Friday, June 27, 2008

Don't just sit there

So let's say you get married in California and then take a honeymoon cruise that leaves out of Florida...

MIAMI, Fla. -- A woman who was prevented from seeing her lesbian partner who later died at a South Florida hospital is suing because administrators refused to recognize her and her children as family.

Janice Langbehn, Lisa Marie Pond and three of their four children planned a cruise in February 2007 to celebrate the couple's 18 years together. But Pond suffered a massive stroke before the ship left port and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Hospital workers refused to let Langbehn into Pond's hospital room - even after a power of attorney was faxed to the hospital -- because they were not legally related.

Langbehn filed a federal lawsuit in Miami on Wednesday charging hospital employees with negligence and "intentional infliction of emotional distress." The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000.

Pond was pronounced dead of a brain aneurysm about 18 hours after being admitted to the trauma center. Langbehn said she was only allowed in to see her partner for a few minutes when a priest gave Pond the last rites.

"I never thought almost 20 years of love and family could be disregarded in an instant," Langbehn said.

Hospital officials wouldn't comment about the lawsuit but said the hospital follows state and federal laws on patient privacy that can forbid releasing health information to those outside the patient's immediate family.

The hospital also may limit visitors if a patient is being treated for a trauma, emergency or serious infection, said Valda Clark Christian, an assistant county attorney representing Jackson.

Federal health privacy laws say hospitals should not disclose details about a patient except to the nearest family member or someone with power of attorney. Hospitals legally do not have to allow visitors.
From the New Statesman:
In a letter to be read out in Mormon churches all across California, LDS leaders urged members to “do all you can ... by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage is legally defined as being between a man and a woman”.
From the Arizona Republic:
Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he supports an initiative that would change Arizona's Constitution to ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The initiative campaign proposes to amend the state Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. It received $250,000 this week from an evangelical group, Focus on the Family.

Here's the deal. I hold these people responsible for all the harm they are doing. I think the God they claim to serve will also hold them responsible. I would also add that anyone who donates money and assistance to these groups and people should have to meet with Janice Langbehn face to face and justify their actions.


Rachel said...


"Just David!" said...

As much as I agree, I bet they wouldn't have a problem meeting her and explaining their side, they're so f'ed up they think they'd change her mind!!

dit said...

I heard getting it on the ballot was bankrolled by a few men in Orange County. They paid for the company that gathers signatures.

I hope the California public is able to see through this as they have on other things.

The T-Dude said...

Stories like that are just so sad.

This is just one of those wedge issues the conservative movement uses to divide the rest of us.

Carolyn said...

I can't stand John McCain. I think that it's disgusting that a man who proposed to his second wife before he was even divorced from his first wife has no right to help America "define" marriage. He's a dick.

Tim in Italy said...

Yea, Jimmy! I got wind of the Florida story a few days after it happened and I'm still fuming. Working towards a secular society...

jason said...

I want to say "unbelievable"
But alas, it's all too believable...and infuriating.