Another topic for the Peas, racial discrimation or parental right? UPDATE: Lawsuit settled

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Posted 2/22/2013 by TinCin in NSBR Board
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TinCin
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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:09:40 AM
What seems to have happened was a newborn's father at the local city hospital demanded that no African-American nurses be allowed to take care of his child. The nurses say that the administration honored his wish. The administration says they did not.

Nurse fiies suit

UPDATE:

Here is the latest news on this:

"We are happy to report that the parties have amicably resolved this matter," Melany Gavulic, Hurley president and CEO, said in a brief statement to the press Friday, Feb. 22. "We regret our policies were not well enough understood and followed, causing the perception that Hurley condoned this conduct."

Hospital officials refused to elaborate on what "amicably resolved" means, but Battle said she was satisfied with the agreement. The hospital would not answer questions following the brief statement.

Lawsuit settled


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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:14:42 AM
It's sad to think that this racist procreated.

I can't believe anyone would think this was a parental right.

TinCin
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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:19:20 AM
The nurse he saw tending his child said she saw him show a swastika on his arm to the administrator. Nice, yes, unfortunately the idiot has procreated.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:26:51 AM
I wonder what this jacka@@ would have thought if the African American nurse was the only one on duty and his child went into cardiac arrest?? I bet his dumb a@@ would have changed his tune then! As for the hospital they should have sat him down and explained that it was 2013, not 1950, and that any nurse in their staff was trained and would be treating his child.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 7:29:11 AM
Repulsive.



jenjie
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:04:49 AM
this should not still be happening.


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Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:24:27 AM

Of course the father is an idiot. I hope his kid is able to break free from the dangerous notions of the dad. I also hope that he never has a situation where his life is in danger and the only person available to save it is a non-white paramedic, nurse, doctor, or bystander who knows CPR.

I also think the nurse is ridiculous. She was not harmed. She got her pay. She didn't have to interact with a bigot who, if something awful had happened to his baby, might have created personal problems for her if he thought an AA nurse caused his baby's death. Her life and her family's lives could have been endangered if she had treated the baby and something went wrong.

I think the hospital made the best of an absurd situation and protected her.


I totally agree. The guy is a POS, but the nurse needs to relax. It's such a terrible situation for the hospital and I feel they made the best decision under the circumstances.




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Aggiemom92
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:25:48 AM

My first thought is, in a situation like this, you honor the requests of the parent. Refusing to do so may have invited more problems than it solved.


I don't agree. There's no basis for his request outside of racism. In this situation, siding with the parent is, to me, the equivalent of supporting their racist beliefs.

bridgyree
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:36:19 AM
I think that the father is an ass. However, I do feel that we have the right to choose who provides a service that we are paying for, regardless of the reason. I think his reasoning is awful and I do not agree with it, but I think the hospital made the best choice in this situation and kept the situation from exploding into a horrible mess all around. I really do not feel that the nurse has a case. She didn't lose her job, didn't lose pay. Honestly if I were her I would feel relieved I didn't have to deal with such a racist ass.

TinCin
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:38:19 AM
I do see the hospital's dilemma, they were backed into a corner and trying to appease this idiot. However, as the nurse I would be so freaking offended by this jackwagon. That's the issue, that both sides have valid points. The nurse is saying that the administrator posted a sign stating that no African-American nurses were to tend to the baby. I think that may have been the final insult for her. I can't say that I blame her either. The administrator would have been far better off having a meeting with her and all the nurses who would have to deal with this family and explaining the situation to them as opposed to posting a notice. Mgmt. denies posting a notice though.


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Aggiemom92
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:40:47 AM

I do feel that we have the right to choose who provides a service that we are paying for, regardless of the reason.


We have the right to choose who provides a service by deciding which door to walk through. When you walk into a hospital, you are agreeing to treatment by the hospital. You are billed buy the hospital. You do not have the right to tell the hospital how to manage its employees. If you are unhappy with the service at that hospital, go to a different one.

I-95
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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:43:33 AM

As for the hospital they should have sat him down and explained that it was 2013, not 1950, and that any nurse in their staff was trained and would be treating his child.


Absolutely, but I suspect that the hospital was looking at the bigger picture.

Here we have a self professed bigot, white supremacist, ignorant jackass, who may well have disrupted the entire neo-natal ICU, and perhaps become belligerent or violent with the AA nurse.

If the hospital did decide it was better for the sake of everyone to acquiesce, they should have also had a discussion with the nurse. While she might have been offended/outraged by his obviously racist request, chances are, as an experienced nurse and reasonable person, she may have agreed that keeping the peace was more important than her outrage.

