California ER Doctor Suspended After Video Shows Her Berating Patient: 'Are You Dead Sir?'
Dr. Beth Keegstra thought the patient, Samuel Bardwell, was trying to score prescription drugs.
A California doctor has been suspended from the hospital where she worked following an incident in which she was caught on tape berating a patient in her care.
The shocking confrontation between the patient and the ER doctor occurred last week at El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos.
“I'm sorry sir, you are the least sick of all the people who are here who are dying,” Dr. Beth Keegstra is heard telling the patient.
Samuel Bardwell, a 20-year-old college athlete, had collapsed at basketball practice with an apparent anxiety attack. He told the doctor he can't breathe.
"He can't inhale," she replied, mocking him. "Wow! You must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don't understand. You are breathing just fine."
The doctor was working in the hospital emergency room near San Jose and is believed to have thought that Bardwell just wanted to get a hold of prescription drugs.
“So you need narcotics?" she asked. "Is that what you need?"
"Did I say I need narcotics?" Bardwell responded. "I need pain reliever and anxiety medication. Because I’m in pain and I have anxiety. I said nothing about narcotics."
The confrontation even got physical after the patient said he could not sit up. She allegedly started pulling on his arm to get him up.
Speaking with Inside Edition, Bardwell was asked if he could sit up in that moment. He said he had attempted, but just couldn't do it.
“I tried to; I gave it all my might," he said. "I could not move my body. I could not move. It was so agonizing pain it surprised me they were urging me to get up."
Dr. Keegstra even began cursing at her patient, telling him, "You have changed your story every f***ing time."
With her patient in shock over her remark, she continued swearing.
“Yes, that's how p***ed off you got me," Dr. Keegstra said. "Put and IV in him, give him a liter of fluid and we'll get him out of here. That's what he says he needs. He's obviously a doctor and he knows what he needs."
The doctor no longer works at the ER and the hospital has apologized for the incident.
"Even if she had a bad day, a stressful day, she could take it out on another patient and I don't want that to happen," Bardwell said.
The patient says the doctor should be fired and can't understand how she was hired in the first place.
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