershaw, can simply say No. Or, she can say, This should have been dealt with before the hearing started. There is no time now.

All those submissions I made, beforehand, about my position, mean nothing, unless they are included in the documents I submitted to the HRT to be used at the hearing. That means that the medical research I provided links to on why older women who have had given birth and have had hysterectomies ought not and do not need to be sent off for an ultrasound on their bladders will not be there as evidence. Only my word will count, though the colleague witness of the doctor has said in writing that the treatment I received – including the pelvic ultrasound on my bladder, was within the standard of care limits. What that means to me is that I would not want him as my doctor. And secondly, that giving the patient the chance to ask questions beforehand and to find out what would be expected from her doesn’t matter to either of them. As for the request by the doctor for a urine sample from me to test for “street drugs,” it is still my view that he needs to take a course or two on how to communicate in respectful ways. See details of the incidents of discrimination:
Statement on Pelvic Renal ultrasound incident 
Statement on drugs, urine termination incident 

Just as importantly, the doctor needs to consider the differences between  women who are young and those who are growing older, and how that may affect their diagnosis and treatment in matters such as kidney disease.

What is the purpose of such a lengthy process of requests for documents from the Applicant and the Respondent?  Is it to wear out the Applicant through repeated failed attempts to achieve fairness at the hearing?  See SJTO and HRT Rules of Procedure p 2

p 2 of the Rules


A3.1 The rules and procedures of the tribunal shall be liberally and purposively interpreted and applied to:
(a) promote the fair, just and expeditious resolution of disputes,

(b) allow parties to participate effectively in the process, whether or not they have a representative,

(c) ensure that procedures, orders and directions are proportionate to the importance and complexity of the issues in the proceeding.