Friday, June 5, 2009

California couple denied hospital rights in Fresno

This is quite frightening. Because, you know, the right wing tells us we don't need marriage as long as we have civil unions, and besides, anything we care about can be covered legally.

But not, it appears, in Fresno, where despite documentation, a woman was not allowed access to her partner. Another example of "we don't do that here."
"They refused to take my medical cards from her. They refused Teresa's offer to have my advance directive and power of attorney faxed over from UCSF."

Orbin said she asked the nurses several times if Rowe could join her, but each time they refused. "They just kept looking at my Marriage Equality shirt and giving me dirty looks," she said.

Orbin and Rowe were not reunited until a doctor intervened a few hours later.

"When the doctor arrived, I asked him if Teresa could join me," Orbin said. "He asked me why she wasn't already with me, and I told him the nursing staff told me I was in a no visitor zone. The doctor gave me an odd look and said, 'I will take care of that'. He left the room, and a few minutes later Teresa came in" ..... the nursing staff suddenly had a change of heart while the doctor was present and allowed Rowe to stay with her until she was discharged.

The couple said they have never experienced such blatant discrimination. They are both so upset over the incident that they have contacted the ACLU for legal advice.


Cany said...

Oh boy, oh boy. This is a CLASSIC case for soneone like the ACLU, and should send a STRONG message to everyone in this state that civil unions are NOT equal to marriage.

Those nurses--and that hospital--could be in very, very deep legal doo-doo.

I also hope that the Attorney General's office is contacted.

IT said...

well, it's not clear they had a DP, but regardless their health care power of attorney, etc should---SHOULD---have been sufficient.

Of course, tell me when any heterosexual couple who claims they are married, is asked to prove it in that kind of situation?

Erp said...

I'm not sure even being married would have been sufficient. I suspect interracial couples with marriage licenses may have had similar problems in the past (I hope not now). People don't cease to be bigoted because the law changes.

IT said...

You are sadly correct....

Meanwhile, WOW! two different people commented on my post! I am delighted that at least two people are reading this blog... ;-)

Karen said...

Gee, guess that means you are up to 3 readers!

Seriously, you are right. As a married heterosexual woman I only had to prove my married state when I changed my name with Social Security, DMV, etc. right after we were married. My husband's job once took us overseas where we were likely to have to prove this -- part of the pre-move preparation from his company was instructions on what documentation we would need to take with us as they (correctly) assumed couples would not otherwise know how what to do for this.

Karen said...

Gee, you would think by now I would know to proof read before hitting "submit". Can we make that last sentence say "not otherwise know what to do for this?"

IT said...

Hi Karen, welcome, and thanks for coming by!

I anticipate that my wife and I will have this problem; not only a same sex couple, but one of the 18,000 married in California. Can't you see it now?

"She's my wife".
"Gay marriage is illegal in this state!"
"We were married when it was legal."
"So what?!"