This is *not* supposed to be happening
Posted April 23, 2013on:
[Note: I was originally going to do this post last week but the events of the week and my internet issues prevented that]
Missouri Man Arrested For Refusing To Leave His Husband’s Hospital Bedside
Roger Gorley and Allen Mansell were married five years ago although it’s not recognized in Missouri where they live. They’ve done things together that most couples have done, they live in the same house, have bought cars together and have financial investments together. In short, they are a couple. They have even registered with the state to show they are a couple. They wanted to be recognized as “significant life partners”. This was important to them because Allen suffered from a number of debilitating health conditions, including depression, and wanted Roger to be recognized as the party to be responsible along with him for his health decisions and to be by his side. Although Allen has family members, it appears they do not approve of the relationship nor have they been included in any way in making decisions about Allen’s healthcare or other issues. To quote Roger’s daughter:
Allen made sure over the past 20 years to NOT involve his family in his medical care. NONE of them are on his HIPAA nor are any of them supposed to have any say over what happens to him medically. They have each been granted power of attorney over each other for medical decisions. This information is not only ON FILE with Research Medical Center, they are well known at the hospital and throughout the city as a proud gay couple. No one has ever had a problem until Tuesday 4/9/2012.
Cut to a day when Allen and Roger’s daughter were out and about taking care of some things before a planned trip by the couple to Amsterdam. Allen’s depression had been so bad that his psychiatrist had suggested, and Allen had started, ECT, electroshock therapy. Amanda, Roger’s daughter who has helped with Allen’s care said that Allen was “doing pretty well for Allen” but when they got back to the couple’s house, Allen’s brother Lee and a sister Pat were waiting there. Right behind Amanda were members of the Lee’s Summit Police Dept. and paramedics. Cutting to the chase, the paramedics and police decided that Allen might be a threat to himself and he was bundled off to Research Medical Center in Kansas City. RMC, by the way is only where Allen gets his shock therapy done. His primary hospital is St. Luke’s in Lee Summit.
Amanda had contacted her father who was on his way to the hospital. When he got there, well I’ll let Amanda tell it:
Roger immediately rushed to Allen’s side, grabbed his hand, and reassured him everything will be ok. He will handle everything. He is in good hands and they will be going home as soon as possible. His brother Lee decided to say similar things but to also add in that he will not allow Roger to make these decisions and he will make sure everything is ok. Well that ignited the fire in my father that had been swelling up inside of him. He said, “No you won’t! This is my husband. I know what he wants and needs. You are never around. You need to leave.”
The nurse had had enough at this point and asked my father to leave. He gave her a surprised look back and said “No I’m staying with my husband.” She responded with “I know who you two are. You need to leave.” My father took this as she had treated Allen before, knew who my father was to him, and was making the decision that they didn’t have the right to one another as husband and husband. So instead of checking the file to see his power of attorney in his medical chart (they each have one for each other) she immediately called the police and had my father forcibly removed.
Roger was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing. Further, RMC got a restraining order against Roger preventing him going back to see Allen. It took him three hours to get out of jail and he had to pay a $600 fine.
Once all of this started hitting the news, Research Medical Center issued a statement which read:
“We believe involving the family is an important part of the patient care process,” the hospital said in a statement. “And, the patient`s needs are always our first priority. When anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.”
But, had the hospital checked its own records it would have seen the valid power of attorney was on file.
John Aravosis wrote on this story and said:
the hospital claims that Gorley was asked to leave because he wouldn’t quiet down. But at the same time, the hospital claims that Gorley was asked to show his medical power of attorney for his partner Allen, and couldn’t provide it. Leading to the proverbial: ruh roh.”
“By admitting that they asked Roger Gorley to prove that he had medical power of attorney for his spouse, Allen, the hospital admits that things would have turned out differently had Gorley had the proof on his person.”
Aravosis adds further:
A) I interviewed the Medicare and Medicaid office in Washington yesterday, and got the complete details of the hospital visitation regulations. Roger didn’t need to provide any proof of his medical power of attorney, or anything else for that matter, if, as his daughter claims, patient Allen said, during the altercation, “I want him here.”
Under federal regulations, that is all that is needed, the argument ends. So why did the hospital ask gay Roger to prove his power of attorney?
B) Let’s assume, devil’s advocate, that the daughter is wrong, and patient Allen did not ask for Roger to stay (perhaps he was unconscious).
Federal regs say that the partner can simply say “I’m in charge,” and that’s enough UNLESS someone else asserts that they too are in charge of the patient, which appears to have happened here when Allen’s straight brother also stepped in and asserted his authority Here’s what the regs say happens next, and I quote the federal guideline accompanying the regs:
“In such cases [when more than one individual claims to be the patient’s representative], it would be appropriate for the hospital to ask each individual for documentation supporting his/her claim to be the patient’s representative. The hospital should make its determination of who is the patient’s representative based upon the hospital’s determination of who the patient would most want to make decisions on his/her behalf. Examples of documentation a hospital might consider could include, but are not limited to, the following: proof of a legally recognized marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union; proof of a joint household; proof of shared or co-mingled finances; and any other documentation the hospital considers evidence of a special relationship that indicates familiarity with the patient’s preferences concerning medical treatment.”
However, this does get even better, or worse as the case may be when the hospital changed its story.
Oh but it gets worse. According to the police report, the hospital told the cops that the reason they ejected Roger was because the hospital “did not want to have any visitors to Allen’s room.”
But that flat-out contradicts the hospital spokesman today claiming that Roger was ejected, not because they wanted no visitors, but rather because of the fight. And, if they didn’t want anyone in the room, then it wouldn’t have mattered if Roger had had a medical power of attorney, so why did they ask for it? And if they wanted no visitors in the room, then why does daughter Amanda say that they were all permitted to stay in the room after the police took Roger away?
Not to mention, if the hospital wanted NO visitors in the room, then how did the other visitors witness Roger’s arrest? That would mean that the witnesses, including Roger’s daughter and straight Lee, also refused the hospital’s request for them to leave – since the hospital wanted “no one” in the room, and they were still there when the hospital security and ultimately the police arrived. Thus, they too were disobeying the hospital’s order to leave and were also trespassing, if the hospital is now telling the truth about what happened. Then why weren’t Amanda and straight Lee arrested too?
It seems that Research Medical Center did a pretty awful job of training their staff on the (at first) Memorandum on extending visiting rights for same sex couples and then the subsequent rules and regulations that CMS implemented, with the news release saying:
Medicare finalizes new rules to require equal visitation rights for all hospital patients
New requirements empower patients to designate their own visitors,
including a same-sex domestic partner
And I have to wonder how well the training “took”, when a former RMC employee still employed by the parent company HCA, puts this on her facebook page: “It makes news because of the fags.”
Now if recognition of gay marriage was the law of the land, then most likely none of this would have happened and ole Paula Grant would not have had to make her comments about fags.
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