Quadriplegic patient felt 'violated' by University of Michigan doctor
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- Previous story: Doctor at University of Michigan Hospital remains suspended as police investigate assault allegation
Lukequan Williams, who is a quadriplegic, said he felt "violated" last week when a doctor at University of Michigan Hospitals threatened to hurt him and shook his arm as he lay in a hospital bed.
Williams, 19, said the doctor was angry about what he perceived to be a threat Williams made to a nurse.
Because Williams was having difficulty breathing, he said he criticized the nurse for not suctioning the mucous out of his lungs more frequently.
Williams, who was paralyzed last year from the neck down after his cousin accidentally shot him in Ypsilanti Township, said he wants the doctor prosecuted.
"It's different if I had my arms and we could fight or something," Williams said Wednesday during an interview at his Romulus home after he was discharged from his latest stay at the Ann Arbor hospital.
"He was shaking it like I control you. That's what it meant to me. You think I can really do something to you? All I can do is talk."
University of Michigan police investigated the Feb. 29 assault allegation and turned their findings over Wednesday to Washtenaw County prosecutors, who will review the case for possible criminal charges, police spokeswoman Diane Brown said. Police said the doctor allegedly grabbed Williams' arm once during a heated argument.
The doctor’s clinical privileges remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case and the hospital's own investigation, said Kara Gavin, director of public relations for the U-M Health System. For now, the doctor can't see any patients at the health system.
The doctor declined comment Thursday. AnnArbor.com is not identifying him because he has not been charged with a crime.
Police have said they responded to Williams' room earlier that day after security reported that Williams threatened staff members with physical harm. Officers also were called Feb. 9 to investigate a similar allegation. In both cases, police found Williams didn't do anything illegal.
Williams said the doctor assaulted him a day after Williams was transferred out of the Intensive Care Unit to another area of the hospital.
Williams had been speaking with his parents on the phone, telling them he didn't feel safe because he was having difficulty breathing. Williams' mother, Luneshia Williams, said the doctor got on the phone and complained about the threats Williams had made. The doctor threatened to put her son in jail or have him kicked out of the hospital, she said. Then, Williams' parents said, the doctor threatened to hurt Williams. Luneshia Williams said her son pleaded with her to come to the hospital. The phone went dead. She called 911. Lukequan Williams said the doctor then got in his face, shook his left arm and again threatened to hurt him.
Luneshia Williams said the doctor called her later and apologized, but it wasn't sufficient. She is a nurse and said when she gets frustrated with a patient, she walks away.
"I've been spit on," she said. "I've been bitten and I've never reacted the way this doctor reacted."
She acknowledged that her son has refused care in the past and threatened to spit on people or bite them. He's still coming to grips with his injury, she said.
"He feels like a prisoner in his own body," she said. "I don't think I could deal with what he deals with every day."
Lukequan Williams was paralyzed early June 3 when his cousin, Jerome Dye, was playing with a handgun at a Harry Street home and it discharged, court records show. Williams was shot in the neck and his spine was damaged.
Dye, 23, later pleaded no contest in Washtenaw County Circuit Court to discharging a firearm resulting in injury, discharging a firearm in a building and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is serving a minimum of two years in prison.
Williams requires round-the-clock care and will be moving to a group home in Romulus in a couple of weeks. He takes numerous medications; his catheter has to be changed every few hours, and he must be repositioned every two hours. At times, he gets frustrated.
"Sometimes, I just wake up angry because of the situation I'm in," he said.
He has made some progress. In January, he learned to use his shoulder to raise his left arm and touch the back of his hand to his face. He said he'll be fine, but he doesn't think the doctor needs to see any more patients.
"He made me not trust anybody."
Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.
Commenting on this story has been temporarily closed.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.
May I suggest that when all the evidence is looked at that it will show that the Doctor did what he was supposed to do to help this patient, even if the patient may have thought otherwise. The Doctor had a lot of training for his job and should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.
