doris grinspun

Head of Registered Ontario Nurses' Association under fire for tweet about laxatives

In a stunning example of how all of us would be prudent to tread extremely carefully on social media — especially older generations that didn't grow up with it and are thus perhaps unaware of its power — the CEO of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario is getting cancelled over a tweet about laxatives.

When asked on September 17 about what people should do if they have an anti-vax neighbour, Doris Grinspun joked that she would "bring them one of my yummy Empanadas and put a strong dose of Dulcolax in!," linking to a WebMD page on the laxative drug for those who may not be familiar with it.

Unfortunately for Grinspun, the quip did not go over well, with many calling the comment "disturbing," "appalling" and even demanding  her resignation.

"Wow. Just wow. And YOU'RE A DOCTOR? No one in their right mind ever jokes about tampering with food. All medicines have the potential to cause serious harm & even death. Perhaps it's time you retire. You're dangerous," one person responded.

"Your comment incites hate and divisiveness instead of cooperation and understanding. You do not deserve to hold your position. You should resign," another added.

And still another: "This is deeply disturbing. You advocate for drugging people as a joke. Completely unprofessional and should retract your statement. Do better!"

The majority of the hundreds of replies and quote tweets appear to be negative, though Grinspun, a frequent tweeter and retweeter, has yet to remove the post.

She did, however, issue an apology shortly after the backlash began, admitting that her joke was in poor taste.

"It was meant to call your attention and now that I have it, let's talk. Please know that I care for you deeply and am afraid some of you may end up hospitalized and perhaps even in ICU PLEASE #GetVaxxed URGENTLY," she wrote to her 18.2k followers on Twitter.

The RNAO recently released a scathing statement against anti-vax protests outside hospitals, saying that nurses condemn such demonstrations "in the strongest possible terms."

"Health workers in those facilities, patients in need of care services and the families accompanying them all have enough stress already. They don't need hostile people calling to ignore health advice and scientific knowledge, shouting misinformation and yelling obscenities," the release from early last month reads.

"This appalling behaviour has no place in our society at any time and especially not in the midst of a pandemic that has claimed the lives of 9,545 people in Ontario."

As reported by the Sun on Wednesday, Grinspun is now being investigated by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO), which was tagged numerous times in the Twitter snafu.

Now to make sure my own Boomer parents watch their mouths on socials.

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