An unhappy Nunavut patient walks out of hospital

“I refuse to let myself be treated the way they were treating me”


The Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)

The Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)

I walked into the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit this past Thursday, Aug. 24, because I did not feel right.

The Emergency Room staff concluded I had had a heart attack.

Yesterday I walked out, against medical advice. I did so because I deemed the stress resulting from being treated like a piece of work-in-process by the medical staff posed a greater risk than the chance of short-term complications. And in the long term, we all die.

The medical staff have studied disease and observed many patients. But I am not “many patients.”

I am one, and I’ve been observing this body for 70 years. That makes me the expert on this body. It is similar to many others, but it is unique.

I am going to die. Doctors are not going to save me. They cannot save anyone, they can only prolong life in certain circumstances. To paraphrase Dylan Thomas, I will not go quietly into that good night.

I am going to die, but how I live between now and then is my choice. And I refuse to let myself be treated the way they were treating me. Objecting had no effect, so I walked.

Why were they acting the way they were? That is for you to find out, because their behaviour is a stain on their profession.

I suspect it was a combination of their training and the rules under which they are forced to work.

So I pity them, but not enough to continue to tolerate their inhumane behaviour.

Nunatsiaq News: please withhold my name. I am a GN employee, working in a role that requires me to be perceived to show no partiality for or against any GN department. Thus, publishing my name would likely cost me my job, making me, my wife and our son homeless.

(Name withheld by request)

Copies of this letter have been sent to the Qikiqtani General Hospital and to the Canadian Medical Association.

Email your letters to

Nunatsiaq News welcomes letters to the editor. But we are under no obligation to publish any given letter at any given time.

In our print edition, we usually print letters on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis. In our online edition, we usually print letters as soon as we are able to prepare them for publication.

We edit all letters for length, grammar, punctuation, spelling, taste and libel. You may withhold your name by request, but we must know who you are before we publish your letter.

Share This Story

(0) Comments