Sunday, April 14, 2013

Update: Same Sex Couple Debacle with Missouri Hospital

I posted about the same sex couple debacle with a Missouri hospital earlier this weekend, and I found something else that sheds more light on what actually transpired. I'm sorry to say this becomes even more painful to read each time I see an update. In short, Roger and Allen are partners, they've been together for five years. Allen has medical issues, Roger has legal power of attorney, and Allen's family is not supportive of this. Lee is Allen's brother. You can read more of the details here.

Now Roger's 26 year old daughter is claiming the hospital is not giving a full account of what happened. She makes it clear that Roger was the one being singled out, not Lee. And, Allen, the sick one, wanted Roger around, not Lee. Imagine if you're straight and your brother or sister tells your husband or wife to leave the hospital room. I don't think that would go over well.

Still, the nurse -- who supposedly was aware of Roger and Allen's status -- “directed her comments to Roger, ‘You need to leave the room.’ My dad said, ‘No, this is my husband, I’m going to stay with him," Brown added.

In other words, the nurse didn't care they were a couple, she/he treated Roger as if he weren't family, and ordered him to leave the room of his own sick husband, the man with whom he has shared his life in all aspects for the past five years.

This article also goes on to mention that Roger was cut during a scuffle and he started to bleed. The police allegedly suspected he was HIV positive (because he was gay) and they refused to touch him. They wore gloves the entire time. This, they claim, is protocol. It may or may not be true. I don't know. These details are still a little foggy.

As for the accusation that an officer was wary about Roger bleeding, she said wearing gloves is protocol.

Then the article goes into more detail about how Roger is getting some support now. What I'm hoping is that this entire incident sets some kind of a precedent everywhere. And it does it in a way that no gay couple will ever have to worry about dealing with this sort of thing again, whether it's in New York or some small town in the middle of the country. Because it's something we all worry about all the time, whether we're together for five or fifty years.


Louisa Bacio said...

When I was a teen, my cousin passed away from an HIV-related illness. His partner of 15+ years was not allowed to visit him in the hospital. His mother didn't see him as a husband but a "roommate." One of the main reasons why I support more "official" same-sex rights -- and marriage. It really shouldn't be an issue at all.

Jon Michaelsen said...

Horrible and deplorable; reminds me of the awesome 80s when my dear friends were in the hospital dying of AIDS, quarantined - everyone visiting having to wear plastic protectant head-to-toe, and being told to "leave" by family members because I wasn't welcome...! Stung like hell then; stings like hell now!!

ryan field said...

I can tell you right now that I don't know one gay couple who isn't worried about these things. I think having a good gay attorney makes a huge difference, too. But I live in an area where there are gay attorneys, and I'm not sure that's how it is in other parts of the country.

NL Gassert said...

Quickie answer to the glove question: yes, it's protocol.

*who's very glad not to live in KS anymore

ryan field said...

I was curious about that. I guess they do it with everyone.