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Author Topic: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital  (Read 2457 times)

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Offline TransgirlensteinTopic starter

Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« on: October 20, 2009, 01:45:27 PM »
http://blog.mattalgren.com/2009/09/hospital-forces-lesbian-to-die-alone/

A judge defended a hospital that would not let a woman see her dying partner nor their adopted children to say goodbye to their mother.

Offline Morven

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 02:49:05 PM »
Damn, you're making me want to stab something.

Offline Mathim

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 03:14:03 PM »
I heard about that issue being a right of domestic partners and things like that, were they not a registered couple or something?

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 03:22:45 PM »
Okay, what the hospital did was inexcusable, but unfortunately none of it was illegal (that is not to say it should not be illegal, merely that it was not). There is no reason to attack a judge for dismissing a case in that circumstance. Now perhaps they could (and should) have made the case differently, but the case they presented was untenable, which the plaintiffs themselves admitted.

"The plaintiffs Ė Ms. Langbehn, Danielle, Katie, David, and Ms. Pondís Estate Ė have pled 8 claims under Florida law. All of those claims arise out of their alleged improper treatment by personnel at Ryder and Jackson on February 18, 2007. Significantly, the plaintiffs do not allege that Ms. Pondís medical care was inadequate. Nor do they contend that such treatment was rendered without appropriate consent or informed consent, or that Ms. Langbehn would have done anything else differently concerning Ms. Pondís medical care had she been given more updates and information on her status."

"At oral argument, the plaintiffs conceded that their negligence claims in Counts I-IV against the individual defendants Ė Mr. Frederick and Doctors Zauner and Cruz Ė fail."

"At oral argument, the plaintiffs characterized their negligence per se claim as a 'stretch,'"

"The defendantsí motion to dismiss is GRANTED. Counts I-IV are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to the individual defendants, and are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE as to the Public Health Trust. Counts V-VIII are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE as to all defendants. If the plaintiffsí allegations are true, which I assume that they are when deciding the defendantsí 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the defendantsí lack of sensitivity and attention to Ms. Langbehn, Ms. Pond, and their children caused them needless distress during a time of vulnerability. The defendantsí failure to provide Ms. Langbehn and her children frequent updates on Ms. Pondís status, to allow Ms. Langbehn and her children to visit Ms. Pond after emergency medical care ceased; to inform Ms. Langbehn that Ms. Pond had been transferred to the intensive care unit, and to provide Ms. Langbehn Ms. Pondís medical records as she requested, exhibited a lack of compassion and was unbecoming of a renowned trauma center like Ryder. Unfortunately, no relief is available for these failures based on the allegations plead in the amended complaint. If the plaintiffs want to file a second amended complaint, they must do so by October 16, 2009. If no second amended complaint is filed, this case will be closed."

All of the above quotes taken from the findings of the judge available here. What confuses me is why the family did not revise and resubmit their complaint.

Florida law in this matter is messed up, it does not dictate a duty to grant visitation to anyone and so it is entirely at the doctor's whim. This is a terrible incidence of that loophole in law being abused, but it does not fall to a district court judge to change state law, indeed he can't. This is not the US supreme court, these people do not have the power of judicial review of state law. Now if they plaintiffs had claimed that the care received was altered because of sexuality or that the doctor's had unwillingness to consult or listen to the advice the partner (with full medical power of attorney) then they have commited a crime and should (and hopefully would) have been smacked down. But that wasn't the claim and there is no reason the judge should be blamed, nor is there any reason to claim that he defends the choice of the hospital. The hospital did a terrible thing, but the state legislature or state supreme court or the federal supreme court are the ones who need to deal with it. A district court judge should not come under fire for doing his job.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 03:26:55 PM by DarklingAlice »

Offline Morven

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 03:25:33 PM »
Some states don't have such a legal classification.

The partner had power of attorney and a living will allowing her to make end-of-life decisions for the dying partner.  The hospital still chose to not even keep her updated as to the situation, let alone let her be there.  Despite the obvious wishes of the dying partner.

However, as DarklingAlice says, Florida law allows the hospital to do that, as indefensible morally as it is.

