I have read the article in your newspaper regarding the demotion of Dr. Lisa Roth since offering an opinion to The Friends of the Kincardine Hospital. I think it is fair to assume this doctor was hired on the strength of her qualifications and ability to professionally perform her responsibilities. The leadership of the hospital appears to be upset with this person’s opinion which is neither libelous or damages the character or reputation of anyone.
In our country we have the right to disagree while debate on issues is encouraged. Friends of the Kincardine Hospital are not infiltrated with the Klu Klux Klan or any terrorist group. My understanding is they are simply a group of concerned citizens who disagree with the direction that health care is moving or at least the delivery of services. Hospital administrator Paul Davies is quoted in the Independent as saying an e-mail was the first formal proof he has of the doctor’s involvement with this concerned group. He further states the hospital has a bylaw to remedy a conflict of interest. Davies may very well have to defend these ridiculous statements through litigation since this doctor has neither slandered or created any form of libel. The doctor merely stated an opinion. She may be right or she may be wrong. Is Davies suggesting as an employee of the hospital you do not have a right to disagree, as this Doctor has.
Under our Charter of Rights legislation, citizens have the right to freedom of speech with restrictions involving libel and slander and the right to peaceful assembly. No employer, including hospital administrations can usurp via internal bylaws the legistation set down in our country both provincially and federally.
The question now is: did this employer damage the professional reputation of this doctor who I understand has an unblemished employment record and of course a fiesty opinion? Further I do not know this doctor nor have I ever met her. Kincardine is one of the most covetous areas to reside in Canada...with a stellar reputation as a gorgeous resort community....what’s going on when there is such on going conflict?
G. Lynn Pollock
National Representative [retired]
Westmount, Nova Scotia