So now we know he didn't shoot himself. There's definitely less reason, with the additional information, for him to be angry at himself than before. From the others, I conclude that Williams was frightened at the new difficulty in breathing; emotions can take over what one says or even thinks in such a condition. Someone suggested that the doctor tried to wake him up; I can see how shaking and yelling can be ways to wake someone up, if he really had been asleep, but I now I wonder if Williams was starting to pass out from his difficulty breathing. At least the doctor didn't do something that others in other situations do to wake people up: pour water in Williams' face. Nobody could defend a DOCTOR doing THAT to someone who was having enough trouble breathing in a DRY environment.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.
He would like the doctor to be prosecuted, but where is the evidence? Is there any? Right now all we have is a the doctor's words vs the patients'. This matter will be settled in court for a healthy sum. I think we all know that is where this is heading.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.
Gee, do you think?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.
There is not enough evidence in this case to justify punishing anyone, why are some people assuming the Dr is guilty without hearing the evidence and why is A2.com allowing this?
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 5:53 a.m.
@Pickforddick: You're all over the map. You first say the doctor was right and the doctor is brave thereby admitting your belief that the doctor did what he was accused of. You then say you don't believe the doctor did it, because it's he said, he said. And yet you fail to realize the doctor has not spoken. From the post above: "The doctor declined comment Thursday." You want to have it both ways -- back the doctors actions and then denying he did them.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.
If it is a he said she said I would go with the Doctor, wouldn't you?
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.
@Pickforddick: And yet you believe the doctor did what he's accused of. In two earlier comments you claimed that the "Doctor is right" and that the your "vote goes to the doctor for bravery". Since the doctor has not commented, you can only be referring to what the doctor is alleged to have done, which you apparently believe to be the case. So you should withhold judgement if you insiste that others do. In fact we should all withhold judgement and let the investigative process continue.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.
One would not know for sure unless one had been present....Correct?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.
This doctor will most likely be fired. No matter what the patient has done, especially a disabled one, the doctor cannot act the way he did. My girlfriend works at rehab center for brain trauma patients. Those patients frequently get violent and NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO, the staff can NEVER strike back. The staff can only restrain the patient while they take a beating. In the case from this story, it looks like the patient was the one taking a beating... because let's be realistic here, what could he have been doing that he needed to be restrained? Yelling? Spitting? Trying to bite? Give me a break.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.
Sounds like the Doctor requires a bit of sensitivity training when treating Quadriplegics. Besides, the odds are already stacked against Mr. Lukequan Williams: <a href="http://www.apparelyzed.com/articles/Life-Expectancy/life-expectancy.html" rel='nofollow'>http://www.apparelyzed.com/articles/Life-Expectancy/life-expectancy.html</a> Sad situation.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.
There is no excuse for the doctor who allegedly mistreated this patient. The doctors and staff of a hospital are in a position of power over a patient, especially a quadreplegic, who cannot move. If the allegations are correct, and this doctor did physically assault this patient, there should be consequences, as this should never ever happen, no matter what the circumstances. This doctor had other options. He could have insisted on a psychological evaluation, counseled or the patient could have been given drugs to help with his anxiety. The article did not say if other options were tried or considered. I am sure there are things about this case that we do not know about. But judging from the information in this article, I am personally disappointed by the doctors' choice of behavior toward this young man. He was in a position to know better.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.
The Doctor is right IMO
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.
The Doctor is right IMO
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.
May God have pity on him. No matter what he has done, imagine for a moment what it must be like to live as he does!
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.
It sad some of the comments made. One this person is learning to deal with a mistake in there lives that happened . They are learning to deal with no freedom, disabilities etc. Its all new but all everyone can say is he verbal abused a nurse. We were not there. I understand because maybe the nurse doesn't want to loose there jobs .Do you know the abuse us disabled people get.? No not unless your disabled. The unkindness, the glares the stares .Doctors making your records reflect otherwise if you try and ask a question .You are hopeless and helpless and at the mercy of these people . If this was you, your son, your mother, your father, your aunt your grandma it would be a different story. I think a psychologist if the nurse felt so threatened she of been called in.This is new to this young boy but he had no one accept a cell phone and his mother to protect him and his new found disabilities. Is this another outstanding Ann Arbor Citizen Doctor ? My point is it can happen to anyone of us minding your own business wrong place wrong time and bam your life forever changed because someone choose to drive drunk and hit you.You are robbed at a gas station and shot see my point let them do there jobs and then make your comments .Do you think we sleep at night , do you think we are any different then you guys with the use of your bodies.Stop violating this man further he has a long road emotionally, mentally and physically to deal with. So many disturbing sick comments and people clicking like comment remember this could be you. I pray for you young man in your long recovery.
