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Lesbian couple in Nevada lose baby after hospital denies them rights

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  1. How very professional and caring of them. Prosecute and disbar every person involved in that situation. They’re clearly not fit to be in a position of responsibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if they said god told them they did the right thing.

    1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 2:05pm

      For all the excellent reporting I’ve grown to rely on from Pinknews, I am struck that nobody in that situation realized that these parents made the decision to lose the baby, rather than to proceed with whatever preventive measures were necessary. It makes it seem like the baby was lost because the partner wasn’t able to obtain power of attorney, but in actuality, the baby may have been lost with or without it.

      This does not seem to illustrate the need for full marriage equality (which I fight for everyday), but rather seems to illustrate borderline neglect on the part of the parents to carry out their responsibility to secure mutual power of attorney prior to the visit to the hospital.

      There are many cases were power of attorney is required such as in the case of adults making life decisions for an ailing parent. Power of attorney is therefore a separate instrument and if not granted outright by virtue of being married, should have been obtained prior to its possible necessity.

      1. “I am struck that nobody in that situation realized that these parents made the decision to lose the baby”

        What an offensive thing to say. They didn’t decide to lose the baby at all, and I have no idea how you could even interpret it that way.

        Would it also be “borderline neglect” if a husband failed to obtain power of attorney before his pregnant wife was taken into hospiltal with unforeseen complications? This couple believed they would be treated just like a straight married couple, as their domestic partnership is supposed to grant them the same rights. The fact they allegedly weren’t is the fault of the hospital.

        The loss of the baby may not have been prevented but at least that woman should have had her partner by her side at that traumatic time.

        1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 2:53pm

          Why parse down my quote? In full, I said:

          “For all the excellent reporting I’ve grown to rely on from Pinknews, I am struck that nobody in that situation realized that these parents made the decision to lose the baby, rather than to proceed with whatever preventive measures were necessary”

          To clarify my point, I mean to indicate that the women had the choice to proceed with whatever procedures were necessary for preserving the life of the baby. Instead, they seemed to have opted to decline getting life saving medical treatment simply because they partner was not allowed to make medical decisions for the pregnant mother.

          I am all for marriage equality. I simply do not think it helps our cause to try to conflate two separate issues and blame marriage inequality for it. On one side, a baby’s life needed saving. On the other side, because mother’s partner did not have power of attorney, the mother declined treatment.

          1. Miguel Sanchez 21 Aug 2012, 3:34pm

            “To clarify my point, I mean to indicate that the women had the choice to proceed with whatever procedures were necessary for preserving the life of the baby. Instead, they seemed to have opted to decline getting life saving medical treatment simply because they partner was not allowed to make medical decisions for the pregnant mother.”

            Really, do you have proof of this statement? It sounds like you’re making an assumption.

          2. Either you don’t understand or being willfully ignorant the article reads that the hospital REFUSED to allow her partner to make the life saving decision on her behalf. If she was her husband the hospital would not have done the same.

        2. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 2:57pm

          It would be just as neglectful for a husband and wife to decline getting life saving procedure for their unborn child simply because the father didn’t have power of attorney.

          Why do you conflate these two separate issues? What business does any spouse in any marriage have in even having power of attorney for making life changing decisions, if neither partner is aware of the need for power of attorney?

          Anyone who does not fully explore the extent (and limits) of their legal responsibilities as spouses and fails to plan accordingly has no business being married or having children, in my opinion.

          Just because we’re gay doesn’t mean we are exempt from becoming informed of our responsibilities and upholding them, and preparing for the need for them, including obtaining power of attorney before its required. Don’t y’all ever watch Suzy Ormann?

          1. This couple didn’t neglect to have treatment nor can I see how the PN article would make you think they had (and I’ve tried to see how you could have read it that way).

            This couple DID know their rights and responsibilities. It was the hospital, it seems, that required them to have something extra (the POA) that the law did not require them to have. The couple shouldn’t have been obliged to make arrangements in advance for possible homophobia or ignorance of the law – or do you expect them to have a lawyer on hand all the time to pre-empt other people’s mistakes/views/homophobia?

            There is NOTHING in this article to suggest that the couple were somehow negligent or ignorant of their responsibilities and it is very wrong of you to suggest that they were.

