Police Exhibit #69 (Fulltext)
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|
The History/Affidavit below reports the history of my experience with the Saskatoon medical community, and blows the whistle on former GP Dr. Joel Yelland. The original document was ten typewritten pages, with a large file of substantiating documents attached. I delivered identical copies of the full package to:
In the Police Occurrence Reports, Sgt. James Bracken described it thus: “Georgena Sil attended at the police station at the front counter on June 6/02 … to have the front desk staff complete a report requesting charges be laid against Dr. Yelland for sexual harassment. Sil left behind a large blue file folder containing quite a number of documents. In that file was Exhibit #69 and in this Affidavit there are references to Dr. Yelland. These requests are signed by Georgena Sil and for the most part take the form of legitimate complaints.”
Dr. Yelland was my family physician from Feb 1/98 to June 6/01. Initially his manner showed decorum and technical interests, and thus I place my trust in him. For progress with my physical diseases, I requested specialist referrals, but while Dr. Yelland sounded cooperative in conversation with me about these, in fact each referral was hampered by inadequate record-keeping and impetuous emotional commentary from Dr. Yelland.
The result was to take away all my sources of medical support. In January 2001 Dr. Yelland began to openly brag about this.
Endocrinologist Dr. David Kendler: In 1998, endocrinologist Dr. Kendler of Vancouver expressed interest in the technical complexity of my case and offered to coordinate my overall care. Dr. Yelland noted this and replied with an impetuous letter claiming I was “disenchanted with medicine in Saskatoon.” Four days later, Dr. Kendler wrote back saying “There was no need for this patient to return to their office.” The letters are attached.
Orthopedist Dr. Jeff McKerrell: In 1999, an orthopedist was needed based on two intensely hot Bone Scans. The persistence of the positive Scans was significant. But Dr. Yelland sent only one Scan report to Dr. McKerrell, and scrawled on the referral form, “Don't know whether to take this seriously.”
Physical Medicine Specialist Dr. Lila Rudachyk: In Sept/98 a painful complication named Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy developed post-surgery in my right foot. Few treatments are known, and this dearth of knowledge is world-wide (see medical textbooks). I requested a referral to a Physical Medicine Specialist, for such advice as was possible. Dr. Yelland “agreed” to make the referral, but during my weeks on the waiting list, he called the specialist to claim “You never find anything wrong with this patient.” When my appointment came due, I brought in to the specialist my Bone Scan reports plus the actual films showing the devastating extent of the disease. But the planted hostility was too much for me to overcome. Dr. Rudachyk said she “could perceive an adversarial dynamic,” and she refused her services.
Note that Dr. Yelland, above all, knew the condition of my foot, its severity, and its objective nature, since he himself had seen first-hand the swelling, discoloration, and other sequel. His own report listing these observations is attached.
It was Dr. Yelland who made the original referral for my bone biopsy, which led to this painful complication. Subsequently, on the one hand he offered palliative treatment, but on the other hand withheld any substantial care, and his motive may include guilt.
Rheumatologist Dr. Milton Baker: I had successfully consulted rheumatologist Dr. Milton Baker of Victoria, B.C. twice (in 1998 and 1999). Then when my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy onset, I requested another referral. But Dr. Yelland faxed only a minimal form; he failed to list the significant medical data acquired since my last consult; he refused to acknowledge that Dr. Baker's previous ideas had worked; and he failed to attach my Bone Scans, CT Scans, or other positive evidence. When I asked Dr. Yelland why his form was so minimal, he looked smug and said “I can't answer that.” Dr. Yelland then told me that if I wanted Dr. Baker to have this data, I would have to send it myself. I did so, but when I arrived in Victoria, Dr. Baker felt slighted that the information came from the patient, instead of the GP.
After my consult in Victoria, Dr. Baker sent a report filled with good technical ideas, but also expressing rage (the first of his reports to do so). When I asked Dr. Yelland about the unexpected vitriol, he smirked so broadly his face glowed; as he left the room he said with infinite smugness, “I know how much you valued your relationship with Dr. Baker.” This conversation occurred in January 2001.
Dr. Baker had offered many good ideas to modify the underlying disease process, as opposed to just palliating symptoms, but despite my repeat requests, Dr. Yelland refused to follow up. I was left doing 90% of the work myself, and this included studying research journals at the University of Saskatchewan Health Sciences Library.
