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An emergency room doctor in California has been removed from her position after she was filmed mocking and cursing at a college student who ended up in the ER after suffering an anxiety attack.
Dr. Beth Keegstra, a 57-year-old doctor with El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, California, was filmed on June 11 berating Samuel Bardwell.
Bardwell, a 20-year-old student at West Valley College, was taken to the hospital after he suffered a severe anxiety attack and passed out during basketball practice earlier that day, ABC News reported.
Donald Bardwell began filming the encounter at the request of his son, who told Good Morning America that he asked his father to take out his phone because he “had a feeling” something was about to happen. As seen in the screenshot above, Keegstra stood alongside Samuel Bardwell's hospital bed as she berated him. The three-minute video has been viewed more than five million times on Facebook.
In the video, Keegstra seems to question the validity of Bardwell’s condition, repeatedly instructing him to move and even physically attempting to make him move.
“I’m sorry, sir, you were the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying,” Keegstra says at around the 30-second mark of video of the encounter. Keegstra then begins pulling on Bardwell’s arm and trying to force him to sit up. When he tries to explain that he can't get up, Keegstra then comments, “Do you want us to wheel you to your house in a gurney?”
Bardwell explains that he feels numb and can't inhale.
Keegstra responds, “He can’t inhale! Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don’t understand, you are breathing just fine.”
At around the two-minute mark, Keegstra seems to imply that Bardwell was after drugs, asking, “So, you need narcotics? Is that what you need?”
Bardwell says he only needed pain relief and anxiety medication, “because I’m in pain and I have anxiety,” he explained.
Keegstra later accused Bardwell of changing his reasons for needing treatment, saying, “You have changed your story every f****ing time.”
Samuel Bardwell’s father, Donald Bardwell, told ABC News that his son has a history of anxiety attacks and regularly takes Klonopin to treat them. He’d stopped taking his medication prior to the June 11 attack because his prescription ran out.
Bardwell has hired a lawyer and is considering taking legal action against the hospital, ABC News reported.
Keegstra has since been suspended from all facilities associated with the hospital, Dan Woods, El Camino Hospital CEO, said in a statement on Thursday.
Keegstra’s demeanor was “unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care through El Camino Hospital,” Woods said.
“We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter,” he continued. “Please know that we take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician involved has been removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation.”
The hospital’s contracted provider for emergency services, Vituity/California Emergency Physicians, has been notified to permanently remove Keegstra from the list of approved physicians assigned to provide emergency care at El Camino’s hospitals, according to an update to their original release.
[Photo: Facebook/Donald Bardwell]