      2. “It makes it seem like the baby was lost because the partner wasn’t able to obtain power of attorney, but in actuality, the baby may have been lost with or without it.”

        Please explain exactly how you came to that conclusion, because we seem to be reading different articles.

        They expected to have the same rights as a married couple, ie not needing the power of attorney, as the Nevada State Law says, but were denied this.

        1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 2:59pm

          “expected to have the same rights as a married couple” does not mean “knowing they needed a power of attorney for making life changing decisions for each other.” Who gets married or partnered without knowing that? It is not the responsibility of the hospital to provide legal counsel. It’s up to the partners to know their rights and responsibilities before hand.

          That’s true of hetero or same sex marriages.

          1. That’s the point though BABes, they didn’t need power of attorney in a domestic partnership. They would only have needed that if they weren’t in a domestic partnership.

      3. “made the decision to lose the baby”? I am utterly astounded by your complete lack of empathy for these women and the situation they found themselves in.

        They did NOT need power of attorney – they had all the rights they needed under the law by being in a domestic partnership. It was the hospital that complicated things by not knowing what their obligations are to couples in registered domestic partnerships. The hospital’s bureaucratic obstinance caused the death of the baby.

        I feel sincerely sorry for any people, especially women, you come into contact with in your day to day life, such is your complete lack of empathy and ignorance-based soapboxing.

        1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 3:02pm

          Oh please don’t put words in my mouth. I feel most sorry for the baby. The fact remains that the mother of the child could have of her own voilition decided to proceed with her own medical needs with or without her partner having power of attorney. That has nothing to do with the hospital, unless you’re saying it’s up to the hospital to determine who should or should not have power of attorney.

          The partners/parents should have had knowledge of the need to still obtain power of attorney in such instances, and in my view, having failed to do so, should have proceeded with whatever medical procedures were necessary, whether the mother’s spouse had power of attorney or not.

          They can’t blame the hospital for their failure to plan, nor for their choice not to proceed with the medical treatment.

          1. “The fact remains that the mother of the child could have of her own voilition decided to proceed with her own medical needs with or without her partner having power of attorney. ”

            And you know that she didn’t?

          2. I haven’t – that was what you said – “these parents made the decision to lose the baby”. It’s up there in black and white in your earlier comment – if not yours, whose words are they?

          3. This article says that the mother underwent surgery:

            http://www.lvrj.com/news/same-sex-couple-in-henderson-upset-with-hospital-s-treatment-166680476.html

            So surely she did proceed with medical treatment? (and it’d be hard to imagine why any woman wouldn’t)

          4. “The fact remains that the mother of the child could have of her own voilition decided to proceed with her own medical needs with or without her partner having power of attorney.”

            Where is your evidence to back up this fact? How do you know what the birth mother’s condition was?

            It appears that the hospital -may- have decided to save the mother against her previously decided wishes, articulated to and agreed by her partner, to save the baby, despite any protest put up by the non-biological partner.

          5. Brian,

            I think you have missed/misunderstood a part of the article.

            You said:
            “The fact remains that the mother of the child could have of her own volition decided to proceed with her own medical needs with or without her partner having power of attorney.”

            The article said:
            “Upon arrival, they were told that for Ms Simonelli to make any necessary medical decisions for her partner should the complications worsen (as would be the case for a married couple in the same situation ) they would need to acquire power of attorney.”

            If the partner was trying to make a decision it suggests the mother was probably not in a position to do so due to her condition. Had the hospital not been ignorant of the law perhaps a delay would not have occurred and the baby would not be dead. Perhaps.

            Either way, it is not the parents that are at fault because they don’t travel with a legal team. Perhaps the hospital needs a legal adviser in the Emergency Room if they are going to quote law at people?

  2. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 3:07pm

    I am again astounded by the number of people who failed to even read the article. It clearly states that even a married couple would require a POA in the same situation.

    Hence they WERE being treated the same as any other couple.

    1. Spiritbody 21 Aug 2012, 3:36pm

      No, you’ve misread it. Thats not what it says. A hetrosexual married couple would NOT need to require POA, and the only reason THIS couple were being asked to do so, was because their marriage or partnership wasnt being recognised as equal to that of the hetrosexual marriage

      1. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 4:25pm

        I feel you need to be sentenced to a remedial reading class.

