Paramedic wins $90K lawsuit after being fired for performing Reiki
Michael Senisch, a certified Reiki practitioner, performed the Japanese healing technique during a call
BY EMS1 Staff
ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. — An Atlantic County paramedic won a lawsuit against his former employer after he was fired for performing a holistic treatment after the patient refused conventional treatment.
In February 2016, former Paramedic Michael Senisch was terminated from his position at AtlantiCare for performing Reiki, a Japanese healing technique, WHYY reported. The patient, Wendy Johnson, co-owns a New Age merchandise shop and was found in her home unsuccessfully trying to treat an open wound on her breast with colloidal silver.
She refused to go to the hospital and paramedics on scene were not able to insert an IV in her arm. The paramedics called an AntlantiCare doctor who recommended intraosseous infusion. Johnson refused the treatment and instead asked for Senisch, who is a certified Reiki practitioner, to perform the Japanese technique.
Upon arrival at the hospital, a doctor became angry with Senisch for “failing to provide the recommended treatment,” as well as performing Reiki. Senisch was fired three days later.
However, this week a jury ruled in favor of Senisch in a wrongful termination suit.
Senisch will received $90,000 in back pay and for emotional distress, according to the Douglass and Burnham law groups that represented him. He has been a paramedic for 34 years and hopes to return to this role soon.
Johnson died six weeks after the incident but noted that Senisch was a “wonderful paramedic.”
An AtlantiCare spokesperson said the company is considering an appeal.