CALGARY – A B.C. woman wants to change the name of Calgary’s public hospital – and is asking the province to pay her legal fees.
A petition is now asking the province to make the hospital’s name Alberta’s Health Sciences Centre and remove the word “hospital.”
Molly Durning first met her husband, Keith, when he visited the Hospital for Sick Children at St. Paul’s Hospital in 2008 and she was in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“The doctor told me that they thought he might have leukaemia,” said Durning, who now lives in Calgary.
“It was heartbreaking for me to hear about how badly he had been treated. He was one of a lot of patients at the hospital who had been treated differently because of their race and the colour of their skin.”
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The couple began fighting to have the hospital change its name in 2010, but lost.
“We’ve had to keep fighting and fighting and fighting,” Durning said.
“It was the hardest I’ve ever been in my life … I’ve been on the verge of suicide and I’ve never felt so alone.”
Her husband was able to secure a court order to start the process to change the name to Health Sciences Centre, but the order was overturned on appeal and a court-ordered injunction is now preventing the change from taking place.
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The hospital will now use the name Alberta Health Sciences Centre.
“I think that I am still living my life today … I have never lived in agony like they did to us,” Durning said. “They were cruel and degrading and they hurt us all for so long with that name.”
The Alberta Human Rights Commission has launched an inquiry into how the hospital treats its patients.
“It is my hope that the inquiry into this complaint can shed more light on how this happened,” Alberta Human Rights Commissioner Sharon Blady told Global News.
“It is disturbing, it’s distressing and I want people to understand how horrific that had to be for Molly and Keith and how horrific they have been for their children.”
READ MORE: Alberta woman asks province to change hospital’s name
The Alberta Health Services Commission says the inquiry will not review any of the procedures
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