I suspect the hospital didn't afford her this courtesy, which makes them look like they either caved in to an unreasonable demand, and/or agreed with it... I'll bet the lawsuit was prompted by the nurse feeling that her long time employer had disrespected her...which it seems they did. We'll have to see how it plays out.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 8:44:04 AM
There has to be a different standard for a state/city run hospital than a private hospital. It's not as simple as saying 'the hospital saved her grief.' That's not how it works.

Govt action can't take on any overtones of racial discrimination and is held to a far different standard than a private organization.



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mamatobabyA
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:22:32 AM
I have very jumbled thoughts about this. My first thought is that it's no different than a patient who requests no males nurses. That happens all the time. I would think discrimination based on gender is no different than based on race, correct?

On a personal level, this has happened to me. I am a nurse and I was "fired" by my patient based on the color of my skin. My patient screamed at me that she didn't trust me and she would let me touch her or care for her. I am white. The problem was we didn't have a black nurse on staff that day to care for her. So I spent the rest of the day hearing how I was too white, too fat, too ugly, too stupid, etc. When she spit on me we called security b/c obviously patients cannot abuse us like that. It was a long 12 hours. I would have gladly handed her over if I could have.



Maryland
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:27:56 AM
That is so sad. People like that should not have kids. I hope that poor child can get away from that dad asap!


I would not have honored his wishes!


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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:41:27 AM
I'm not sure if I understand exactly what she's suing for?

Patients have the right to discriminate, be racist, sexist, bigoted etc. Health care facilities have to accommodate patients' wishes, if they can and within the law. His stupid request was not illegal. Their honoring of it was not illegal -- in fact, had they not honored it, that may have been illegal or a violation of patients' rights. This nurse should know all this because she's required to know all this.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:41:41 AM

However, I do feel that we have the right to choose who provides a service that we are paying for, regardless of the reason


that's idiotic.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:45:13 AM
It's not outrage about treating one baby. It's a govt agency having a discriminatory practice. You can make it sound negligible but if you hear all the facts, which we don't necessarily have, and you know the law, it is a bigger issue.


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bridgyree
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:52:17 AM

We have the right to choose who provides a service by deciding which door to walk through. When you walk into a hospital, you are agreeing to treatment by the hospital. You are billed buy the hospital. You do not have the right to tell the hospital how to manage its employees. If you are unhappy with the service at that hospital, go to a different one.


I can think of plenty of reasons I'd ask for a different nurse. If I had a nurse reeked of smoke or strong perfume I'd request a new nurse (strong smells give me instant migraines). If I felt they weren't being thorough I'd request a new nurse. How often do people request a new doctor because they feel that they aren't being taken seriously or that the doctor is overlooking things? While this situation (asking for someone new to race) isn't common, asking for someone different isn't really that uncommon.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:54:06 AM
I am really not sure how I feel about this. I mean it saddens me that there are still bigoted assholes out there, but that is their right too. Sigh.



I-95
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Posted: 2/22/2013 9:58:51 AM

However, I do feel that we have the right to choose who provides a service that we are paying for, regardless of the reason


that's idiotic.


I'm not sure I agree with the 'regardless of the reason', but for a variety of reasons we have all probably had reason to choose who provides the services we receive.

Our HMO randomly assigns doctors and I have requested that my son be assigned a male doctor, and my DD, a female one. DH requested a change of his assigned primary care physician because he couldn't understand the guy...He was a nice guy and a competent physician, but he had a really strong foreign accent and it made getting critical health information difficult. I've switched dentists, within the same practice, because I simply didn't like the one who was assigned to me.

However, based solely on the color of a person's skin? That's idiotic.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:09:48 AM
Personally I wouldn't judge a doctor or nurse by their sex or race, but I think the father has the right to choose who cares for his child. Even racist assholes have rights. Think about how many people are uncomfortable with a nurse or doctor of the opposite sex helping them. Do they not have the right to ask for a different nurse or doctor?

The nurse aggravates me just as much. She's just looking for a pay out.


Jen


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:20:23 AM
I too am a jumble of how I feel about it.
First and foremost, this guy is an asshole.
Second, I really don't think there is a "winning" resolution.

If I were the hospital? Sure, we'll comply with this, but due to the logistics of your request, this will cost you an additional $xxxx to accommodate administrative costs and shift rearrangements.
Oh, you can't afford that?
Then suck it up, pal.

With that, I'll make it clear, he is abhorrent.


Well Peas, I believe this thread has gone Thrusday.
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:22:57 AM
I think that dad was a bigoted scum. No, I do not think he had the right to refuse to have African-American nurses attend his child.

