Northern California doctor suspended for mocking patient

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A Northern California emergency room doctor has been suspended after cursing and mocking a man who said he had an anxiety attack. (WLS)

A Northern California emergency room doctor has been suspended after cursing and mocking a man who said he had an anxiety attack.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Dr. Beth Keegstra, a contract doctor with El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, was suspended after she was recorded on June 11 questioning whether 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell was sick or just looking for drugs.

Bardwell's father, Donald, said his son suffers anxiety attacks and takes the drug Klonopin. But the college student hadn't picked up a prescription for two days before suffering an attack and collapsing after basketball practice. He was transported by ambulance to El Camino's emergency room.

Bardwell's father, Donald Bardwell, recorded Keegstra scoffing when Samuel Bardwell said he couldn't inhale.

She replied, "You must be dead" and called him "the least sick of all the people who are here, who are dying."

Samuel Bardwell said he received this treatment after waiting three hours to see a doctor.

"There, you picked your head up. Now don't try and tell me you can't move. Sit up, sit up, Sit up, Sit up! I'm having you sit up!" Keegstra said in the video, as she yanked on Bardwell's arm.

Bardwell said he told her doctor parts of his body were numb, he was in pain, having trouble breathing.

"He can't inhale! Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don't understand, you are breathing just fine," Keegstra said in the video, laughing. "Do you want us to wheel you to your house in a gurney?"

Bardwell said when Keegstra arrived to examine him, she was accompanied by a security guard. He said that's when he asked his dad to start recording.

"I said, 'Hey Dad, can you please take out your phone? I need you to take out your phone now,' because I had a feeling something was going to happen," Bardwell said. "They just were not taking care of me from the beginning."

At another point in the video, as Keegstra used her stethoscope on Bardwell, she said, "No. You have changed your story every (expletive) time.

She then left the room, saying, "Put an IV in him, give him a liter fluid and we'll get him out of here. That's what he says he needs. He's obviously a doctor."

In a statement, the hospital told ABC News, "We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter... Our contracted provider for emergency services has been notified to permanently remove this physician from the list of approved physicians assigned to provide emergency care at our hospitals."

"In my mind, I don't think she should be practicing medicine at all. Because if it's not a race thing and she treats everybody that way, then that's a problem," Donald Bardwell said.

Keegstra couldn't be reached for comment Sunday.

ABC News contributed to this report.
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