Whistleblower sues hospital for trying to have her locked up as a mental case

 December 12, 2023

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A former employee of a hospital in Newcastle, Wyoming, is charging that the institution's officials tried to have her involuntarily committed as a mental patient after she had raised questions about the ethics – and legality – of some of their actions.

A report in the Cowboy State Daily confirms a lawsuit has been filed by Amanda McDade against Weston County Health Services in federal court.

"She accuses the hospital of retaliating for voicing her concerns, of threatening to have her involuntarily committed as if she were mentally ill, of causing her anxiety, and of forcing her to resign," the report explained.

McDade, a human services employee, worked for the corporation for several years.

Her lawsuit charges, "The defendant is a governmental entity under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. Certainly, the government cannot threaten to strip us of our civil liberty and freedom when their illegality and ethics are called out through the proper process. To silence the voice of those who speak against you and threaten to place them in an involuntary mental health hold, as a government employer, is nothing that should ever occur in the free United States of America."

The hospital didn't respond to the publication's requests for comment.

Her responsibilities included, among other things, employee records, payroll, timekeeping, and operations documentation.

The report said the filing charges, "During her employment, the plaintiff raised concerns of money mismanagement, illegality, and ethics through the proper chain of command. Instead of this being remedied, the plaintiff was retaliated against and subjected to a hostile work environment."

The document alleges the hospital officials asked her to change records to "cover-up," but she did not, as she considered the instructions "unethical and likely illegal," the report documents.

Then, abruptly, she found officials were trying to have her involuntarily committed as a mental patient.

The news came when a nurse called McDade to set up a meeting with McDade's physician, Dr. Sara Thurgood.

"McDade was puzzled, as she hadn’t made an appointment and had no medication concerns, the complaint states.

When Thurgood arrived, she informed McDade that hospital officials were concerned she was "almost manic," although the doctor agreed McDade didn't give that appearance.

"My biggest concern here is that they are talking about potentially, uhh, I hope that it’s OK I’m telling you this, they’re talking about potentially involuntary commitment," Thurgood told her.

She said she wouldn't commit McDade herself.

McDade told the doctor she was "in terror and shock," and left the hospital, the report said.

"She legitimately expected the cops to meet her at the door with a straight jacket to see their malicious plan through," the complaint charges.

She later emailed a resignation.

Thurgood told the Cowboy State Daily she was a pawn in the scheme and didn't know what money mismanagement concerns McDade had raised, but hospital officials had asked for her to pursue a commitment to McDade.

"I felt extremely uncomfortable by what I was asked to do. They wanted me to declare her either a danger to herself or other people – that’s what you have to do to Title 25 someone. I did not see that in her," the doctor said.

The legal action seeks damages including pay and lost benefits, compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages to be determined at trial.

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