Kept From a Dying Partner's Bedside - page 2

What a tragic event. Its times like this that I feel ashamed that things like this still go on in our country. Would you allow the patient's partner to see them on their deathbed despite hospital... Read More

  1. by   nerdtonurse?
    We had a case about 6 months ago that was a mess -- hetero couple, who said they were "common law married." However, my state doesn't have common law marriage, so the SO had no legal rights. In comes the patient's sister (who was so nasty it's a miracle the poor guy had anything to do with women, ever). She starts saying she's the next of kin, wanting us to throw out the "wife" (they'd been together like 15 years). You better believe I got legal involved, quick, and told the pt that while he could marry his "wife" or not, he'd better get his "wife" made into his POA for health care, quick (the guy's heart was pretty much shot). He did, and I have to admit, we all enjoyed it when the "wife" ordered the sister removed and not allowed back, and the pt told his sister, "you heard her. Beat it." Guy came thru his surgery okay, and they sent the unit a nice bouquet of flowers for helping them run off the "wicked unstepsister..."
  2. by   Moogie
    I find this utterly outrageous. Like Purple Scrubs, I was taught in nursing school that a family does not always fit into our preconceived notions but it is whatever the individuals that make up that family say it is. However, that was thirty years ago! I cannot believe this is happening in 2009.

    Ruby's point is well taken that we don't know the whole story. Unfortunately, in various settings in my nursing career, I have encountered homophobic attitudes and behavior among health care workers and other caring professionals who should know better. In light of knowing how virulent homophobia can be, I believe the partner's side of this story. I am sickened and saddened by her shameful treatment and her loss.
  3. by   labman
    Very sad story. I have encountered a story similar to this. Once we had a terminal homosexual man with HIV with a tumor in his head from karposi sarcoma. So he was at home to say good bye to his family because he lived far away. Well while he was saying good bye he ended up staying at his aunts house and sleeping on her floor. His tumor in his head hemmorhaged and his brain herniated. He ended up going into the hospital and was very unstable. His parents refused to call his partner and stoped in for about 5 minutes and decided to end care and he passed away alone. I was in tears at end of the shift.

    kent
  4. by   PostOpPrincess
    Quote from yetanotheramanda
    I would break the rules also. This just seems ridiculous. I mean, we bend over backwards for "customer service" but this hospital wouldn't let this woman or her kids see a dying patient????

    And...since when is MIAMI an "antigay city" like the social worker allegedly told her???? It just sounds like a lot of people at this hospital were taking their personal beliefs to work, which is a big no-no at any hospital.
    I work in Miami. I've never seen ANYONE kept away from the bedside because they are an SO. Something is not right here.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    many of us have stories of loving partners being kept from a dying person's side due to homophobia, family dislike of the partner or the lifestyle or other "reasons" that have nothing to do with the benefit of the patient. it's sad. i know of several examples myself, and it breaks my heart. but we don't know both sides of this particular story, and i hate to make up my mind that the hospital or the healthcare workers were in the wrong without knowing the whole story.
  6. by   lindarn
    This is my philosophy on the whole situation:

    I don't care who someone lives with, who they sleep with, or who they kiss goodnight. It is none of my business what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their home. I don't care and neither should anyone else. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  7. by   Hushdawg
    Some people are saying that this is a cause for homosexual marriage to be legal. I disagree. It is, however, a sign that something is wrong with the broader view of what constitutes a relationship worthy of visitation in the hospital setting.

    In this instance, the children were adopted by the patient, so there is no reason to refuse them and an adult supervising them.

    What about Polygamous marriages where a man has more than one wife? How does the hospital address that? do you ask which one was first and only allow that one?

    Perhaps if someone is living in a situation which is outside the "norm" of society then he or she should have a notarized document stating who is permitted to visit him/her in the hospital and let the hospital hold that (or a copy) for legal protection.
  8. by   Agrippa
    Quote from Hushdawg

    Perhaps if someone is living in a situation which is outside the "norm" of society then he or she should have a notarized document stating who is permitted to visit him/her in the hospital and let the hospital hold that (or a copy) for legal protection.

    They did. And it didn't work. I think the fact that they even have to go the extra step to have such legal documents on hand is ridiculous let alone faxing it/providing it to the hospital before hand. Even if they did do that, in this case, there was no way for this couple, who was on vacation in Miami, to foresee that they were gonna have an aneurysm. Thus, there was no way for them to give the hospital any sort of notice before hand.
  9. by   Vito Andolini
    Quote from Purple_Scrubs
    In nursing school we were taught that "family is whatever the patient says it is", (kind of like pain is whatever the pt says it is. The point being, blood means nothing in some cases. A close friend, a partner, whoever can and should be considered family, while a biological relative who was abusive or for whatever reason does not have a relationship with the pt should not be considered family.

    It saddens and sickens me what this FAMILY had to go through at the hands of some narrow-minded people.
    I just want to point out that we have not yet heard what the hospital has to say about what their reasons were for not allowing the family into the room. We do not yet know if there were "some narrow-minded people" or what.

    If there were, it is utterly shameful. but I would really like to hear their side of it all.
  10. by   Agrippa
    What else would you have to know from the hospital's side that could possibly justify their actions? The sequence of events that happened as described in the article isn't even questioned or contradicted by the hospital. I mean, even if this woman and the kids were the worst, most difficult people (which doesn't seem to be the case), the fact that they were kept from their dying loved one seems to be pretty clear.
  11. by   CRNA2007
    I would be suspicious of anything written in the new york times. They clearly are an agenda driven newspaper these days. Even Maureen Dowd has now been outed as a plagiarizer
  12. by   Agrippa
    Oh yea....im sure they made all this up. :icon_roll

    Maureen Dowd, an op-ed writer for the times, admitted that some of her writing came from someone's blog post. Thus, we can conclude that everything written in the New York Times is "suspicious".

    Please, if you have any substantive information that raises the validity of any of the facts presented in the article, share it with us by all means.
  13. by   ZanatuBelmont
    Quote from Agrippa
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/he...l.html?_r=1&em


    What a tragic event. Its times like this that I feel ashamed that things like this still go on in our country. Would you allow the patient's partner to see them on their deathbed despite hospital policy? I know I would.
    First of all, I would never deny a same-sex partner their right to have their significant other to visit them on their death bed. I do not live in a state that protects homosexuals in these situations, but I would probably lose my job for this simply because it is part of my value system.

    Secondly, many people are saying there is "more to the story." Unless the woman was throwing items around the room, she should not have been denied access to her partner.

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