        “Upon arrival, they were told that for Ms Simonelli to make any necessary medical decisions for her partner should the complications worsen (as would be the case for a married couple in the same situation ) they would need to acquire power of attorney”

        1. There’s no need to be unpleasant about it.

          The article’s author meant that “no power of attorney would be required for a married couple in the same situation”. It is unclearly phrased, but your dispute is with Mr Brocklebank and not with Spiritbody.

          1. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 4:33pm

            I can only comment on what is written. If the article is in error then I will amend my position when the article is also amended. However, being that you are not the author of the article you are hardly in a position to state whether it is in fact correctly or incorrectly reported are you?

          2. Get off your high horse, colonelkira. Read the original – there is no mention there that straight married couples would need to apply for POA. If they did, I’m sure the article would have a very different slant.

            http://www.lvrj.com/news/same-sex-couple-in-henderson-upset-with-hospital-s-treatment-166680476.html

          3. The article’s headline in PN says the couple were denied rights. There is either a mistake in the headline or in the body of the article, most likely the body given the other news story in the LVRJ.

        2. From the original article, not the PN adaptation:

          “An admissions officer told them the hospital policy required gay partners to secure power of attorney before making any medical decisions for each other.”

          And goes on with:

          That law states: “Domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

          Gay marriage is prohibited in Nevada by constitutional amendment, so domestic partners are not considered legally married. But they have the same rights under law as married couples. The only difference is that employers do not have to provide health care benefits to gay couples, even if they are provided to married, heterosexual couples.”

          Nowhere does it say married couples have to get POA.

        3. spiritbody 21 Aug 2012, 5:31pm

          Its written a bit unclearly . Its the way that the sentence is written that has led to your confusion. The part that is in brackets refers to the first half of the paragraph (ie: eveything before the opening bracket), not the latter half of the paragraph (after the closing bracket)

        4. Basing your unwavering opinion on one piece of secondary, nay tertiary, information isn’t a great way to go about life colonelkira.

          1. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 6:52pm

            I suppose I am expected to base my opinions on your way of going about things am I?

            Let’s see…….step 1 – Read an article and interpret it in any old way, shape or form I feel suits my own needs and not as reported.

            step 2 – Insult anyone who has a different opinion than mine.

            step 3 – repeat from above.

          2. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 7:03pm

            You’re kidding me with this comment right? What the hell do you think YOU are doing?

            Basing your opinion on a piece of information you claim is incorrect!

          3. Read the article again. Carefully. Maybe a few times. You might actually get it one day…..

            And as for telling people they are insulting…. pot…. kettle….

          4. colonelkira = troll. Always comes out with the same attack attack attack anyone who disagrees with him, esp. when he’s proved wrong.

        5. Welcome to Remedial Reading, Colonel Cupcake!

          For your first exercise, please tell me the difference between these two paragraphs and tell me which one is correct:

          1) Upon arrival, they were told that for Ms Simonelli to make any necessary medical decisions for her partner should the complications worsen (as would be the case for a married couple in the same situation ) they would need to acquire power of attorney.

          2) Upon arrival, they were told that for Ms Simonelli to make any necessary medical decisions for her partner should the complications worsen they would need to acquire power of attorney (as would be the case for a married couple in the same situation ).

          Let me help – 1) says heterosexual couples do not need to obtain power of attorney and is correct. 2) says heterosexual couples do need to obtain power of attorney and is incorrect.

          PN haven’t made a mistake – they have published a poorly written article, but they haven’t made a mistake.

    2. Miguel Sanchez 21 Aug 2012, 3:40pm

      You’re so full of it I can’t stand it. A husband has the right to make medical decisions for his wife in cases where she can’t speak for herself.

      The same applies here but that hospital refused to acknowledge it.

      I FAULT THE HOSPITAL and I hope they sue them. It won’t bring their baby back but it will get their attention!!!!!

    3. Bill Harrison 21 Aug 2012, 4:41pm

      ?? How does the article say that?