This, plus the escalating emotional violence from Dr. Yelland, caused me to take steps to terminate my relationship with him.
Circa Jan/Feb 2001, an old medical letter was needed for reference, which I brought in to Dr. Yelland. This letter dated 1986 was written by Dr. Roy Chernoff, and presented my case in a particularly positive light. Note while the letter was old, Dr. Yelland's awareness of it was new. Within two weeks, Dr. Yelland gave abrupt notice to leave his current employ at the MediClinic on 8th Street, and announced plans to join the office of Dr. Chernoff on Pacific Avenue. Question: Did Dr. Yelland identify yet another good relationship I had, which he felt compelled to destroy? A copy of the letter is attached.
As a diplomatic step to end my relationship with Dr. Yelland, I asked the 8th-Street MediClinic if I could stay on while Dr. Yelland moved to Pacific Avenue. Initially, the MediClinic agreed, but after one conversation with Dr. Yelland, their manner abruptly changed. As a result, the MediClinic head Dr. Lacny refused to take my case, and in the appointment explaining this, I heard language which was lewd, jeering, an attack on my character, and which suggested I “liked” or “expected” to hear such sleaze. I ended in tears, and told Dr. Lacny he was forcing me (at least temporarily) to return to Dr. Yelland. Dr. Lacny said “Yes” (I don't know how to interpret this, except to say that Dr. Yelland himself arranged the continuance with him).
Dr. Lacny's letter of refusal was dated March 16, 2001, yet I didn't actually see him until March 21, 2001.
My health profile onset in 1984-1985. In the years since, whenever I needed to address the conduct of a doctor, I followed a logical series of steps: First, I discussed my concerns with the doctor in a booked appointment. If that failed, I wrote my concerns in a letter to the doctor; this is the step recommended by the governing body, the College of Physicians and Surgeons. If the issue was still unresolved, I then made a decision whether to file a formal complaint with the College, or simply leave the relationship and locate another physicians.
I reserved formal complaints for only the most serious incidents. This approach did incite resentment from the doctor, which rippled through the entire medical community. The most serious previous issues are summarized below (documentation is attached):
Rheumatologist Dr. Kenneth Blocka failed to exercise due care and attention in his referral of my case to the Mayo Clinic in 1986. In consequence, the superior resources of the Mayo Clinic were denied to me. Dr. Blocka reacted in a discreditable manner to these revelations. When his technical mistakes came to light, Dr. Blocka feared being held to account and issued such an emotional backlash affecting all my then-physician relationships, that I felt subjected to emotional rape, not just once but over and over again. I heard from my GP Dr. Chernoff and other specialists that “Doctors were very angry,” and that “Dr. Blocka was trying to find out all your sources of support” with the goal of “trying to turn them into sources of harassment,” as he was sure that “If you bash somebody long enough they will eventually break down.”
I took this to the authorities, and filed two affidavits in Queen's Bench Court (case Q.B. 514 of 1987). Dr. Blocka was required to sign an Undertaking with the force of a Restraining Order.
I could not proceed further with the case, as I contracted a paralytic muscle disease named Guillain-Barre Syndrome in 1989. Documented fact: My then-neurologist Dr. Peter Siemens withheld the standard treatment of Plasmapheresis, which may have shortened the course of the disease; this is the only known effective treatment. My neurologist's reason cited for not giving Plasmapheresis was “You wouldn't want to go to University Hospital” after filing my complaint against their physician Dr. Blocka.
The recovery from Guillain-Barre is a long road back, and would be so even with treatment. Since I was too ill to move to another city, I was left dealing with a medical community where emotional resentments lingered.
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.
On March 21, I asked Dr. Lacny and Dr. Walker at the MediClinic on 8th Street to keep me as a patient, when Yelland moved to Pacific Avenue. Doctors Lacny and Walker did speak language to me which was lewd, obscene, and an attack on my character. It is not these physicians I blame, because Dr. Yelland persuaded them that I “wanted” to hear such sleaze. The fact they believed I “liked to hear” sexual language was the reason they turned down my case. Since my medical case is complex, and finding a new physician is difficult, I was forced at great distress to return temporarily to Dr. Yelland.