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.
I agree that the Doctors actions were wrong (hopefully his actions were not exaggerated). Regardless of the patients situation, threatening any staff that is only trying to help you is inexcusable. A2Cents, you're under the impression that the customer is always right. Nursing staff routinely put up with abuse from patients and react accordingly knowing their past medical history. This young man was receiving around the clock care from staff and you decide to act upon the actions of the physician and make a generalized statement regarding the rest of his care. To recap, the Customer isn't always right, difficult patients are apart of the job but it does not mean the care provider has to put up with threats and abuse and kill them with kindness. That said, I wish the young man the best during a very difficult time. Hopefully with time and medical advancements he'll be able to regain some additional motor function and be able to live a more enjoyable life.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.
Thank you Lisa for your compassionate statements. Everyone should show compassion to others, especially those in the health care professions. It is part of their jobs. If they cannot be kind and compassionate to the patients then they need to find other work.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.
I honestly see both sides of this issue but I want to step back and talk about how we deal with things as a society. Not too long ago, these relatively minor altercations would have been handled internally and there would not be a need for criminal charges. Now, we call the police and expect "charges" in every day life for things we used to deal with one-on-one. Let's ask ourselves, is life better in 2012 when every minor or seemingly mundane issue involves police and courts? We as a society used to handle these issues w.o the police. I understand why things changed (mostly civil liability) but is this a good thing? And endless stories in the local media outlet only exacerbates the situation leading to more of the same and an endless cycle ensues. We have all played a role in how we got here but I want to ask everyone - do you like where we are?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.
Here is a idea: It's called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! Lukequan is responsible for his actions. He is an adult and is in a difficult situation but it is not ok to treat the people taking of you in the way he has treated hospital staff. The physician is a adult. He/she are responsible for their actions. A difficult patient or challenging family are no excuse to act unprofessionally. BOTH parties are equally to blame for this situation escalating to the point that it has. No one is completely right or wrong. Hopefully this is will be a learning experience for both parties. Hopefully both parties will move forward and learn that their actions have consequences.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.
I'm amazed how so many people continue to blame the hospital staff and how they need to be more professional. Was the Doc out of line? Yes. Was the Patient out of line? Yes. Regardless of his situation, threatening to bite/spit on staff is not excusable. How would he feel if another patient treated his mother that way? If anyone, he should be sympathetic towards nursing staff since I'm sure he knows first hand how lousy (and rewarding) the job can be. As for those who are inserting race into this situation, quit being absurd. The young man is alive because of the excellent staff and first responders being "professional".
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.
I agree, the Dr and Staff are right in My opinion.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:39 p.m.
I wonder if many of the commenters here would be so quick to condemn the patient if he was white, or say, an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran who had been paralyzed. I can only imagine that people in this kind of situation, no matter who they are, are going to get overwhelmed sometimes. My guess is threatening to spit on and bite people is par for the course in people as they progress through the psychological ramifications of such a traumatic injury and it is the job of the medical staff dealing with the patient to expect that and be ready to deal with it in a professional manner. Kind of like police officers.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:49 p.m.
Actually no, patients threatening to bite and spit on staff is not par for course. Most patients, while extremely frustrated at times, are appreciative towards staff for their continual care. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it and the more people introduce this as a wildcard, the harder it is to overcome. Boils down to a young man in a horrible position attempting to inflict misery onto others just trying to do their job.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3 p.m.
