Police Exhibit #69 (page 2)
This document, called the History/Affidavit, was processed by three different branches of Sask Justice. Each recipient assigned his own exhibit number:
Sgt. James Bracken labeled his copy:
‘Police Exhibit #69.’
Prosecutor Fred Dehm labeled his copy:
‘Crown Exhibit #82.’
When the document was filed in Saskatoon Provincial Court at the Preliminary Inquiry, Judge Singer assigned this final number:
‘Court Exhibit D-2.’
|Sgt. Bracken||Police Exhibit #69|
|Fred Dehm||Crown Exhibit #82|
|Judge Singer||Court Exhibit D-2|
Currently I am middle-aged and ill, but even when young and healthy, my life was wholesome and decent. I was “top-heavy” where it really counted (in the brain-box); I was appreciated for my mind, not for physical charms. Romance was reserved for the special man in my life (one at a time, in a long-term relationship, and such personal life was separate from my business relationships).
My education includes a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Saskatchewan, plus an M.Sc. in laser physics and non-linear optics from the University of British Columbia. Before I contracted physical diseases, I worked in research. Though proud of my education, I am not an intellectual snob; science is simply my life choice. I am also not a prude; having worked among engineers, I have heard four-letter words and the occasional bawdy joke, and can simply ignore these.
I have never been subjected to sexual harassment outside the medical community, and only twice in minor fashion within that community, prior to the serious events with Dr. Yelland. That is a fairly good record for the medical community, considering I have been a patient for 18 years. The prior events in summary:
Allergist Dr. Larry Hardy: My allergist Dr. Hardy had always been dignified, but suddenly in a 1994 consult he spoke lewd language and had lewd magazine covers atop his desk. This seemed deliberate, and I cried when I got home; I sent the College of Physicians and Surgeons a letter of information (but did not call for a formal inquiry). At the same time, apparently Dr. Hardy was under investigation for double-billing Worker's Compensation and other agencies (this information came from his secretary; it was not connected to my complaint). In 1995 the Star Phoenix quoted the College as finding Dr. Hardy guilty of financial fraud, but also calling for compassion in view of Dr. Hardy's recent cancer diagnosis. When I read about his diagnosis, I forgave Dr. Hardy as I know how dehumanizing the medical system can be.
GP Dr. Julianna Balaton: In Nov/96 I underwent breast surgery as arranged by family doctor Dr. Julianna Balaton. This surgery was necessary, and I participated in arrangements. In my first follow-up appointment, Dr. Balaton examined the area and the scars; this exam was proper and did not prompt my complaint. But in subsequent appointments, Dr. Balaton subjected me to suggestive language and gestures, and this was clear sexual harassment (see details in attached letter). This attacked my character, and was inappropriate especially towards someone who was ill. Though Dr. Balaton had been productive for the year prior, I severed the relationship after the third lewd episode. When Dr. Balaton refused my request for records, I wrote to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and I did provide closure for myself by reporting everything.
In 1999 in Saskatoon, the Sutherland Medical Clinic had three general practitioners, all with the surname Balaton, all belonging to the same family. The roster was:
|Dr. Julianna Balaton||sister|
|Dr. Joseph M. Balaton Junior||brother|
|Dr. Joseph Balaton Senior||father (semi-retired)|
After the sexual harassment directed at me from Dr. Julianna Balaton in Dec/96 - Jan/97, and especially in view of her hostility when I reported same to the College, there should have been no further involvement, from any member of this close-knit family, in my future medical care. Yet there was Balaton presence during the surgical biopsy which caused the complication putting me in a wheelchair. The following is documented; all letters and forms are attached.
Without my knowledge, Dr. Joseph Balaton Senior assisted in the operating-room at Saskatoon City Hospital on Sept 8/99 when orthopedist Dr. McKerrell performed a bone biopsy to my right foot. This biopsy required a general anesthetic. Dr. Balaton appeared in the operating-room apparently during the time I was unconscious from the anesthetic. He did not announce himself to me beforehand, nor after. If he had, I would have postponed the procedure.
The Consent to Surgery form that I signed authorized physician Dr. McKerrell and none other to perform the biopsy. The Operating Room Record makes no mention of the name “Dr. Joseph Balaton.”
My first knowledge of Dr. Balaton's presence came from my Sask Health billing record (which I routinely request at the end of each year). The billing statement indicated that Dr. Joseph Balaton performed services for me on the date Sept 8/99. I was shocked; I wrote to the Sutherland Medical Clinic to inquire, and they did confirm his presence in the Operating Theatre during my surgical biopsy.
This is the bone biopsy which caused the complication named Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) in my right foot. RSD is considered more painful than cancer pain or phantom-limb pain; it onset within two days of the biopsy; it is ongoing now; it required and still requires serious prescription medicines; and it is responsible for putting me in a wheelchair.
I do not at present know whether Dr. Joseph Balaton did anything wrong outright, or whether he incited carelessness among the staff, or whether I would have developed the complication in any case. But I do know that Dr. Balaton should have declared a conflict of interest at the outset, and removed himself from any involvement in my medical care.
Note also that the sexual harassment perpetrated by my subsequent family doctor, Dr. Joel Yelland, was a close match in style and quality to that which I complained about from Dr. Julianna Balaton.
Starting early in 2001, Dr. Yelland subjected me to continuous escalating sexual harassment. This was not wanted, it was not invited, and I cried a river of tears over it. I have multiple diseases, which means I take my medical appointments seriously. My chart will show that from 1984 to the present date, my only topics of discussion were technical, and pure science.
I am in a wheelchair due to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in my foot, and I have a very tired appearance due to residual muscle fatigue from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I certainly don't present a glamour image. When a doctor chooses to direct sexual harassment towards a patient, I suspect it has little to do with glamour, and more to do with vulnerability.
My definition of sexual harassment does conform to that of the Human Rights Commission, as listed in their booklet sent to me. The particulars I was subjected to include obscene language, lewd gestures, inappropriate touching, and implications about my character. This persisted for a year, and though I left the relationship with Dr. Yelland, the behavior continued via other people whom I believe he contacted.
Dr. Yelland doesn't tell people outright “We're going to harass this lady, and here's how.” What he tells people is that I “like” or “want” or “expect” to hear about sex. Dr. Yelland has perfected a confidential manner and persuasive tone; he drops the pitch of his voice and says, slowly but with weight, “She'll expect to hear these things.” Because of his power as a physician, people do not question him until it is too late, and damage done. The shock and tears I register may give people pause, but not always.
I state that I cannot, I should not have to, and I will not endure any more of the sleazy language, lewd gestures, and sexual touching incited by Dr. Yelland.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
While these sights and sounds were going on without, curious scenes were passing within, and I was learning that one of the best methods of fitting oneself to be a nurse in a hospital, is to be a patient there;
For then only can one wholly realize what the patients suffer and sigh for;
How acts of kindness touch and win; how much or little we are to those about us;
And for the first time really see that in coming there we have taken our lives in our hands, and may have to pay dearly for a brief experience.
Louisa May Alcott
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