Later note: GPs Dr. Andrew Lacny and Dr. Grace Walker worked alongside Dr. Yelland at the Saskatoon MediClinic. Police records revealed that Yelland, aside from his emotional violence, was embroiled at that time in an acrimonious financial dispute with the MediClinic head Dr. Lacny. On March 1, 2001 Yelland abruptly left his employ there and joined a practice on Pacific Avenue.
To treat the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in my foot, I requested physiotherapy. Because of my fatigue level, I asked for arrangements via Saskatoon District Health Community Services; they send the physio to the client's home, to save the client going out.
On May 18, 2001 while waiting in the waiting-room at Dr. Yelland's office for a pre-arranged appointment, I saw a group of 3 or 4 receptionists, secretaries, and/or nurses gather suddenly at the front desk, focus their attention directly at me, and speak tawdry commentary. This was so obscene that I exited the waiting-room and sat in the outer building lobby to wait for my appointment. I did not challenge the staff, as I knew from past experience that Dr. Yelland was the source: once again, he had used his power as my physician to persuade others that I “liked” or “expected” to hear sleaze.
I did think the cause might be an unfortunate spelling of one of my treatments, namely the biphosphonate used to increase bone mineral density for patients with osteoporosis. I placed a letter on file suggesting a constructive solution: that we just change the terminology. This letter dated May 24/01 is attached.
Later note: This is an example of how victims initially look inward to decipher the trigger of abuse. But no matter what you refine or alter in your public face, the abuse continues unabated. Very soon, one recognizes there is one wellspring: the perpetrator. He experiences his emotions so intensely that he cannot separate what he wants, from what other people want. In addition: Yelland may have been ingesting, and was almost certainly distributing, a drug such as Ecstasy which elevates the libido and decreases social inhibitions. The evidence is behavioral: Conduct from others that was out-of-character, hyper, carnal, accompanied by giddy laughter, of a well-defined duration (a few hours), after which things settled to quiet normalcy.
Within the next few days, I heard the same tawdry language from the pharmacy which filled my prescriptions, located across the lobby from Dr. Yelland's clinic. I placed my May 24/01 letter on file with this pharmacy. To my mind, Dr. Yelland had to be the source, since my own topics of conversation were pure science.
Dating from April 2001, superintendent Alexandria Schitka subjected me to repeat episodes of sexual harassment. This involved lewd, flamboyant poses and gestures whenever I needed to exit my home. Alexandria would stride out of the manager's office when she saw my scooter exit the elevator in the lobby; she would block my path, and behave as if she were a burlesque stage performer. Since I am sitting down, this occurs at my eye level. Alexandria persisted for a year, despite stunned and shocked looks on my face. In March 2002, after a particularly vulgar performance, I wrote my observations to the Human Rights Commission and sent a copy to my apartment manager (letters attached).
Note I am middle-aged, ill, very tired, in a wheelchair, and my entire focus is science. Frankly, it is far-fetched that a person such as myself should be subjected to repeated sexual harassment. Any reasonable person would agree. I suspect a single source, namely that Dr. Yelland once again persuaded others that I “wanted” to be related to in a sexual way. The GP Dr. Yelland was not only interfering with my medical relationships, he was interfering with my home as well.
The Laurier Drive Clinic was established for minor emergencies, not for continuing care. Nevertheless I attended at this Clinic between May 30/01 and Nov 22/01, as they understood my need for refuge away from Dr. Yelland. They accepted me on a temporary basis until I located a permanent physician.
The majority of my consults here were with Dr. Gene Jonat. He encouraged me in my medical care, and also provided advice about locating a permanent doctor. But in his list of potential choices, Dr. Jonat wrote at the top of the list the names of two doctors practicing in the Pacific Avenue Medical Building. This was at my final appointment on Nov 22/01. Judging from his demeanor, I suspect that Dr. Jonat was bowing to pressure from Dr. Yelland to get me back into the Pacific Avenue Building. I explained to Dr. Jonat that I could not return to Pacific Avenue, even to a different doctor in a different office, because of expectations of continued interference from Dr. Yelland.
In fact, I did more than explain. I fell apart; in tears and at length I described to Dr. Jonat my experience and my distress at being stalked by Dr. Yelland. I used the word “predator”: someone who cannot understand that No means No, but who thinks that No means Yes.
