Lesbian Couple Accuses Hospital Of Discrimination

Woman says hospital barred her from visiting spouse

By WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
|  Friday, Jan 20, 2012  |  Updated 11:09 AM EDT
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Lesbian Couple Accuses Hospital Of Discrimination

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Kathryn Wilderotter and Linda Cole are accusing Washington Adventist Hospital for discrimination, after Cole was denied access to see Wilderotter, her spouse, when she was admitted late last year.

Wilderotter was taken to Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park by ambulance on Nov. 13, after she drove into a telephone poll during an epileptic seizure. She says Cole was repeatedly denied visitation.

"Linda is terrified, she's freaking out, she's in shock," says Wilderotter. She says she thinks the hospital denied Cole access because they were gay.

Washington Adventist Hospital President Joyce Newmyer denies the charge, saying Wilderotter was still being treated and that's why her spouse was initially denied access.

"As a matter of both policy and practice, we treat all people who come through our doors the same regardless of their faith, tradition, their ethnicity, or their sexual orientation," says Newmyer.

The Human Rights Campaign is calling on the hospital to review its LGBT policies and complete a yearly survey HRC sends to all hospitals regarding those policies. Newmyer says she will consider completing the survey. Meanwhile, Wilderotter and her spouse are considering suing the hospital.

Complete story at wamu.org

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