The perception I get from the article is this young man has not accepted the reality of what happened to him last year. Because of this, he's taking his anger, frustration out on anyone that comes in contact with him. Bad behavior is bad behavior. Doesn't matter if you're white, black, pink or purple, abled or disabled. Like it or not, anyone that allows a person to do so is also at fault for enabling the bad behavior. Whoever ends up being at fault should be penalized/punished/reprimanded.....
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.
Lee, "got in his face" is a colloquialism. You can use it within quotation marks if that's what your interviewee said, but it there may be a more grammatically correct way to say it as part of your reporter's voice!
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.
My vote goes to the doctor for bravery
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.
What is so brave about shaking someone who has no control over their body and is having trouble breathing?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 10:18 a.m.
I have Cerebral Palsy and I used to work at the hospital. I was proud of how the medical staff communicated with every one. Recently, when my Mother got sick and I escorted her to ER, I was disappointed with the level of communication. I don't know whether the staff is under more pressure but I do know that their communication skills have declined over the years. I'm sure this was a factor.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:59 a.m.
Honestly, I really feel for this kid and his family. I have worked in hospitals for years and I can attest to the fact that both physicians and nurses can be abusive to patients that they find "difficult". Yes their jobs are stressful, but that doesn't ever make it right to do some of the things they do. I have always found that the more helpless and anxious the patient, the more problematic they can be to work with. This is a very young man who is suddenly at the mercy of everyone for his every need.. At any moment they can refuse or withold treatment that could be life saving or at the least make their life more comfortable or pain free. It is a helpless and terrifying situation to be in as a patient. The doctor needs to be removed from this case for his protection and for the safety and well being of the patient. Quite frankly the doctor needs to be put on notice that this behavior is not tolerated at this hospital. Same goes for the nurses and other staff that deal with this patient. I don't care how obnoxious he is, the patient will not become better behaved by treating him this way. Give him the help he needs like some visits with a mental health professional so he can learn some good coping skills and grieve the loss of his life as he knew it. None of us would want to be this kid or go through what he is enduring. Hospital staff, especially doctors (who are still treated as gods, especially in the hospital setting) have no excuse whatsoever for their performance.......really shameful, not to mention a potential lawsuit. Go see the shrink yourself if you find yourself having trouble dealing with this patient.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.
Thank you Mary for a wonderful comment. I agree with you wholeheartedly. These so called "professionals" need to do be more aware of how they treat patients. Recently I was undergoing surgery and was told by a nurse that the anesthesia I would be receiving was the same that "Michael Jackson had", and as we all know it killed him. Not a good thing to say to a patient by any means...
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 4:37 p.m.
Doctors and nurses working with patients who have experiences such a traumatic experience have to realize that not everything is ok at the moment in their head. When they acknowledge that, they have to use their $250k head and contact a mental health expert to remedy the situation...not shake them.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.
pvitaly- So just because doctors and nurses get paid to do their job it is ok for their patients and families to abuse them and threaten them. Wasn't there just a story in the news about a shooting at a hospital in PA? <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-usa-shooting-pittsburgh-idUSBRE82718N20120309" rel='nofollow'>http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-usa-shooting-pittsburgh-idUSBRE82718N20120309</a>
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.
isn't that the PC thing to say?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.
Yes, mary. You said it all. It's incredible how so many of these people leaving comments make the hospital staff to be some higher power. They are doing their JOB that they get paid HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars to do. They are not voluntarily treating this patient.. and they never would unless they see that green. If I had just lost control of my body and was having trouble breathing.. I would flip out too. You can't imagine how helpless you can be. If someone starting shaking me while I am in this condition... I would definitely not be happy.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.
I disagree !!
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:17 a.m.
I don't care what a quad says after his or her accident, doctors and nurses are trained to handle these situation, or at least that's what they profess when asking for more money and hero status.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:07 a.m.
And nurses and doctors save lives.....but only if they deem them worthy?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.
TFT? I am so sorry to hear this. I had the reverse from UM. Great nurses and staff. Wish it could have gone a whole better way.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.
