Kept From a Dying Partner's Bedside - page 3

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   Spidey's mom
    Quote from JoPACURN
    I work in Miami. I've never seen ANYONE kept away from the bedside because they are an SO. Something is not right here.
    I have to say the same thing - I've never encountered this. And we have many couples who are heterosexual and simply live together (that is the trend now) and they are allowed to stay - it is the patient's right to designate that.

    Something seems fishy to me.

  2. by   missyd1991
    I think is such a sad outcome for the families, no one should be kept outof a dying persons room. I'm sure the staff at this hosptial was willing to sit by her bedside during the dying process. I work in LTC and the dying process can be so unnerving for the resident, staff and their families that you would welcome someone who knows the patient to be with them. Thats what we are here for is to serve the patients and their families, I think it sounds like maybe they forgot that at this hospital. I hope things will change and we can all respect one another and our choices for ou life styles.
  3. by   Hushdawg
    Quote from Agrippa
    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.
    Excellent point.

    Again, I feel that sometimes the hospital procedures with regard to visitation tend to err too much on the side of caution and not enough on the side of fulfilling the patient's emotional need. Let alone that of those close to him/her.

    There was a long period in my life when my friends were far closer to me than my family and it would have been heartbreaking if I was denied visitation by those friends. In a critical situation, a patient's emotional state is crucial in the balance between life and death; if one is struggling with a physical problem and then is taxed by emotional turmoil, the will to live could decrease sufficiently to prevent recovery.

    I'm sure that in the case of individuals on vacation that they would have IDs handy showing current addresses. If the addresses match to that of the patient then I don't see what else is needed for a hospital to draw a logical conclusion that these two share SOME kind of closeness that would warrant a bedside visit.
  4. by   ParkerBC,MSN,RN
    Here is what I think about the situation:
    1. If the hospital was sued in the past for allowing partners to visit their loved ones, I can understand the rationale behind their decision. However, after being presented with legal documentation of the patient’s wishes, the hospital should have allowed the partner to visit. If administration was being homophobic, I can assure you the administrator’s and the organization’s reputation will be forever tarnished.
    2. Yes. The media has an amazing talent of pursuing their readers. I take what I read with a grain of salt unless the article is able to incorporate enough facts for me to make some hypothesis of the events. This is why some murder trails are moved outside of the court’s jurisdiction and why the media is not allowed in the courts; to prevent bias jurors.
    3. Our world has been able to: develop vehicles, develop planes, and cures for diseases, but we still live in the dark ages when it comes to Equal Rights.

    As a gay male, I don’t believe in gay marriage. But I do think there needs to be some sort of legalized union permitted in order to prevent these kinds of things from happening. It upsets me to read these types of articles, not because necessarily the person has been discriminated against, but because the partner and children of this patient will never have closure. The opportunity to say good bye was present and they were denied. It’s sad.
  5. by   LiverpoolJane
    My experience is that although the term NOK is still used it is accepted that it is whoever the patient says it is regardless of whether they have blood or legal ties. About 2 years ago I nursed a lady who had her friend down as NOK, they had been friends since childhood and they lived together, if their relationship was anything more than just friendship, quite frankly it was irrelevant. As she deteriorated and it was apparent she was reaching the end and her wish was to go home and die and her friend was adamant that this is what she was going to do this for her. This lady had a very large family and I spent a considerable amount of time with them as they were not in agreement with the request to go home. It was a very tense time on the ward and a bit threatening at times as the words "legal action" and "solicitor" were being bandied about. As it happened this lady was too ill to travel home and she ended up dying in hospital but if there was a way to safely get her home we would have supported the friend as the legal NOK or more appropriatley called the SO.

    After saying all that I would not pass any comment on the reasons for the hospitals actions in this particular case as there may be a very good reason for this that the public is not aware of yet.
  6. by   alleyb
    I Have a few thoughts to express here, please bare with me.

