Hospital patient says TV star violated privacy...
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Nov 06, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Hospital patient says TV star violated privacy during rectal exam

Walter Fisher's notice of legal action says actor and producer from CTV’s Saving Hope participated in medical procedure.


A Brampton hospital patient is suing an actor and producer from a Canadian television series for allegedly violating his privacy and assaulting him during a rectal exam.

Walter Fisher is also suing Ontario’s largest community hospital and Bell Media for what he claims was a gross violation of his privacy. Fisher alleges that an actor and producer from the CTV medical drama Saving Hope misrepresented themselves as medical students, sat in on his consultation and participated in his examination at Brampton Civic Hospital in 2012 — without his consent.

The Brampton man claims he was led to believe the television duo were training to become doctors when they were actually conducting background research for their show.

A notice of legal action such as Fisher’s contains allegations that are yet to be proven in court.

Fisher is seeking $100,000 in damages against his physician, the William Osler Health System, which runs the hospital, Saving Hope actor Benjamin Ayers and producer Maggie Gilmour, ICF Films, which produces the show and Bell Media, which broadcasts it.

He filed a notice of action against the defendants at Brampton Superior Court on Oct. 14. The document alleges that the actor and producer “intentionally and negligently misrepresented their true identities” and that the hospital breached its duty of care by discussing his medical records in front of the duo.

“The defendants committed an assault and battery against the plaintiff,” the notice of action states.

Cambridge LLP partner Douglas Elliott is representing Fisher and told the Star his client felt “violated” by the alleged privacy breach. Fisher would not be personally talking to the media about his case, but Elliott said his client felt humiliated.

“It’s kind of an embarrassing procedure to go through for most people even with a doctor, let alone in front of strangers,” Elliott said.

William Osler Health System spokeswoman Cara Francis said privacy policy restricted the hospital from speaking about an individual patient’s case.

“What I can share is that . . . Under no circumstances would Osler permit anyone outside of the patient’s care team to attend or observe patient treatment or consultations without the patient’s knowledge and consent,” she said in an email to the Star

The hospital would “vigorously” defend against the allegations, Francis said.

The alleged incident occurred on Oct. 18, 2012, when Fisher attended the Brampton hospital’s emergency department suffering from gastroenteritis, the court document states.

He was treated by a doctor who, Elliot said, is also a medical consultant for Saving Hope, set in a hospital emergency room.

On the day Fisher was treated at the hospital, the doctor had a man and a woman shadowing her in medical scrubs, Elliott said. The pair, who Elliott believes to be Ayers and Gilmour, were introduced to Fisher by their first names only, and no one mentioned their involvement in the television series, he said.

Fisher alleges the pair sat in on his consultation, where he had to talk through his medical problems, and that they did not leave the room during his rectal examination.

“He had his back to them, but alleges that when the examination was taking place he could feel more than one set of hands touching him,” Elliott told the Star.

(Elliott said the hospital rejected Fisher’s complaint, claiming the actor and producer were appropriately introduced and that they left the room during the rectal examination.)

It was not until months later that Fisher found out, purely by chance, the pair worked in television, Elliott said.

Fisher has since filed a complaint against Brampton Civic Hospital and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Elliot said. An official statement of claim will be filed with the Brampton Superior Court within the next three weeks, he added.

Saving Hope is produced by ICF Films and Hope Zee One Inc. It is broadcast by CTV, which is owned by Bell Media. Emails and phone calls to Bell Media and ICF Films were not returned Wednesday night.

Toronto Star

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