I totally agree. After the way my infant daughter was treated, not treated at all because her quality of life did not matter to them. I tell everyone to stay wayyyyy far away from the U of M. The doctors and nurses need to come down off their ego trips.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.
I feel very sad for this young man. We must also be reminded that doctors are human too, and the stresses in emergency care situations can be terrible. I am profoundly angry that once again, we're all going to be stuck paying for this man's long term care. Perhaps some day we'll considering taxing guns and ammunition at a level that recovers some of the staggering costs that they currently impose on all of us, both from carelessness and accidents and from intentional violence, but given the strength of the gun lobby I doubt this will happen any time soon.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.
somehow I doubt this was a legally owned firearm.....
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.
Can someone explain why this story, when first reported, indicated that the doctor had "hit" this patient? Shaking an arm is definitely not the same thing.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.
I thought about this story this morning. So if shaking an arm of a sleeping person is illegal, then can the shaking of an arm to wake someone be considered illegal? Just a thought.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:21 a.m.
Even A2.com loves to sensationalize once in awhile.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.
Also, it is not only medical professionals who need to be diplomatic and able to handle difficult situations in their job. However, an ER doctor is a profession in which those in it should expect to be confronted with others in physical and emotional distress often and be ready to handle it. What if the patient had been younger? Would people be making the same negative comments against them? I hope not. Would I have any confidence in this doctor dealing with an angry and bitter 10 year who was virtually helpless and at his mercy? NO
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.
This was not an ER doctor. He had been discharged from the ICU, so this would either be a hospitalist or a consultant.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.
It seems to me that he is in a state of psychological distress and understandably so. He was a victim of a gunshot wound, whether it was his gun or not, he did not shoot a gun or threaten a life. As a result he is completely reliant upon medical professionals, especially while he is a patient at the hospital in which the professionals have chosen to work. Yes, people who have gone through trauma can be difficult and hard to deal with. They are human. If a medical professional can't help them with that, instead of being angry and threatening they should leave and let somebody else more capable handle it. They should not be threatening to somebody who is completely reliant upon them and their collegues for life. They fact that the doctor intruded on a call to the patient's mother and that it ended with her being hung up on while he pleaded for help says something to me.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.
Looks like he (or someone did it for him) took down the picture of the handgun that he had on his fb page. 19 years old and possessing what appeared to be a 44. magnum revolver with at least a 6" barrel. Handguns are nothing to play with. Handing a loaded weapon around is just plain nuts! A loaded weapon is a dangerous weapon. If you are showing a weapon around, first thing to do is unload it and make personally sure it is SAFE! The only reason to carry a loaded weapon is if you are going to USE it!
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 4:32 p.m.
He may have taken the picture down, but I would not be surprised if there were many screen shots/downloads taken (not that it necessarily matters). Not sure when/if people will ever learn that once it's on the internet, things can still be out there, even if it is thought to be deleted.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.
I saw that picture but you are reading a lot into it. Why did you think he possessed it? There was nothing to say that. He didn't shoot himself.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.
So the mother is saying that the only threats her son has made towards the staff is biting and spitting? No other types of threats, yet security had been called twice? Is it typical to call security/police for spitting and biting? Story just seems not complete, but I imagine there will be more to come.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.
That makes complete sense to me. You have good points.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.
Thanks Ann, nice to have civil conversation on these comment boards, they can get pretty heated. I agree that an ER doc should be used to bad treatment w/patients (not necessarily right, but it comes with the territory) and should not have acted this way. I would just like to know if there were extenuating circumstances and also if this doctor has a history of bad behavior. I would hate to see a career ruined over this. just lots of unknowns.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.
But, only because as of 1 year ago it was not illegal for an estranged spouse to put keystroke spyware on the computer of the other spouse after the other spouse had fled out of fear for their life.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.
ViSHa, point taken. I can't disagree with that.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.
Until anti-stalking laws were created, stalking wasn't "illegal" either. (Not saying this went on here, just using it as an example that something can be threatening and still not be "illegal")
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:13 a.m.
" In both cases, police found Williams didn't do anything illegal."
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.
Yes, that is how they would operate up at the U. I worked there.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.
