‘Grey’s Anatomy’ writer suspended after allegedly fabricating medical history

A group of doctors in surgery
A scene from “Grey’s Anatomy.”
(Liliane Lathan/ABC)

A “Grey’s Anatomy” writer who has been accused of fabricating parts of her medical history in the writers’ room of the long-running ABC drama as well as in personal essays has been placed on administrative leave pending review, the network confirmed to The Times on Thursday.

Elisabeth Finch, a 44-year-old writer who has worked on the series since 2014, is alleged to have embellished elements of her life, some of which have been incorporated into her writing on the Shonda Rhimes-produced show and had helped establish her value to the show, according to a story by trade newsletter the Ankler published on Thursday. Finch often detailed her ailments and distressing experiences, which included being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, having an abortion while undergoing chemotherapy and a misdiagnosis by a doctor, in personal essays for publications like Elle, the Hollywood Reporter, and the website for Shondaland, Rhimes’ production company.

“Only Elizabeth can speak to her personal story,” a Shondaland spokesperson said in a statement to The Times. An ABC spokesperson and Finch, through her attorney, declined to comment. A request for comment from showrunner Krista Vernoff was not immediately returned.

The Ankler first reported that an investigation was launched by Disney.

Finch, whose other credits include “The Vampire Diaries,” “No Ordinary Family” and “True Blood,” has written more than a dozen episodes of the medical drama, including the standout 2015 episode “Silent All These Years,” about a rape victim, in which she also appeared in a nonspeaking role as a nurse.