Offline Kotah

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 04:54:23 PM »
It's the privacy act.

WE (not that that was me or anything) can't let non direct family members into a patients room without consent of the patient. IT can be written consent. There are a lot of way to get around it these days. The best way is when your hospital asks for your emergency contact, give the name of your partner and sign the privacy waiver for them to have your hospital record(which people don't always do). You have to ask for it.

Offline Morven

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 05:03:01 PM »
Yes, HIPAA (right number of A's?) leads to some very messed-up results indeed, especially because the penalties for screwing up and releasing info are draconian and the penalties for not releasing stuff that they should are practically non-existent.  Hospital lawyers tell hospitals that they have to be paranoid.

In the end, some of this is simply fallout from America's messed-up health insurance industry.  Why are Americans so paranoid about healthcare privacy?  Because they're worried about being discriminated against by e.g. potential employers for having been sick, and why are those employers paranoid?  Because an employee with chronic health problems can cost a small company a fortune in health insurance premiums going up.  Yes, it's illegal to so discriminate, but Americans worry because their heath care hangs by such slender threads.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 05:39:08 PM »
HIPPA (Health Information Privacy Protection Act) as I recall.

Offline Kotah

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 07:36:01 PM »
There's a problem too of the hospitals getting payment turned down because we didn't have all the right forms in the right places with the right names.

That's why you have to sign multiple waivers to be admitted these days. It keeps a lot of people getting the care they need right away because we have to read things off, and have you sign 5 forms just so they can sit in a room.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 08:44:46 PM »
Now, over ten years ago, one of my very good friends died of AIDS.  (Okay, technically he died of kidney failure brought about by opportunistic infections.)  Despite the fact that absolutely none of us were related, all - and I mean all of his gaming and live-gaming buddies were allowed to come in to say goodbye.  The hospital waived the normal limit of 'two at a time' - I think there were groups of ten at a time if not more, as it happened to be the same weekend as Disclave (a major convention in the DC area). 

So - I guess what I'm saying is that there may be hospitals and doctors that are real dicks about dying visitation, but there are also others that we don't hear about that go above and beyond.

Offline elenisil

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 12:25:02 AM »
Legalities aside, what has happened to compassion? Our society over the years has become so self centered that simple compassion is rarely displayed.

Offline Morven

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2009, 01:37:36 AM »
It's because compassion gets punished and meanness doesn't.

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 01:49:05 AM »

    Compassion is a political decision.  As things stand, who is most normatively worthy of compassion?

"Traditional" families (which have barely existed as we know them, when they even hold together, for about a century). 
Children who must be saved on the basis of "innocence."  Therefore, first off those children not associated with the "blight" of the inner cities or immigrant cultures. 
People who carefully present themselves as straight...
 
     This isn't just what the farther right wing says to rile up its base.  It's been law and bureaucratic routine for some years, to a frightening degree. 



Offline Nicholas

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2009, 02:06:11 AM »
There's no words for this. Only that I'm shocked.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2009, 06:48:50 AM »
At the risk of upsetting some people, Iíll say that I donít see anything wrong here.  Outside of the case workerís supposed statement there isnít much for her to really sue over.  The patient was admitted to the trauma unit and more than likely given immediate critical care attention.  Thereís no room or time for her to be allowed visitors then.  A facility has to suspect something when a woman that young is brought in with such critical condition, so odds are they are apprehensive about allowing anyone to see her.  Then her diagnosis is made and the prognosis is very poor.  Her partner gave over the information about her Advance Directives and essentially made the decisions. 

She was allowed to see the patient with the chaplain.  Last Rites were given and she was escorted out of the room.  This being an ICU room, I wouldnít expect visitors to be allowed into the room.  Children are typically not allowed in ICU rooms due to the risk of infection for other patients and stress for other patients.  This all happened very suddenly and it doesnít sound like the patient left intensive care from the time of entry to death.  That the woman was suffering an internal head bleed would raise suspicion of abuse, which may be why they did not let her partner see her without escort. 