It was this boy's weapon that his cousin was playing with. Boys playing with a weapon as if it's a toy. This is what happens all too often when you do that. We've all made mistakes. it's unfortunate that he has to pay the heavy price for it. And I wish people would shut up about the taxpayer money thing. It's getting repetitive and dumb. You don't like the laws, vote in people who are going to change them. The people who've put these laws on the books in the first place are the one's who did what the people who voted them in asked. People ask for stiffer sentencing and take away a judge's ability to use latitude in his judgment; then the same folks gripe because their taxes go to pay for it. You cannot have it both ways. Of course, there are those that are all for using slave labor for convicts. Just like Communist China. Ironic. For this poor kid, it's a real tough road ahead; he's got to try to reclaim control over his body for a stupid mistake. For the rest of us, we should count our blessings and quit griping.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.
So the doctor apologized to Lukequan's mother but "that was not enough". No one was hurt, so what is enough? A $100,000? Oh wait.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.
If you read tigerr statement above? This whole story can get rather hinky, if you know what I mean.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.
There is nothing in this article that mentions whether or not hospital personnel witnessed this doc's alleged actions. But, knowing how the University and how it handles crime. I suspect there were witnesses, or the Powers that Be would not have suspended this doc for allegedly grabbing the man's arm. This must be some angry young man. I know I would be, if I were in his condition. It also sounds like the doc (if he DID grab this man's arm) needs anger management classes.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.
"A caregiver is guilty of vulnerable adult abuse in the first degree if the caregiver intentionally causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a vulnerable adult. Vulnerable adult abuse in the first degree is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both." A quadraplegic patient is clearly a vulnerable adult. The doctor threatened him with physical harm because he had complained about his care. It seems to me that this qualifies as abuse of a vulnerable adult. I have taken care of a lot of head injury patients and I will guarantee you that the first thing they say when they wake up will be laced with 4 letter words. Doctors and nurses are trained to understand the many phases of grief, one of which is anger. We should all be able to handle that without resorting to physical threats. In extreme cases, patients can be transferred to other facilities or they can sign out against medical advice. The patient had recently been changed from suctioning every two hours to every six hours and he was having difficulty with the change. Imagine yourself paralyzed and without any control over your medical care being told that you need to follow the doctors orders even if you feel like you are drowning in your own secretions. If he gets frustrated and lashes out and the nurse is not allowed to change his orders, call the doctor and let him speak to someone who has the control. The point is that this is not that unusual a situation in an acute trauma hospital. There is just no cause to resort to physical threats.
West Side Mom
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.
"A quadraplegic patient is clearly a vulnerable adult. The doctor threatened him with physical harm because he had complained about his care. It seems to me that this qualifies as abuse of a vulnerable adult." Except that there is no evidence of "serious physical harm" or "serious mental harm".
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.
So tell me, When is it ok for a Doctor to Threaten to HURT a parapalegic to his parents. When will you consider it appropriate for a Doctor to threaten to hurt YOUR old mother/fater, young daughter/son...I mean, when is it OK to do this? When is it ok to threaten to hurt someone that has ZERO ability to defend themselves? If your answer is not NEVER, YOU are the one with serious issues. ... ... ... in my humble opinion.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 11:10 p.m.
Answer is it isn't. When is it appropriate to threaten your doctor or nurse? Same answer. A lot of people here are just playing the stupid blame game, as usual.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.
Too many loop holes in this story!! Sounds like a perfect get rich quick scheme to me.... Just saying!!
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.
Exactly my thoughts...both of you. Sad...
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 9:50 a.m.
He should sue his cousin, but we all know the U has much deeper pockets
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.
