Doctor suspended after viral video of tense stand-off with patient

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An emergency room physician has been suspended after a video showing an tense dispute with a patient went viral.

20-year-old Samuel Bardwell was unable to get up from a hospital bed at El Camino Hospital in California, after he suffered an anxiety attack following basketball practice last Monday, reported SFGate.

The video posted on Facebook by his father Donald clocked up 4.3 million views, and shows the physician arguing with the pair, urging that the patient is well enough to get up and that he was “the least sick of all the people that are here.”

Bardwell asks for anxiety medication, to which the physician responds by asking if he needed “narcotics.” He takes Klonopin, which can be used to treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety, but hadn’t taken any in the days before his attack, according to the news outlet. 

El Camino Hospital CEO Dan Woods said in a statement online that the physician in question, who came from healthcare staff provider Vituity, had been stood down from her position.

“This week, a patient who visited the emergency department at our Los Gatos campus had an interaction with a physician whose demeanor was unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care through El Camino Hospital,” the statement reads.

“We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter. Please know that we take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician involved has been removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation.”

Woods added the interaction is “not reflective” of the care provided to patients. Bardwell’s father, Donald, added in another Facebook post that he believed his son was experiencing Benzodiazepine withdrawal due to not taking Klonopin.

“The physician’s behavior was appalling and they should know better — especially when it comes to Benzodiazepines like Klonopin,” he wrote.

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