    1. If this is truly a case of "You have no legal rights because you are lesbians" Shame on the hospital.

    2. I am becoming a healthcare provider to care for a person, and the whole person. Not only the physical parts that I can palpate. I do not feel it is my job to police the relationship status of a pt. unless that pt. informs me that they wish for me to do so.

    3. IF this is a case as suggested in number 1. is it not ironic that this pt. donated life saving organs to so many. I wonder if the same concerns over sexuality were considered when harvesting and transplanting those organs. If you want to treat people differently for their beliefs, then don't go knocking on their door for favors is how I Feel about it.

    4. The gay marriage/union issue. Everyone gets hung up on this why can't we make it simple. Separation of church and state. Religion calls it marriage, let them have that. If a church is willing to marry whomever so be it and if not then fine. Everyone else whom is either not religious or for whom religion will not recognize as a couple, get your papers at the court house to decree yourselves to be in a civil union. A Religious concept should never be a legal issue anyhow.

    These are just my opinions.
  7. by   CRNA2007
    Jason Blair anyone??? Dowd only admitted it after she was busted!! New York Times is spikes a story during the election because it would be harmful to the Obama campaign. The NY Times is just another hack newspaper with a left wing agenda their revenue and viability are in the toilet because of this. You could get more accurate reporting by reading the National Enquirer.

    Quote from Agrippa
    Oh 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.
  8. by   C-DIFF PHIL RN
    even though i disagree with gay marriage, i dislike the fact that the hospital or staff would not let a loved one at bedside during such important time for both friends,family and most important the patient.
  9. by   Hushdawg
    Quote from C-DIFF PHIL RN
    even though i disagree with gay marriage, i dislike the fact that the hospital or staff would not let a loved one at bedside during such important time for both friends,family and most important the patient.
    Exactly, the whole point about being a professional is that you are able to separate your personal feelings from the job at hand of providing care to the patient.

    No matter how opposed I am to gay marriage and all that stuff there is no way I would tell someone with a close relationship to the dying "oh well, sorry you're not in a heterosexual one-partner marriage so you can't see the patient."

    What's next? Refusing a priest entrance to perform last rites for Catholics?
  10. by   cursedandblessed
    i read the article. the patient that died was in the trauma unit for 8 hours, it says the family got to the hospital at 3:30 pm. the partner was allowed a brief visit during the last rites. the partner was also recognized and sought for consent. the children weren't allowed in the trauma area due to their ages being under 14. that puts her move to icu around 11 pm. the children were allowed to visit the icu around midnight. the patient then died at 10:45 am.

    from my limited experience, trauma units can be very busy places and i know i (as the legally married spouse of my husband) was not allowed in treatment area while he was there for a work related injury. during a transfer to the floor (my experience from shadowing an rn) it takes an hour or so to set the patient up, review the chart, provide initial nursing assessment, etc.

    i don't know whether the social worker said the part about miami being "anti-gay", she denies it and the partner says she did. but just from looking at the facts as presented, it appears according to the timeline, that the children were allowed access to their mother once she was moved to the icu and settled there.

    without knowing all of the hospital policies, and all of the details (if the partner was "nasty" as stated above, she may not have been allowed either due to policy, or the fact that she may have been seen as a hindrance to the welfare of her partner or other patients by creating a disturbance in the treatment area which are not always private) it's hard to know if the situation was due to sexual orientation or due to other things, like a busy trauma unit.
  11. by   Spritenurse1210
    This is terrible. I think that there should be laws in place to allow significant others no matter the sexual orientation to be allowed to see thier loved one.
  12. by   CRNA2007
    Great just what we need more laws. How much of problems like these can be traced back to HIPPA Laws?

    Quote from Jess1983
    This is terrible. I think that there should be laws in place to allow significant others no matter the sexual orientation to be allowed to see thier loved one.
  13. by   flightnurse2b
    i'm sad for this family.

    regardless of what happened and why it happened, that woman died alone without her loved ones at her side. no one deserves that.