The Doctor had no business getting angry to the point of actually shaking this man's arm and yelling at him. As Ms. Williams said, he should have been professional and just left the room. I would suspect that he was throwing his weight around a bit for the benefit of the staff. There are few sensations as horrible as not being able to breath, ask a severe asthmatic, it would cause panic in anyone. Doctors and nurses are not saints but they must be able to be professional and understand their patient's needs. Being 19 and paralyzed, no matter from what, is one of the real tragedies in this world. Don't be so quick to judge.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.
jc...and so you just automatically, in blind faith, accept the mother's word for it that the doctor called her to apologize for supposedly assaulting her son? Really? If so I hope you are also just as willing, and in more blind faith will accept that the doctor might have done nothing of the sort, especially in light of an interview the mother did with channel 7 the other day where she herself stated that she wan't even there when the supposed assault occurred. She was at home in Detroit. So in reality she doesn't even know what did or did not happen.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.
@justcurious - Please replace the word "actually" with "allegedly".
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:39 a.m.
jns131, that's a stretch and you know it. Would the Doctor apologize for that?
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.
But, did the doctor shake his arm to awaken the patient because he was having troubles breathing? Isn't this what nurses and doctors do to figure out what is going on? This whole story needs to be re evaluated.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.
Playing with a handgun?????????????What kind of home life do these people have? I sure hope the doctor is continuing to receive his pay. I bet a big money settlement is what this family is after!
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.
Show some respect Mr. Williams, and respect will be shown in return.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.
I agree with Richard, it seems a little dirty how everyone is blaming the patient here and saying that he shouldn't have made threats. Obviously he shouldn't have, but lets get the facts straight, this man is only 19 and has lost the use of his body. I am pretty sure anyone especially this young is prone to having anger issues because of the state they are in. Doctors and Nurses are professional trained to deal with this sort of grief period. Nurses are threatened and talked to all the time this way, its just the nature of either dying or being severely wounded. My sister is a nurse in the cardiac unit at U of M and I hear stuff like this all the time.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.
Of course its not right, but these people are going through something no one can imagine. Whether your dying or going through a major injury, its normal for people to have this type of anger issues.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.
Just because it happens all the time, it doesnt make it right!
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.
I agree. I honestly think that a lot of the blaming here is because of the victim's race and economic status. Blaming him fits nicely into prejudiced stereotypes.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.
How absolutely ridiculous and what an incredible waste of valuable resources investigating this not to mention the suspension and loss of a qualified doctor in the area.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.
nice race baiting there killa. If you were to investigate a little deeper you might find some facts instead of jumping to conclusions that you have no evidence to base it upon. look at Lukequan Williams' facebook page and judge for yourself by his own words. Besides that, you appear to be saying that the doctor is a rich, white guy. How do you know that, I might ask? What info are you referencing that none of us here seem to have at our fingertips? Or are you just assuming, which in itself is bigoted. i've been to U of M hospital and they have doctors and nurses of many different colors, races & cultures. Your statement, on the face of it is appalling. You choose to attack Tesla as a bigot and appear to be something of a bigot yourself. Please clarify your position and your information so that we may understand better just what you are saying and what you base your conclusions on.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.
rosewater, why do you say Ms. Williams is not licensed? According to the State of Michigan, she has an active LPN license. Just curious what your intent is.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:27 p.m.
nice jump there. Fortunately someone a little more thorough did find her listed. Otherwise you jumping the gun with wild accusations could be construed as defamation. And yes, what about all the people that just jumped to support your statement without even being aware if it were true or not. nice.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.
I stand corrected, first look up didn't show her listed
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.
But it's okay to threaten the hospital staff without ramifications? Threatening to bite or spit on someone, but then expecting them to get near enough to provide suction. It's awful that this guy lost so much, but that does not give him a pass to treat others poorly.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.
Lukequan says "...all I can do is talk." Well that's not completely true. He can spit at or bite people which his own mother states he has threatened to do. That would make me a little hesitant about going near someones face with a suction-tube to suction out a tracheostomy which is what Lukequan says he was upset about a nurse not doing as much as he though they should be. HIs mother also stated that she has been bitten and spit on and has had to walk away from patients when she has gotten frustrated but I can't help but that think that if staff had walked away from Lukequan due to his threats we would all be reading an article about how a quadriplegic patient was abandoned. I don't think it's okay for medical staff to put there hands on a patient in anger but I also think that Lukequan needs to take some responsibility here.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.
ok this is the second article written in this blog that reads more like a old-style hatchet job in the national equirer rather than some sort of reporting of events. what are you folks trying to achieve with this stuff?