All I really saw in that blog were the words of a grieving woman that wanted more time with her loved one.  I feel for her loss and have compassion for her condition, but the practices she is discussing are typical of most intensive care areas in a hospital.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 07:35:18 AM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline GothicFires

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2009, 07:40:35 AM »
Not to dismiss what happened to them. It's horrible. But why on earth would you leave your home, travel halfway across country with the intent of going to other nations with out your documents proving that you had both power of attorney and medical power of attorney over your spouse/partner? You wouldn't leave your car or your medical insurance at home. Those aren't any less important.

It is a medical power of attorney required to go through the hepa law. it is like signing every release form for every hospital in the united states. Medical power of attorney doesn't care what your relationship is with this person. My mother has medical power of attorney over a friend who has cancer. She keeps the document in her car in case he checks himself into the hospital so she can go directly there rather than home.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 07:43:00 AM by GothicFires »

Offline elenisil

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2009, 07:52:08 AM »
the practices she is discussing are typical of most intensive care areas in a hospital.

If this is typical of most ICU's then Texas must be different. I myself have been in ICU more times than I wish to remember and in isolation due to my MRSA. At no time have the nurses, doctors or hospitals ever refused family or friends admission to see me, even when I had a bad episode ten years ago in which the doctor told my parents I might not make it.

The only precaution they have taken was to ensure that isolation gowns were worn in my room.

In addition a childhood friend of mine died of stomach cancer a couple of years ago and was in ICU. Family and friends were allowed to stay with her until the end.

Offline GothicFires

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2009, 08:15:12 AM »
if a person in icu signs forms before they get into icu then that can happen. when my brother almost died in an accident  the only reason i was even allowed in the icu waiting room is because my dad and step mom were already there. Even saying i was his sister and having the same last name meant nothing to the hospital.

Offline elenisil

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2009, 10:27:26 AM »
if a person in icu signs forms before they get into icu then that can happen. when my brother almost died in an accident  the only reason i was even allowed in the icu waiting room is because my dad and step mom were already there. Even saying i was his sister and having the same last name meant nothing to the hospital.

When I was in ICU in 2000 they didn't move me until I stopped breathing and had to be intubated. I woke up ten days later, still in ICU and they even let my fool ex husband in lol. I don't recall signing anything other than the standard forms in ER and don't remember anything else until I woke up much later.  Fun hospital times.

Offline Serephino

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2009, 01:52:08 PM »
I knew someone who's brother was in a bad car accident and was in the ICU for like 2 weeks.  Lots of people went in to see him, me included.  The only catch was you had to give the nurses a password.  The reason for that though was some news station had the gall to call the hospital pretending to be his mother to ask about his condition.  They did this while his mother was in the parking lot having a cigarette. 

Offline Kotah

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2009, 04:57:32 PM »
A lot of laws changed after 2001, and they keep changing.

Did you know that a health care setting (hospital, nursing home, ect) is no longer allowed to have a shiny floor? It was a new addition in aug. of this year.

edit to add this may only be a state wide change.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 05:03:49 PM by Kotah »

Offline Morven

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2009, 10:29:54 PM »
Because of a worry about slip hazards?

Offline Kotah

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2009, 12:19:47 AM »
It's distraction. The shine on the floor.

Online thebobmaster

Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2009, 01:42:43 AM »
Things like this pop up, and people wonder why I say that discrimination against homosexuals is the lowest level of discrimination that's allowed. I'm sorry, but even if you couldn't let the partner in for whatever reason, isn't it common decency to at least keep her updated on her lover's situation? I mean, just imagine waiting around a hospital for hours on end, not seeing your significant other, and then finding out through their sister that they had been moved to ICU an hour ago, with no hospital worker informing you. I don't just think that's unethical, I think it's downright cruel. [/soapbox]

Offline Oniya

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Re: Judge defends anti-homosexual hospital
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2009, 10:29:18 AM »
Even without the homosexual aspect.  Let's assume that the person who brought her in was a co-worker.  Someone who is close enough to be concerned about her condition, but not even expecting to be allowed in.

Even without going into specifics about the condition (and thus potentially violating HIPPA), is there anything wrong with telling the person waiting for this patient in the waiting room that they aren't even in the hospital any more?