Man sues GW Hospital for terminating care, accusing him of romantic advances

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A former patient of the GW Hospital is claiming that officials should not have terminated his care because of his romantic pursuit of his doctor.

A man is suing the GW Hospital, a Medical Faculty Associates doctor and a Medical Faculty Associates member alleging that a hospital doctor falsely accused him of trying to initiate a romantic relationship.

In a two-page report filed in the D.C. Superior Court Monday, Ossama Elshbarbassi said the GW Hospital wrongfully denied him treatment after he asked his doctor to dinner and attempted to give her a gift. Elshbarbassi is representing himself and requesting $500,000, claiming that the hospital wrongfully terminated his treatment and falsely accused him of trying to initiate a romantic relationship with his doctor.

Elshbarbassi, 72, claims in a hand-written complaint that he thought Maram Alkhatib, a primary-care doctor, was making romantic advances toward him during an appointment. The lawsuit states Elshbarassi met Alkhatib on an undisclosed day for an appointment, during which she placed her finger in his rectum to check why his stool was bloody.

The complaint states that Alkhatib shook Elshbarbassi’s hand with both of her hands at his next appointment. Elshbarbassi said in the complaint he thought Alkhatib was trying to get his attention because she spread her legs “more than normal” during the rest of the appointment, allowing him to see her “private part.”

“On the next appointment with Dr. Alkhatib when I entered her office and I checked her hand to say hello and she put her left hand too on my right hand I felt her warm feelings,” the complaint states.

Elshbarbassi sent Alkhatib two letters inviting her to dinner and left her a gift at the front desk of the GW Hospital after the second appointment, the complaint states.

He said in the complaint that he received a termination of care letter on Oct. 2 that falsely accused him of sending “inappropriate” letters to Alkhatib.

The lawsuit includes a photo of Alkhatib and a letter from the Medical Faculty Associates barring Elshbarassi from receiving further treatment at the hospital.

“On Sept. 26, you sent a letter to the doctor that was romantic in tone including sexual innuendo that made her feel extremely uncomfortable,” the letter states. “The very next day on Sept. 27, you disregarded our directives and showed up at the doctor’s office to deliver a personal gift.”

A conversation about any issues a provider or patient might have with each other must be held between the two parties, and at least two warnings should be given to the patient prior to care termination, according to MFA risk management policy. Both the conversation and the two warnings must be documented, the policy states.

Elshbabrassi declined to comment. GW Hospital spokeswoman Susan Griffiths did not return a request for comment.

Emma Elms, the patient representative who sent the letter notifying Elshbarassi that his treatment will be terminated, did not return a request for comment. MFA spokeswoman Barbara Porter declined to comment, citing an MFA policy not to comment on pending litigation.

The case is scheduled for an initial scheduling conference on Feb. 7, according to court records.

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