Dr. Jonat advised me that I should contact the authorities, namely the Saskatoon Police. He was right, but I felt that when a doctor was at fault, I would need iron-clad evidence, and I hoped that distance would solve the problem instead.
Dr. Jonat then wrote on his list the names of physicians on the east side of the city, and I chose the Cumberland Clinic, which is two miles distance from the city center (thus two miles distance from Pacific Avenue).
Georgena S. Sil
June 1, 2002
In June/01 with finality I made a decision to leave the clinic of Dr. Yelland. I then went to Laurier Drive clinic where I was accepted on a temporary basis and for refuge until I found a permanent physician. To provide a serious level of care (including prescriptions), Laurier Clinic needed to review my former medical chart. To meet the standard protocol, on August 26/01 I signed a Consent to Release Records. Laurier Clinic sent this release to Dr. Yelland, since he was my former physicians.
Dr. Yelland would certainly have recognized abruptly that my relationship with him was irrevocably ended. The record transfer should have been standardized and simple; normally, the former doctor loans the chart to the new clinic, who photocopies what they need, and who then return the original file. But Dr. Yelland set up hurdles meant to make this step impossible.
Dr. Yelland refused to lend the full chart, but offered only a two-page summary. The most significant part of the chart includes test results (such as Bone Scan and CT Scan reports, and lab tests), but Dr. Yelland stated that before copying these, I must pay a large amount of funds up front. He knew that 75% of the chart did comprise history records and textbook pages which I myself had brought in to his office and given to him. That is, he wanted to bill me for copying my own material back to me. Dr. Yelland further knew that his bill was beyond my financial means; I live on a small disability pension and his bill amounted to my entire month's food budget.
Dr. Yelland expressed all this in antagonistic letters to me dated August 28 and August 31, 2001. If I had not been able to overcome this hurdle to transferring records, I would have been forced to return to Pacific Avenue, to resume as his patient. Instead, I used a Canadian Freedom of Information request form to transfer my chart in orderly fashion to the Laurier Clinic.
One of my appointments with Dr. Yelland, on the date January 23/01, was the keystone in understanding his character:
During that appointment, Dr. Yelland was verbally violent: He bragged about destroying my relationship with my rheumatologist Dr. Baker; he blamed me for the fact that a specific medicine (Gabapentin) didn't cure my foot condition; and he spoke the unusual phrase “red flags” vehemently and repeatedly.
In fact, the phrase “red flags” had appeared that day, in the popular Ann Landers column, in a letter describing the abusive process. I didn't see the newspaper until the next day, but when I did I saw a column about possessiveness and the narrowing of the victim's world; isolation of the victim “raised special red flags.” I kept the column from that date. This was significant: the first time I realized that Dr. Yelland's destruction of my medical relationships was deliberate, and not random accident.
Georgena S. Sil
June 3, 2002
Dr. Yelland's wrathful repetition of the phrase “red flags” arose because he had been challenged earlier in the day by someone over the Ann Landers column. The traits described in the column – possessiveness and narrowing of the victim’s world – happened to be a close match to Yelland's own conduct. My educated guess is that one or more of his family members took him to task on the insights in that column. Yelland then lashed out at patients.
In 2000 Dr. Yelland eagerly handed me two research papers describing the off-label use of Gabapentin to treat neuropathic pain. Yelland was certain that this Rx would alleviate the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in my right foot. On his advice, I tried Gabapentin 3 separate times over a month, with this consistent result: Gabapentin did not improve my RSD pain at all, but did cause a side-effect of a constant, diffuse headache.
I stopped taking Gabapentin. On January 23/01 I explained the reasons to Yelland and advised I would not need a prescription refill. Yelland became waspish, acting as if the patient (the person) was at fault because the tissues of the foot did not normalize under the impact of Gabapentin. His anger made no sense until I researched a few facts:
The marketing tactics were symbiotic, offering profit to the doctor as well as to Pfizer Inc. In this context we understand Dr. Yelland's rage when Gabapentin (Neurontin) proved ineffective for my case of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy: When the written prescriptions ceased, Yelland's financial kickbacks from Pfizer ceased.
Tuum Est - It Is Up To You
How will you ever
straighten up this shape;
Give back the upward
looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music
and the dream.
The Man with the Hoe (1899)
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