Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Why Marriage Equality is a Matter of Life or Death

 From my post on www.parentsociety.com

Brittney Leon and Terri-Ann Simonelli’s baby died from complications in childbirth. That is not the only tragedy: the other tragedy is that this could have been easily prevented if the baby received the necessary care at the time of the emergency. But because Brittney and Terri-Ann were not legally married, but were in a domestic partner relationship, an admissions office at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas told Brittney Leon (the patient) that Terri-Ann “could not make medical decisions for her when they checked in with pregnancy complications” (MSN.com, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2012).
Per MSN.com: “Astounded, both women offered to go home to get their certificate of domestic partnership but the (admissions) office said it wouldn’t make a difference: Gay partners need power of attorney for that. Leon later lost the baby and the couple noted it was a ‘very bad day for us.’”
The Hippocratic oath that physicians and nurses take when they begin their careers includes this invaluable line: “First, do no harm.” Unfortunately, admissions officers at hospitals in Nevada do not take this oath. If they did take this oath, perhaps a baby’s life would have been saved. Instead, because a lesbian couple had only the papers that showed they were domestic partners in the state of Nevada — which are the same rights as the ones given to heterosexual married couples in Nevada in 2009 — Terri-Ann could not make decisions for pregnant Brittney. The time that it took to work everything out legally put the life of the yet-unborn infant in danger, thus bringing about the baby’s death. “First, do no harm” was not applied or practiced by the staff of the hospital that day. Instead, great harm was done.
Read on: http://www.parentsociety.com/todays-family/same-sex-parents/why-marriage-equality-is-a-matter-of-life-or-death/

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