A screenshot of the video of Dr Beth Keegstra in a standoff with patient Samuel Bardwell. Video taken by Donald Bardwell.
A screenshot of the video of Dr Beth Keegstra in a standoff with patient Samuel Bardwell. Video taken by Donald Bardwell. Facebook/Donald Bardwell

An American doctor has been fired from the hospital she was working from after a video of her in tense standoff with a patient has gone viral. Dr Beth Keegstra can be seen in the video mocking and berating 20-year-old Samuel Bardwell, who was suffering from an apparent severe anxiety attack.

Samuel was rushed to El Camino Hospital in Los Gatos, California, after suffering from a severe anxiety attack and passing out following his school’s first summer basketball workout on June 11. He said he was unable to get up, but the physician did not believe him, and instead accusing him of faking being sick.

“She never first came in and introduced herself,” Samuel’s father, Donald Bardwell, told SFGate. “She never said her name, she never asked for his name, she never really examined her.

According to Donald, his son has a history of anxiety attacks and takes Klonopin, a sedative that treats seizures, panic disorder and anxiety. However, on the days leading up to the anxiety attack, Samuel had not taken any Klonopin. When he took his son to the hospital, Keegstra accused them of coming in for drugs.

“She said, “I know why you people are here, you people who come here for drugs,’ and I said, ‘What do you mean you people?’” Donald said. “She was rambling on so angrily that’s why I pulled out my phone.”

Donald recorded Keegstra’s outburst using his mobile phone and posted it on Facebook, which now has over 4.5 million views. Samuel told ABC news’ ”Good Morning America” that he asked his father to videotape the confrontation after seeing Keegstra speaking to a security guard in the emergency room and eyeing him suspiciously. He said he had a feeling “something is gonna happen.”

In the video, Donald can be heard saying he saw his son “go in and out of consciousness.” But instead of checking up on his son, Keegstra replied that he was “completely alert and awake right now.” The doctor also claimed that Samuel was the “least sick of all the people who are here who are dying.”

Samuel’s face was out of the shot, but it appeared that he tried to lift his head up, which prompted Keegstra to tell him, “There, so you picked your head up. Now don’t try to tell me you can’t move.”

When he told her he couldn’t inhale and felt pain and numbness, Keegstra laughed at him. “Wow! He must be dead. Are you dead, sir? I don’t understand, you are breathing just fine.”

Keegstra also accused him of changing his story about why he was seeking treatment, telling him, “You’re full of s---!”

El Camino Hospital has since released a statement, denouncing Keegstra’s behaviour.

“This week, a patient who visited the emergency department at our Los Gatos campus had an interaction with a physician whose demeanour was unprofessional and not the standard we require of all who provide care through El Camino Hospital. We have expressed our sincere apologies and are working directly with the patient on this matter. Please know that we take this matter very seriously and the contracted physician has been removed from the work schedule, pending further investigation,” El Camino Hospital said in a statement.

A day later, the hospital added an update, saying it has notified its contracted provider to permanently remove Keegstra from the list of approved physicians at all its hospitals.

On his Facebook post, Donald attributed Keegstra’s behaviour as being racial in nature, saying, “This is how they treat black people in Los Gatos emergency room.” But even if it wasn’t a “race thing,” that would still be a problem, he said.

“In my mind, I don’t think she should be practicing medicine at all,” Donald told GMA.

Samuel said he has contacted a lawyer and is considering suing the hospital.