However, as an administrator, I might have told the nurses about the bigoted scum and given them the option to be assigned elsewhere if they wished to avoid being subjected to the jerk.


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I-95
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:25:56 AM

She's just looking for a pay out.


I don't think that's her primary motivation. She has been employed at this facility for 25 years. You have to feel pretty aggrieved to file a suit against a place where you've been employed for that length of time.

I think she's probably looking for validation of who she is... a competent nurse and a human being. Those things are more important to people than a sack of cash.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:27:28 AM

as an administrator, I might have told the nurses about the bigoted scum and given them the option to be assigned elsewhere if they wished to avoid being subjected to the jerk


What you're saying is very different from giving into his demands and being discriminatory to your staff.

Nightowl-I have a lifetime friend who in his lower 40s began a career as an RN. He is in demand. The lifting and the fact that he is a double minority (african american and male in a field where that combo is rare). Some of the tasks are easier for him and his bedside manner is phenomenal. They're lucky to have him.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:45:28 AM
I guess I am extrapolating out. Let's say it becomes common for patients to request no African American nurses. While I understand the hospital acquiescing, the next thing I anticipate the hospital saying, these African American nurses are not cost-effective because of patients refusing to be on their service. Makes more sense not to hire them. Not having read the briefs, I wonder if that's a concern - as well as the public/private issues batya already mentioned.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:47:57 AM
OMG Nightowl. First you mitigate her valid concern and then you say she needs therapy??? Really?

It's easy being a white person in America.

ETA: Fraidy-excellent point, and also a good reason that race is a suspect class which goes to the public/private distinction.


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missbitts
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:47:58 AM
Here is Hurley's statement, not too much light shed on the topic, but relevant!

Hurley Med's Official Statement


scrappower
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:49:55 AM

I think she's probably looking for validation of who she is... a competent nurse and a human being. Those things are more important to people than a sack of cash.

Really? You've been employed by an organization for 25 years, presumably been treated with respect and given good performance reviews. And you decide after a single incident that you need to file a lawsuite to 'validate' you are a competent nurse and a human being? I'm sorry, that is absurd. If that's why she's doing it, I hope she uses the money for therapy, because apparently she needs some if this incident has made her question her competency and humanity.
]

But the truth NightOwl is that we don't know if this is the only thing that has happened to her. This could've just been the last straw for her in a string of things. We on the outside just can't possibly know.



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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:50:04 AM

I guess I am extrapolating out. Let's say it becomes common for patients to request no African American nurses. While I understand the hospital acquiescing, the next thing I anticipate the hospital saying, these African American nurses are not cost-effective because of patients refusing to be on their service. Makes more sense not to hire them. Not having read the briefs, I wonder if that's a concern - as well as the public/private issues batya already mentioned.


Like I said, charge the user. They want the ridiculous demand, make them pay for it because honestly, how many people make this request? I'd bet it is such a small segment that idiots like this can pay for it.
It's the cost of being an asshole.

ETA: if she wins the suit, the hospital should turn around and bill the patient. It was his demand in the first place.


Well Peas, I believe this thread has gone Thrusday.
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redayh
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:50:59 AM
Anyone who thinks the nurse was not "harmed," by this has probably not ever been subject to real racism and discrimination. Leave it to the Peas to turn it around on the nurse.
Also, in what world do we allow bigots to have their way? Don't you people understand what a slippery slope this is???

I'm not floored that people like this guy exist. I'm floored that a lot of you seem to think its okay to kowtow to his abhorrent behavior.
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MerryMom937
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:51:30 AM
In America, he has the right to make that request.

(and to confirm that he is a racist jerk).

scrappower
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:53:34 AM

In America, he has the right to make that request.


Sure, he can make the request, but legally do they have to agree to it? I am not sure there. That is what is throwing me. I don't know if legally he has any right to a white nurse. Of course he can request anything he wants, but....



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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:54:09 AM
If that's their official statement, then there is a question of fact for the jury to decide. Is this 'supervisor' administration by definition? Did this person have the authority to make the decision the nurse said was made? Was the nurse actually told not to treat the child and is there a record of this notation that was made? And when it wasn't supposed to be continued, was it? Who authorized that?

Apparently, Nightowl, the hospital disagrees with you and this policy of non-discrimination IS important and it isn't just a nurse being told not to treat one baby. My goodness. I can't believe you can just explain it away and make it into a crazy person wanting money. Some things are more important than money. And making sure it doesn't happen to the next nurse *might* be one of those things. Dignity might be one of those things.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:55:14 AM
Just to provide a different perspective: My mom was hospitalized once and there was a particular doctor that she couldn't stand (this wasn't a racial thing, it's just that the doctor had a very poor bedside manner and made her get very agitated). It got so bad that she would cry just at the mention of the doctor's name. I asked to have him removed from her care, and the rest of her hospital stay was a lot more pleasant.

