The Toronto-area hospital that suspended a doctor after he received threats for his pro-Palestinian social media posts says it did so for his and the hospital’s safety and that it is working on a plan for his return to work.
About two weeks ago, Dr. Ben Thomson, a nephrologist at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital was suspended for one month after he and the hospital were threatened over his pro-Palestinian comments on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
At the time, the hospital denied he was suspended because of his views but did not answer questions about the reason.
Mackenzie Health said in a statement Thursday it was an “unprecedented, temporary measure … to allow us to fully assess and address the real safety and security threats.”
The hospital said it’s working with Thomson, York Regional Police and “independent third-party security experts” to ensure his safe return to work.
The statement also includes one from Thomson, in which he said one post in particular was an attempt at correcting what he viewed as misinformation and to “oppose language that was dehumanizing to Palestinians.”
“That post was then retweeted and subsequently threats of violence were made against me and my colleagues at Mackenzie Health,” Thomson wrote. “I did not intend for these consequences when I posted on social media. I acknowledge the harm that was caused. These threats against me and Mackenzie Health are unacceptable.”
Thomson’s suspension followed a number of complaints about his social media posts from colleagues who disagreed with him, according to several doctors at the hospital.
One threat was called in to the hospital. In an audio recording, heard by CBC News, the caller names Thomson, demands he remove a post about Israel, and tells him and his colleagues to “stay out” of their office if he didn’t.
His home address was also posted online along with further threats, forcing him and his family to stay elsewhere indefinitely.
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