Wicca patient called devil worshiper by staffer at doctor's office

- A woman says a routine visit to the doctor turned into a personal attack by a staffer as she was shocked by the response - when asked about her religion.

"It was not an appropriate thing especially at a doctor's office when you go to get care and I was not even sure how my religion was relevant," said Dana Hernandez.

Hernandez went to see her physician, Dr. Ghassan Atto in Allen Park. Like always the receptionist asked for her updated insurance information but for the first time she says the woman followed up with "What is your religion?"

"I didn't even get that far," she said. "That's when I looked down on the desk and saw the piece of paper that had what was written on it."

The yellow piece of paper Dana wrote her and her husband's insurance numbers on now had something else written on it - “Devil worshippers."

"It said devil worshippers and I was shocked," she said. "While that may be the religion of some people and I'm not being disrespectful of that, that's a sore misrepresentation of who I am as a Wiccan of my values."

Dana is Wicca - an earth centered religion. She believes one of the receptionists noticed her earrings which are pentagrams - associated with the five key elements they worship earth, water, fire, air and spirit. Not Satan.

"It has a very negative connotation and whether it is deserved or not nothing against anyone else," she said. "But that is not who I am."

"I just wanted answers, I wanted to know what the intent was," Hugo, her husband said. "Why they felt they could pass judgment on us when freedom of religion is one of the bases of this country."

Her husband Hugo happens to be Catholic. The couple was upset about how they were treated and wanted to speak to the doctor directly - but claim Dr. Atto ignored their concerns, acting like it didn't even happen.

"It could have really been resolved in the moment," Dana said. "I would have really liked to see the doctor take control of his office and say we can't do this this is wrong."

FOX 2 spoke to the office manager Elanora Clark, who told us by phone there was a thorough investigation. She said they discovered an employee violated their policy and was immediately terminated.

"I feel bad for the woman who was fired we don't wish ill will toward anybody very accepting," Hugo said.

"The world needs so much healing and the last thing we need to do is to turn against each other when we should be educating people," Dana said.
 

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