I am in no way supporting the racist guy (who is beyond disgusting), but I can see why the hospital chose to honor his wishes.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:57:30 AM
Why does he have a right to make a request of a non-discriminating PUBLIC hospital? Where is this right given?

JBeans, even charging him would not solve the problem b/c a state run hospital cannot do this regardless of money. You can't pay away unconstitutional activity.

It is not right. Why are this guy's rights superior to the nurse's rights and the hospital constitutional requirement to be non-discriminatory?


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:59:10 AM
Maite-you are talking about someone being removed *for cause.* Being a jerk is not a constitutionally protected suspect class. Race is. Big distinction. The state run hospital has to be non-discriminatory. They don't have to stand behind a jerk.


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justalittletike
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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:59:36 AM
I think you have the right to choose who cares for you based on certain things like service,gender and standard of care but not based on race.

For example I feel I have the right to refuse a male to do my sonogram and wait for a female but not be able to refuse service because he is black.


This guy is a hateful moron and I think the nurse should be able to do whatever she needs to do if he was refusing based on her race. I mean what is her color going to do, rub off on his kid. Stupid.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 10:59:57 AM
Agree? I don't even understand what you're trying to say.


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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:00:54 AM

No, I was being sarcastic with I-95's notion that she filed a lawsuit to "validate herself as a competent nurse and a human being." If she thinks they're breaking a law or hospital policy, that's lawsuit material. Trying to get 'validation as a human being' is the realm of therapy. You're a lawyer, you probably don't agree.


What????



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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:01:30 AM
I am a charge nurse in a busy ICU unit and have had to make assignment changes for a variety of reasons including something like this. I put the patient first no matter the reason.

I side with the hospital in this case. I can't tell the patient that I don't agree with his perception, I just try to make the patient (or his family) happy.

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twinsmom-fla99
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:02:49 AM

Patients have the right to discriminate, be racist, sexist, bigoted etc. Health care facilities have to accommodate patients' wishes, if they can and within the law. His stupid request was not illegal. Their honoring of it was not illegal -- in fact, had they not honored it, that may have been illegal or a violation of patients' rights.
He is legally entitled to discriminate in his personal life, no question about that. However, he was asking the hospital to discriminate. And you are probably incorrect regarding the legality of the hospital's actions in reassigning the nurse based on race.

The Civil Rights Act covers more than just hiring and firing. It also covers promotion, wages and benefits, assignments, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, transfers and layoffs.

I think that the assignment of nurses to patients must also be race-neutral in order to be legal. If the hospital did actually post the notice of no AA nurses on the baby's chart, that was a HUGE no-no.

Sex discrimination isn't nearly as cut and dried as racial discrimination under the law. There can be legitimate reasons for making distinctions based on gender that would not be allowed for race. For example, separate bathrooms for men and women--okay. Separate bathrooms for whites and minorities--not okay.

So a woman who is uncomfortable with a male doctor looking at or touching her naked body during an exam is justified in requesting a female doctor. A male patient who has the same qualms about a female doctor is likewise justified. But there is NO justification other than racism for asking that only white nurses attend to your infant.

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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:03:54 AM

I'm not floored that people like this guy exist. I'm floored that a lot of you seem to think its okay to kowtow to his abhorrent behavior.


I'm floored that a guy like this exists. Like I said, there is no "winning" situation here.
Who specifically is kowtowing this.
Do you feel my solution specifically is doing this?

The way I see it, the guy wants medical support. The guy wants a terrible demand. If he doesn't get his way, it could turn into a dangerous situation because we all know that someone willing to make that demand is not stable.
So, who loses out? Well, he does because we all know color does not equal skill or competence, even though in his mind, it does.
The hospital loses out because they now have a situation where they stand to lose based on discrimination. The nurse because this request could have cost her shifts.

Who should pay? The idiot causing the shitstorm.
Truly, I want to understand. Is this kowtowing? I hope not.

ETA

JBeans, even charging him would not solve the problem b/c a state run hospital cannot do this regardless of money. You can't pay away unconstitutional activity.


Then he doesn't get what he wants.
Like I said above, there is no winning situation here.


