CA: Lesbian couple claims discriminatory treatment at Fresno hospital
You would think a basic right — for partners to be able to have access to one another in the hospital during a medical emergency — isn’t a problem in California, of all places, but it allegedly is in this case. (The Examiner):
[Kristin] Orbin and her partner of 3½ years, Teresa Rowe, 30, who live in Northern California, were in Fresno for Meet in the Middle 4 Equality, an event protesting the California Supreme Court’s ruling upholding Proposition 8.Interestingly, the doctor appeared to know that this situation was wrong and attempted to rectify the problem.
After marching 14 miles in Central Valley heat, Orbin (who is epileptic) collapsed and suffered three grand mal seizures. A doctor at a first aid center had difficulty finding her pulse, so he called 911.
Orbin said the discrimination started as soon as the paramedics arrived.
“By that time, I was awake and aware of what was happening. They wanted nothing to do with Teresa and she had to practically fight them to be allowed to ride in the ambulance. Once we got to the hospital, they wheeled me into a hallway and left me, refusing to allow Teresa to be with me.”
Orbin said the paramedic told the nurse on duty that she had collapsed after marching 14 miles for civil rights, and the nurse gave her a dirty look and said “ooooh.” She continued, “I asked if Teresa could come back with me, but the nurse told me I was in a no visitor zone. When I asked her why everyone else had visitors, she said ‘those people are different’.“
“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, but she said she was told by the front desk that she could only stay for a few minutes.”That also was resolved when the doctor must have intervened again and Rowe was told she could stay with Orbin until discharge. Read the rest.
For me it’s disconcerting because here in NC, both Kate and I have had to make trips to the emergency room (and even required admission) and not one time was our relationship and roles even questioned by hospital personnel. For that I am thankful, because incidents like the one this California couple experienced show you that even when there may be the law on your side, there’s no guarantee that personal bigotry of “medical professionals” might stand between you and prompt, adequate health care, emergency or not.