Busted for refusing to leave his ill partner’s bedside

Sigh. Another win for being mean.

A gay man was arrested this week at a Missouri hospital after refusing to the leave bedside of his sick partner.

Roger Gorley went to Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday to visit Allen, his partner of five years. But when he got there, a member of Allen’s family asked him to leave, according to Kansas City Fox station WDAF. When Gorley refused, hospital security allegedly handcuffed him and forcefully removed him from the premises. Now he cannot visit Allen at all because of a restraining order filed against him.

Whoever that member of Allen’s family was – boooo to you. That’s horribly mean. Don’t do that.


  1. dianne says

    Gasp! You said, “Don’t do that”!

    Ok, now that that’s out of the way, this is a classic example of why marriage equality is important. Mr. Gorley apparently has power of attorney for his partner. The hospital seems to have refused to acknowledge it and sent him away inappropriately. If they’d been married, it is unlikely that they could have gotten away with that.

  2. says

    Not just “unlikely”. Impossible. And if the man has power of attorney, how in the world can a judge issue a restraining order against him exercising his legal obligations?

    So, we apparently also have a judge who over-reached, as well as a hospital. All because the family was squicked out by the thought of a man kissing another man.

    Egad. We haven’t progressed beyond poo-flinging, have we?

  3. zibble says

    Considering the man in question had power of attorney, his mistreatment was already illegal. This is not something that will be solved by marriage equality, because the law was already on his side.

    What this shows is why militance is important. The people whose job it is to follow the law will follow that law selectively when they can get away with it. It’s why wishy-washy centrist non-bigotry isn’t enough – the people who want to discriminate (and who will whenever possible) need to know that their boss will not stand for this shit.

  4. Jeff D says

    I’ve represented patients’ partners in precisely this kind of situation. It’s true that if the partner has a health care power of attorney or similar health care proxy / surrogate document under the relevant state’s law, the partner has a tremendous advantage. But it won’t necessary stop the under-informed or misinformed hospital security personnel (or even state court judges) from acting stupidly or illegally.

    The White House issued this Presidential memorandum on April 15, 2010, referring to the hospital visitation issue for LGBT or other partners: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-memorandum-hospital-visitation

    The memo itself doesn’t have the force of law, but federal regulations (42 CFR 482.13 and 42 CFR 489.102(a)), which require health care providers to honor patients’ advance directives (including health care POAs) do have the force of law. And these regulations have been in effect since the mid-1990s.

    Very good blog post by Carol Levine of the Hastings Center on April 19, 2010, about the Presidential memo: http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Bioethicsforum/Post.aspx?id=4617&blogid=140#ixzz0nR3OM8Je

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