Bad medicine – Lawsuit – Maryland Shock Trauma Center allegedly refused admittance to a patient’s domestic partner – Brief Article
A gay man dies alone in an unfamiliar hospital while his longtime partner tries fruitlessly to get permission to be by his side. It’s a too-common scenario that documents such as living wills, powers of attorney, and domestic-partnership registration are supposed to prevent. But in the death of Robert Lee “Bobby” Daniel, 34, at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in October 2000, none of that mattered, according to a lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund on February 27. San Franciscan Bill Robert Flanigan Jr., 34, had power of attorney for Daniel, his registered domestic partner, but was barred from his room and from consulting with physicians because Flanigan was not considered “family” by the hospital, charges the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.
The couple had been driving to meet family in northern Virginia when Daniel became ill. He died without being able to say goodbye to his partner. “I have a huge hole in my heart, and my soul, because I wasn’t allowed to be with Bobby when he needed me most,” Flanigan said in a statement.
Hospital officials denied any wrongdoing. “We deliver compassionate care to every patient, with sensitivity to the wishes of our patients and their loved ones,” spokesperson Ellen Beth Levitt, told The Baltimore Sun.
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