Lesbian denied hospital access after partner collapses at Meet in the Middle march

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Fresno hospital discriminates against lesbian coupleA Fresno hospital denied Teresa Rowe access to her partner Kristin Orbin who suffered a seizure and collapsed after Meet in the Middle 4 Equality march on May 30th.

The discrimination began shortly after the paramedics arrived. Orbin described her ordeal on Examiner.com.

“By that time, I was going in and out of consciousness.  The paramedics wanted nothing to do with Teresa and she had to practically fight them to be allowed to ride in the ambulance.  I remember one of them was very nice and agreed to let her ride with me in the back.  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’.”

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.

As a result of the incident the couple is considering legal action and has contacted the ACLU for advice.

There are laws on books here in California that protect not just gays and lesbians from this kind of discrimination, but everyone. Except apparently, in Fresno.

Post by ILO on 06/05/09 at 11:46 am