ER death: NS MLA warned of legal action over social media post


A Nova Scotia politician has been threatened with legal action after she publicly posted a letter containing information about a woman who died in hospital after seven hours waiting for a doctor.

Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, Independent member of Cumberland North, told reporters Monday that she was advised to remove a letter on her Facebook page that she wrote to Health Secretary Michelle Thompson.

In the letter, Smith-McCrossin names Allison Holthoff, 37, and describes her as the wife and mother of three children who died at Cumberland Regional Medical Center on December 31.

The Justice Department warned Smith-McCrossin in an email on January 6 that the government would consider “all available legal options” if personal health information continues to be disseminated online.

Smith-McCrossin declined to remove the post and said she was doing her job to campaign for voters.

Holthoff’s widower, Gunter Holthoff, told his wife’s story to several media outlets and provided specific details about her final hours in the hospital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 10, 2023.

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