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.
just curious - this does not add factually to the reporting done earlier and like the article about Judge Morris it fails to provide anything more than a poor poor pitiful me/us perspective. Its a terrible situation no question on all sides but this kind of reporting does nobody any good and doesn't 'clarify' anything.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.
I see it as clarifying a situation that was previously reported on without all of the facts. What is the harm of learning more about what happened?
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.
I suspect that most people, including the people criticizing Williams, would think differently if they were paralyzed and were having trouble breathing.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.
I suspect that there are a lot of paralyzed individuals out there right now saying that it's normal to feel angry in this situation but Lukequans behavior is not okay and threatening to bite the people that need to go near your face to help you when you with your breathing is not a good idea.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.
I suspect most people with the exception of Mr. Williams and his mother would apologize for freaking out on the staff and thank them for their intense care.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.
Sounds like UM security should have done more to monitor this young man, after he threatended staff members. Just saying he did "nothing illegal" is not enough. Did they send in a sitter to stay with him to help the staff? Did they call in Social Work or a Psychologist to help him through his transition? Hospital staff should not have to take verbal or physical abuse from patients, and if a patient is acting hostile or aggressive, there needs to be much more support for the staff. My guess is that the doctor had just had heard one too many harsh words from this man, and there was no one helping out with this patient's anger at his situation that day. Tough situation all the way around, but I think the family is taking it way too far. they need to deal with this young man's future, rather than speaking with lawyers. Where's the patient's apology for his anger and alleged threats towards staff?
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.
So this whole bru-ha-ha is over shaking the guys arm? Wow. Just....wow.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 8:15 a.m.
Yes, this is about a medical professional losing control and possibly committing an assault on an invalid. For goodness sake, that's like shaking a puppy just because it snarled or grabbing a 3 yr old and shaking her arm because she answered back. If a pediatrician did that to your kid would you let it sit? This young man can swear, threaten to spit, or whatever, but that's all he can do. If you are a professional medical caregiver you need to check ego and arrogance and deal with it. The practice of medicine means you have to learn to deal with people. Not that people have to come and learn to deal with you.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 12:14 a.m.
No, this is about a so-called professional allegedly threatening someone who could not fight back.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 10:11 p.m.
If you are totally immobilized, you live with fear constantly. I had a young friend as a child who was a quadriplegic due to polio. Some days it was impossible to be around her...She had continual tantrums and nightmares about someone hurting her. I understand. She felt totally helpless. Having to depend on someone for your every need has got to make you feel helpless and angry.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.
"Lukequan Williams was paralyzed early June 3 when his cousin, Jerome Dye, was playing with a handgun at a Harry Street home and it discharged, court records show. Williams was shot in the neck and his spine was damaged. Dye, 23, later pleaded no contest in Washtenaw County Circuit Court to discharging a firearm resulting in injury, discharging a firearm in a building and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is serving a minimum of two years in prison." Seems to me like his cousin should have been sentenced to taking care of young Mr. Williams instead of being put in a cage on the taxpayer dime. More wasted money on a sentence that helps no one.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.
Sounds like a good idea but afraid in the long run the taxpayers end up supporting both of them no matter what happens.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.
Sounds like if this guy has a beef it should be with his cousin who shot him and not the people there to help him. Has he apologized for his actions? Why should the nurses and doctors be subjected to his threats and awful behavior? He should be thanking them every moment while in their care.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 2:07 p.m.
oh but it's family that did it so they get the pass and the doctors and the nurses have to take the crap.This is our Upside Down World.
Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.
@RG...It would appear your definition of victim and mine varies somewhat. He certainly can complain but he has no right to threaten or verbally abuse caregivers.
Thu, Mar 8, 2012 : 11:49 p.m.
The man was a victim of a shooting. Why should that deprive him the right to complain about the inability to breathe and the quality of his treatment? Why should he be a victim twice?