  3. Spiritbody 21 Aug 2012, 3:33pm

    This story should be a lot bigger than it is. This clearly shows the unacceptable results of the current unequal marriage status. I actually felt really angry reading this

    1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 3:57pm

      Me too. When you read the original article, it seems PinkNews could have done a better job at preventing the apparent one sided reporting they engaged in. I appreciate PinkNews, but even the best get it wrong sometimes. I believe gay couples should have full equality, and not just domestic partnerships. However, that does not absolve LGBT couples from understanding their rights and responsibilities under those domestic partnerships.

      I hope everyone checks out the original article so they can judge for themselves. It is clear PinkNews omittted important details that could have prevented some amount of consternation amongst its readers here:

      http://www.lvrj.com/news/same-sex-couple-in-henderson-upset-with-hospital-s-treatment-166680476.html

      There’s LOTS of reliable LGBT media to choose from. I hope PinkNews revisits this article and fleshes out some of the details that clearly went AWOL.

      1. Many ask this of PN. Many are disappointed.

      2. Wasn’t PN that caused the consternation Brian, it was people like you and colonelkira.

        1. colonelkira 21 Aug 2012, 7:13pm

          No Steve, you created your own consternation, by lacking the ability to extend a courtesy to anyone who has a different opinion than you do.

          This is EXACTLY what is wrong with the gay community! Why should anyone else be bothered to treat us with dignity and respect when we are completely incapable of extending these to those of us in our own community?

      3. Yes, the PN headline was unclear, and yes the PN article didn’t give as many details as the article I linked to which you’ve re-linked to in your post, BAB, but it was wrong of you to make an assumption that the couple DECLINED treatment. That was what I had an issue with – that and you going on to extrapolate from that assumption that the couple had somehow DECIDED to lose their baby.

        Why on earth would you think that any couple would do that? Nevermind what the article said. That’s a question NOT an accusation. In my opinion, you went on to deduce far more than was reasonable, and assumed something that I cannot see that the PN article even implied – ie that this couple somehow sacrificed their baby by declining treatment.

        However, I am glad that you’ve amended what you said now.

        1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 7:09pm

          The headline alone seems to infer as much:

          Lesbian couple in Nevada lose baby after hospital denies them rights

          Turns out the hospital did not deny them any rights they were legally obligated to extend. The couple did not lose their baby because of anything the hospital did. With the parsed out info in the article it seemed the couple had declined to seek treatment.

          It was not a case of me going on “to deduce far more than was reasonable,” but of PinkNews “reducing far more from the original article than was reasonable,” couching it in a headline sure to draw readers, and parsed down to appear the hospital (or the couple) were at fault.

          This is not journalism. It’s sensationalism. I’ll give anyone a second chance, but this is the last one I give PinkNews. There is no need to create false narratives or generate confusion amongst our own in order to secure marriage equality. If PinkNews believes otherwise, they have lost a reader.

          1. BAB, I agree that the hospital didn’t cause the couple to lose the baby but the couple were not treated as they should have been, therefore adding to the upset and trauma at an already upsetting time. It must have been horrible for that lady to turn up with her pregnant partner and to have been treated as though she was a random stranger.

            Yes, when I first read the headline I thought there was going to be ‘more to it’ – ie something the hospital had done or failed to do that meant the couple lost their baby, but, having read the article, I saw that that wasn’t the case. Although, of course, that added stress may not have helped.

            However, they were denied rights, and that makes it even more important that the rights of LGBT couples are properly protected in every case,and that there can be no confusion about that, nor.refusal by people who are obliged to treat us equally. It’s not just pregnancy, of course. It counts for all illnesses that require hospital admission.

          2. “There is no need to create false narratives or generate confusion amongst our own in order to secure marriage equality.”

            I completely agree with you there. But I think this story was a warning that even when we have legal rights they can still be ignored and we can be treated unfairly/unequally.

  4. Jim Fields Nashville tn 21 Aug 2012, 4:17pm

    THEY DID NOT MAKE THE DECISION TO LOSE THE BABY .. there were complications with the pregnancy and I do believe if Brian Anthony Brown understood that he would know that using the words lose the baby means she had a miscarriage .. they suffered not only from the lost of the baby but of their rights as protected by nevada state law . .and the hospital is at fault for not having all members of the staff inserviced on what the laws of the state are .. as a professional health care worker .. one sure way to get the hospital attendance is to bring a complaint against them and to sue them .. that gets everyone involved in inservice training .. and makes sure that policies are put in place that things like this dont happen again

    1. Brian Anthony Bowen 21 Aug 2012, 4:44pm

      Maybe I would have understood that if PinkNews had troubled themselves with conveying that information from the original article.

      http://www.lvrj.com/news/same-sex-couple-in-henderson-upset-with-hospital-s-treatment-166680476.html

      1. Or had written the article more clearly – at no time has it stated that heterosexual couples need poa.

  5. How sad that the medical professionals failed this couple. They allowed their obligation to the Hippocratic Oath to be compromised by bureaucratic policy which makes them make judgements and follow hospital procedure as Hypocritical Oafs violating this couples rights..

