Kiwi Maria (kiwiria) wrote in bad_service,
Kiwi Maria

Service dog? I don't believe you! Get that pet out of here!

A friend of mine had a really atrocious experience earlier today at the doctor's office where they more or less refused to see her as long as her service dog was with her. She's wheelchair-bound and recently had that service dog prescribed. She's understandably pretty furious about that, and wants to make her experience known in a way that will hopefully make a difference. I offered to post here, as you guys have been great with coming up with suggestions in the past, and I thought hopefully you'd have some good ideas for her.

Here's a portion of the letter she originally drafted to the doctor's office about it.

I visited your office today for a scheduled appointment regarding neurological issues. I have utilized your practice for several months. Today I had with me my Service Dog, Tassie, who has been prescribed to me by another physician and needs to stay with me at all times. Tassie, a toy poodle, was well-behaved and quiet while in your office, falling asleep in my lap while we were in the waiting room. At all times she wore a vest with a large "Service Dog" patch clearly displayed.

I was publicly and loudly asked by a staff member from across the waiting room if Tassie was "a seeing-eye dog." At that time I identified her as a service dog. I was then asked to leave the waiting room as "the dog was causing patient concerns." I complied, moving to the office area of the practice. I was then informed that my "pet" could not be in the office. I again identified her as a service dog, not a pet, and stressed that she could only do her job if she was with me. I was asked how long I have had her and was informed that keeping my "pet" with me was a violation of both OSHA and HIPAA and that my aide would have to remove her from the building. Again I identified her as a service dog and stated that under ADA she could not be legally denied access. Again I was told I was creating an OSHA violation, andagain I refused to remove her without cause. At that point Dr B informed me a staff member had a "dog allergy." My aide removed Tassie from the building out of consideration for the allergy sufferer. This left me without the assistance services of both my prescribed service animal and my human aide in dealing with this medical appointment and the high level of stress created by the staff.

Throughout this process, the office staff acted in a manner that was hostile, accusatory and argumentative. The language used by the staff was threatening, stating I was creating a problem for them with legal ramifications. I was told I was violating two federal laws (OSHA and HIPPA) by the presence of my service animal. I was publicly addressed about this in a crowded waiting room, creating a great deal of emotional distress and embarrassment for both myself and my aide. There was a strong implication that I would be denied medical care if my service dog was not removed.
Tags: *bad policy, *medical/pharmacy, baaaaaaad service, bad directions, bedside manners, bloody hell, business breaking the rules, confidentiality issues, first do no harm?, fyi: tags =/= wank, helpful comments, tagger tags with love
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