How to convince people you’re NOT a jerk

Back when Maddy was dying of cancer, she wrote in her blog an account of an encounter with a surgeon at Thomas Jefferson University, in which she said that in her opinion, the surgeon was a jerk. Before she died, somebody claiming to NOT be the doctor in question, but connecting from an IP in Philadelphia, wrote a comment saying that her account was slanderous and that the doctor has “every legal right to take legal action to expunge his record”. Several people, including lawyers, wrote pointing out that Maddy’s impressions and opinions of the actions of this guy are NOT legally actionable, and suing a dying cancer patient is not a great way to prove to people that you’re NOT a jerk.

Well, I guess the doctor wasn’t going to be discouraged by little things like freedom of expression or how much of a jerk you have to be to legally harrass people into not calling you a jerk, so now, two days after I get back from helping to bury Maddy, I get an email from Stacey Meadows, the General Counsel of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Evidently because Maddy’s blog is on my site, she is under the mistaken impression that I’m some sort of “moderator”. She’s demanding that I remove the post and the responses to it. I responded that I’m not a “moderator” of the site, Maddy wrote what she wanted on that site without my endorsement or approval, and that she should try serving papers on Maddy’s grave.

I’m sure she won’t let this go, so I guess it’s time to see if those lawyers who told Maddy that it wasn’t actionable are available.