The Lifelabs Fiasco

By Þórólfur Björnsson

On March 15, 2016, a bearded Norseman confidently walked into a Lifelabs blood testing center in Sooke, British Columbia, Canada, with a requisition for blood testing for malaria. The man has a very high fever and is clearly in medical distress.

Upon being greeted in a forced joyful way by a female employee with no name tag, the Norseman calmly but firmly stated that before they are to proceed any further, she has to understand two points: first, she has to get his name right, and second, he would not tolerate any further abuse. According to records, the exchange took 13 seconds.

For context, we first need to understand here that the very same female employee had spelled his Norse name incorrectly the day prior, thereby preventing the release of the test results to him and his doctors. Again. When advised of the issue by phone, the same female employee had denied the facts, had become abusive, agitated, and had hung up on him. Additionally, It was not the first time Lifelabs had misspelled his name, leading to major medical complications two years earlier, at a cost of over 1.6 million Norwegian Krone to European taxpayers.  In addition, to add insult to injury, the female employee had threatened to purposefully hurt him with the testing needle the day prior if he was to further insist to have the spelling of his Norse name corrected.

Anyway, at this point, the female employee’s mood dramatically changed. She becomes hysterical, jumps on her feet so forcefully that our Norseman thinks she is about to physically attack him, and she rushes to get to her panic button. She holds the panic button up like a DAESCH terrorist would hold a suicide vest detonator. She threatens to press the (red) button if he doesn’t leave immediately, screaming that she will not provide service to him because... He is being rude.

Our Norseman does not move, and calmly states that time is of the essence for the testing of his blood. He further specifies that if she indeed wants him to leave there will be legal implications, and he asks as a result that she identify herself. The female employee refuses to even provide her first name, and her screaming intensifies. Our Norseman therefore decides to disengage and to walk away. 

Records show that 3 minutes and 17 seconds passed between the time our Norseman entered the lab and left it.

In Norway, the female employee would have obviously been arrested for denying medical service to a patient. A crime under our laws, as well as the laws of any European country. She would also have been criminally charged. Her employer, Lifelabs, would have been heavily fined and penalized by the health authority for failing to screen out mentally unstable and prejudiced employees. 

But this is Canada. The land of male oppression, female victimization, safe spaces, and regressive liberalism. And our Norseman committed the most grievous crime of all: He is a male. He is white. He is Norse. He is intact.

The female employee, actually named Lorna Tessier (her name was eventually released by Lifelabs following legal action), immediately claimed victimization. The big, bearded, aggressive nasty Norseman had abused her. He even, the horror, had backed his truck into a parking spot in front of the lab... In her own words “an aggressive tactic that had left her intimidated” (and most certainly scarred for life).  

Within 18 hours, all Lifelabs locations Canada-wide were informed that our Norseman “was a very aggressive patient and that (they) were to contact the police if (they) were to see him again in another lifelabs as he had made some employees very uncomfortable and feel unsafe”.

In another sick twist, a Lifelabs Vice President, Michael McTeague, however advised our Norseman that he was sorry for the incident and he was welcome at any Lifelabs location... Solely for the satisfaction to have him removed by a SWAT Team at a Victoria location... No matter how hard Lifelabs and its victimized female work force tried, though, our Norseman was never charged or even detained.

Without being able to get medical care, as Lifelabs has a monopoly in British Columbia, our Norseman eventually collapsed and was rushed to Emergency at a hospital 60km away. He was treated for septic shock before deciding to fly back to Europe to get treatment.

Several lawsuits are in progress against Lifelabs and Lorna Tessier is facing criminal charges in Europe. The President and CEO of Lifelabs, Sue Paish, a woman, did not respond to our request for comments. 

Þórólfur Björnsson

Reykjavik, Iceland