Well Peas, I believe this thread has gone Thrusday.
"The Pot has not just met the Kettle, they are getting jiggy on the top of the stove." -Lanus

bridgyree
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PeaNut 218,303
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:08:12 AM
I just don't see where she is coming from with the lawsuit. I went to college for youth ministry. The year I was graduating I spent my entire spring semester interviewing for jobs in a denomination that was "all about" women in ministry. At almost every interview I sat down for I was told that they just didn't see how a woman could do the job. I was pretty much told that they had no intention of hiring me because I was a woman.

Fast forward a few years and I started working in a church of another denomination...I was there for nearly four years and several people were very vocal while I was there that I wanted a man in my position (a man previously held my position). I didn't get mad at them or hate them, I just kind of rolled my eyes and walked away. Eventually they did away with my position and I left. A few months later I found out they hired a man for my former position that had been "dissolved".

So yes, I don't know what it is like to deal with racism, but I do know what it is like to deal with discrimination for years as a woman in a field that is primarily filled with men. Never once did it occur to me to file a law suit.

And as far as giving people a choice with who provides their service...I do agree the man was an ass...but I don't know how we can draw a line and say "you can do it for this reason but not this reason". Can you really tell someone it is okay to choose a provider that you can understand better (due to a better accent) and that is not discrimination but you can't choose someone due to race?

moveablefeast
do justice, love mercy

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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:14:23 AM
Man, the hospital can't win, can it? They are either going to upset the parents or the nurses. My inclination is to upset the parents because they're the ones in the wrong - I think that is a racist request, and I think racism is always wrong. But it's not the hospital's job to make the parents act right, it's the hospital's job to take care of the patients to the best of their ability. I guess ultimately they had to do what they did, but I think it sucks.


Our HMO randomly assigns doctors and I have requested that my son be assigned a male doctor, and my DD, a female one. DH requested a change of his assigned primary care physician because he couldn't understand the guy...He was a nice guy and a competent physician, but he had a really strong foreign accent and it made getting critical health information difficult. I've switched dentists, within the same practice, because I simply didn't like the one who was assigned to me.


Inh my opinion, asking for a female doctor for a female patient to address the concerns of a young female person is one thing, and has a logical basis. I have a female OB and a female dermatologist, because those people provide intimate services and I prefer a female doctor do that. When my daughter is older, if she prefers to talk about her questions related to being a young woman with a female doctor, that will be perfectly logical. I also prefer a practitioner whose English is fluent, so that the lines of communication are very clear; and I work with a large population of ESL people and am fairly skilled at communicating with English learners. It's just that when I am explaining a symptom or concern, I really want to be confident that language is not a barrier.

There are, at least as far as I'm aware, no concerns related to neonatology that are specific to white babies. If there were, I would say that perhaps it is understandable that a family would prefer a white practitioner for their white baby.

But while you can certainly argue that a young lady might prefer a female practitioner to handle female concerns, you can't substitute "white" for "female" in that sentence without it pointing pretty strongly to racist motivation. I mean, say it out loud: "We request a white practitioner for our white baby to handle matters related to her whiteness." Or try, "We request a white practitioner because of potential communication problems with a black one." Doesn't really work, does it?

Sarah*H
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:18:50 AM
As far as I see it, the hospital made a decision affecting her employment based on racial criteria. The hospital is the entity paying her salary and it's the hospital which opted to make an assignment based on her race. Race is a protected class. I don't see any other way to frame it. The response should have been "Under federal law we are not permitted to discriminate based on race. We are unable to honor any personnel requests which would place us in violation of the Civil Rights Act."

I honestly can't believe anyone would defend the hospital under these circumstances. Sure the patient has rights, he has the right to go to another hospital or the right to refuse treatment for his kid but he does not have the right to ask an employer to break the law to satisfy his own bigotry.

ETA: Well, technically I guess he does have the freedom to ask because you can ask for anything. Doesn't mean you're entitled to it though



batya
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:19:11 AM

but I don't know how we can draw a line and say "you can do it for this reason but not this reason". Can you really tell someone it is okay to choose a provider that you can understand better (due to a better accent) and that is not discrimination but you can't choose someone due to race?


Because the law says so.

And you can't sue a private church for that. They can do what they please. Gov't run institutions can't.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




missbitts
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:23:18 AM

the father was informed that his request could not be granted.


From the hospital's official statement.


MerryMom937
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Posted: 2/22/2013 11:24:35 AM

Sure, he can make the request, but legally do they have to agree to it? I am not sure there. That is what is throwing me. I don't know if legally he has any right to a white nurse. Of course he can request anything he wants, but....


Hospitals are a service based business and I would think that they would try to accommodate requests whether based on preference, personality clash, or even racism.

I'm not agreeing with what he said, just pointing out that hospitals are a service based business and try to accommodate requests.
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