Lesbian Couple Wrongly Denied Medical Decision Rights

A Nevada lesbian couple in a registered domestic partnership claim they were denied the right to make medical decisions over the weekend during a pregnancy complication that resulted in the couple losing their baby. JoeMyGod has the details:

When [Brittney] Leon, 26, checked into Spring Valley Hospital on July 20 with complications in her pregnancy, she assumed that her partner [Terri] Simonelli, 41, could make any necessary medical decisions if she suffered unforeseen problems. But that’s not what happened, they said. An admissions officer told them the hospital policy required gay partners to secure power of attorney before making any medical decisions for each other. They protested, even offering to go home and return with their domestic partnership document. But they said the admissions officer told them that didn’t matter – Simonelli would need a power of attorney. Considering Leon’s condition, Simonelli wasn’t in a position to argue or spend hours running to a law office. But the admission officer’s words left them devastated in a moment that they already were under extreme stress. Leon ended up losing her baby.

According to the state of Nevada’s website:

“As described in NRS 122A, domestic partners have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law that are granted to and imposed upon married spouses.”

The hospital was absolutely wrong in denying this couple their lawful right to make medical decisions for one another. It’s yet another example of the inequities and added hardships our families face in their everyday lives.