    As a lesbian couple it is clear they had already gone to great lengths to commit to this pregnancy and have their own child.

    I feel great compassion for this couples situation when I have just read the previous PN headline: “Pro-life group say marriage equality could lead to an increase in abortions” How do you rationalize the illogical thinking and facts associated with both these stories?
    .

  6. Bill harrison 21 Aug 2012, 4:50pm

    I fully support the gist of this article which is the abhorrent abuse of this couples’ rights based on prejudice. However, I believe the headline used by PN is inflamatory; there is no evidence presented that the decision to exclude the woman’s partner from making decisions CAUSED the baby to be lost, and that is what is implied in the headline. This is not responsible reporting.

    1. Yes, the headline is ambivalent. The “after” is referring to time, but could easily have been taken to be causal. But I do think the article indirectly made that clear (that the prejudice didn’t cause the loss of the baby), albeit not very well, as evidenced by a few people’s confusion.

  7. I thought hospitals are required by law to help people in this kind of situation? Maybe that’s only how it is in NC, but I’m thinking if two straight adults walked in to a hospital, and one was a pregnant woman, that her baby may have not died. It seems that if the pregnant mother is an adult, and was consious and able to make her own decisions upon arrival, that having a Power of Attorney should not have even been an issue. Power of Attorney is usually for when people are incapacitated and can not make decisions for themselves. I’m also saddened by how little this situation has been written about online. I post LGBT articles on our Twitter and Facebook accounts for our followers, but I’ve only received 2 Google Alerts on this story since it happened. Same with the young women who were shot in the park a couple of months ago. Very little coverage about an execution style murder. Wondering if that’s going to be labeled as a hate crime or not. I haven’t seen anything else about it…

  8. Art Pearson 21 Aug 2012, 5:23pm

    Both the hospital and the specific staff person who made the decisions should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    1. There is no law covering this, they would need to acquire power of attorney, that is not the hospitals problem.

      1. Read the article again and more closely Mike. They did not need power of attorney because they were in a domestic partnership – an arrangement that gives them the same rights in law as heterosexual couples. Note, PN said:

        Upon arrival, they were told that for Ms Simonelli to make any necessary medical decisions for her partner should the complications worsen (as would be the case for a married couple in the same situation ) they would need to acquire power of attorney.

        i.e. they told Ms S that for her to make decisions for her partner should her condition worsen, like married couples can, she would need power of attorney.

  9. As has been said already, PN’s article is contrary to the original report in Las Vegas review-journal. The couple did not delay treatment, and the hospital’s decision was not responsible for the loss of the baby.

    The admissions officer was wrong about domestic partnerships and totally unsympathetic in the most difficult of times. The couple were lucky to have a doctor supporting them and making sure information was relayed.

    I noticed the irony that the hospital checked they were getting paid from the partner’s insurance.

  10. Would this have happened under the NHS?????…..No it wouldnt

  11. Everyone who accepted or advocated lesser forms of partnerships, or opposed equal marriage, have a share in the blame for this sort of thing.

    Personally I suspect this was an instance o the problem religious people have when working in many settings: distinguishing between their belief and the truth. The staff in question probably believed what they were saying, because they believed it should be the case. I always think a nurse wearing a cross is warning sign.

  12. Lynda in Oregon 23 Aug 2012, 4:19am

    I’m confused as to how the confusion over medical power of attorney contributed to the miscarriage. ???

    The loss of a baby is devastating to any couple. Having domestic partners (recognized by the state) get yanked around by a hospital in a medical emergency is unforgiveable.

    HOWEVER, in this case, the story as printed doesn’t make clear how the hospital’s action contributed to the tragedy.

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