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Nevada

Lesbian couple denied hospital rights despite legal, domestic partnership

Sunday, August 19, 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A lesbian couple in Nevada was told by an admissions officer at a local hospital that they would need a medical power of attorney for one partner to make decisions for another in the event of a crisis, despite being in a legal domestic partnership sanctioned by the state.

Brittney Leon was checking into the Spring Valley Hospital for complications related to her pregnancy, but during the admittance, the admissions officer informed her and her partner, Terri-Ann Simonelli, that the hospital policy required gay couples to have a medical power of attorney.

Even though the couple offered to go home and get their Nevada-issued certificate designating them as legal domestic partners, the admissions officer said that it wouldn’t matter — the policy was the policy, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In Nevada, the domestic partnership law passed in 2009 provides all the rights of married couples.

A woman who identified herself as public relations representative at Spring Valley Hospital told a Review-Journal reporter in a phone interview that the hospital policy requires gay couples have power of attorney in order to make medical decisions for each other.

When asked if she was aware of Nevada’s domestic partnership law, she accused the reporter of bias and hung up the telephone.

The domestic partnership law states: “Domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.”

Sadly, in the addition to the stress at admissions, Leon lost her baby.

The couple said they don’t intend to file a complaint or lawsuit against Spring Valley Hospital. But they do hope their problem will lead to more awareness of the domestic partnership law and for fair treatment of gay people.

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56 more reader comments:

  1. WTF! BOO LasVegas!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:00pm
  2. … LAWsuit!!! Lived-&-worked in-THEE-media TWICE-in-VEGAS!?! STILL-run-BY thee MORMONS!!! Duh!!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:01pm
  3. Sue there ass

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:01pm
  4. Wth. This is do stupid- I don’t care who you are with, it is morally and legally wrong to deny anyone any type of healthcare. I’d be suing the hell out of that hospital. How pathetic.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:02pm
  5. Seriously… Las Vegas? What the hell. It’s fucking VEGAS.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:02pm
  6. wtf?!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:03pm
  7. I live here, and been to that hospital many times. This is very sad..and disgusting.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:03pm
  8. Discrimination to the hilt! STOP DISCRIMINATION.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:03pm
  9. MPOA…No Big Deal!!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:03pm
  10. SUE…blow this creeps away

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:04pm
  11. TAMMY….they had DOmestic partnership and the FEDERLA LAWS say…accept that as LEGAL POA

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:05pm
  12. “DISLIKE”. Big-time!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:06pm
  13. time to go gay on that hospital.. everyone who works there from ally on up .. where your rainbow proud!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:06pm
  14. what does state law say

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:06pm
  15. My heart goes out to them over the loss of their baby. I’m so sorry they had to go through all of this.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:07pm
  16. Damn, and she lost the baby too? This is just horrible.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:08pm
  17. THE HOSPITAL SCHOULD B TORN DOWN AND GO BROKE.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:09pm
  18. they should sue anyways that hospital broke the law

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:09pm
  19. Who do I blame well I’ll give you a hint i don’t blame gay people I blame the not gay people the hetrosexualls

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:11pm
  20. I think a letter from couples’ attorney might rearrange hospital’s attitude problem

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:12pm
  21. @Brandon Bsmooth . . . they are registered domestic partners in Nevada and that is all that is needed . . . no medical POA is required in this situation. It was discrimination pure and simple at the hospital.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:12pm
  22. They are most certainly dealing with their loss and don’t need the additional stress of a lawsuit. Hopefully they will sue. Regardless, we should send them our support.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:15pm
  23. What a sad story, in more ways than one.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:17pm
  24. Ridiculous discrimination. Can’t be a worse time to hurt someone than when their loved one in hospitalized.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:22pm
  25. so very sorry for your loss ladies.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:23pm
  26. ashamed of my state

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:23pm
  27. Sue the hospital and have that administrator person fired!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:25pm
  28. How stupid of the hospital.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:27pm
  29. LAWSUIT

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:30pm
  30. This is sad my condolences go to the couple and family

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:32pm
  31. I can not believe that in 2012 we are still so stupid. I truly hope the ladies speak to an attorney. I am not gay but I am sorry there are still people around who treat others in such a horrible manner.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 5:49pm
  32. What!!!!!!!! B

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:01pm
  33. What pisses me off is know one needs to worry what that I do in my life, if I want to give my mate rights for anything legal or medical than I should be able to do that!!! No one but me, myself and I needs to worry about what I do or what I request to be done

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:13pm
  34. Horrors!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:20pm
  35. I don’t understand how anyone in good conscience could do this. Much love to these women who had to go through such a ridiculous and tragic experience. :(

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:32pm
  36. So they won’t take legal action but they “hope” their story will change things? Good luck.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:39pm
  37. Take them to court. Sue the pants off of them!!!!!!!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:41pm
  38. :n(

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 6:55pm
  39. That’s sad. I fucking hate nevada and I hate that hospital too.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 8:01pm
  40. No not my state! Dammit were doing so good staying out of light…

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 8:25pm
  41. That’s just sick, sorry for the pun.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 9:00pm
  42. What amazes me is that if you were a male/female couple that you could walk into any hospital and make decisions for each other while telling them that you’re married without being asked for any level of proof. My mom and fiance did that in a hospital once and the hospital staff didn’t even notice that neither one of them had a wedding band on. Discrimination at its finest and even if you don’t like gay couples, how about some f’ing compassion anyway? I mean, you’re telling me that these people would stop this woman from seeing her wife if she were dying just because of what’s not between her legs? Seriously? One other reason why we need to get rid of DOMA.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 9:00pm
  43. these are the stories that need to get told every where…..So many good straight people really dont understand that this can and does happen so they dont understand what we are fighting for.They really believe we are fighting for the word “marriage” and not they rights that go with it.So many people dont know gay couples can be evicted from their home just because their landlord doesnt like gays and found out…and its legal..So many people dont know or believe we can get fired just because your boss found out you are gay and its legal.I really believe there are good people out there that would understand and support us more if they heard all these stories and not just the media twist about there those gays go again crying about a peaceful old christian man standing behind his faith..No matter how many times you explain it was about the millions he gives to hate groups,the next comment is….”he has the right to speak his mind,this is America”.I just dont understand what we have to do to get the truth out there.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 9:23pm
  44. grrr ….sorry I had to get that out

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 9:25pm
  45. This friggin’ blows. Hear in IA the hospital and Dr’s treat us as a couple and don’t question who makes the decisions when one of us have surgery. I’ve checked her in and she’s checked me in no problems.They need to make the law that same sex couples don’t need a medical power of attorney.

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 9:33pm
  46. this is why I believe in equal rights for all couples; gay and straight!

    Posted on Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 11:45pm
  47. The hospital needs to read up on in the legality of the domestic partnership, really sad. They are lucky the hospital isn’t being sued for ignorance.

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 1:37am
  48. The issue wasn’t over them being gay at all….. Don’t pull the gay card when u don’t get your way!!! Power of attorney pertains to both same sex and hetro couples. As a almost marries lesbian this kinda erks me since I wouldn’t demand something I know little to nothing about. No one cares if ur married!!!! They were covering their own ass, And rightfully so. Something as complex as power of attorney blows a marriage certificate out the fucking water. U need that document and if u don’t have it then tuff pattooties!

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 6:52am
  49. How can they legally do this? Same sex marriage is legal in Las Vegas. What happened to the doctors’ Hipocratic Oath?

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 7:51am
  50. Guess we need to get power of attorney & medical power of attorney paperwork now. Calling a lawyer soon.

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 8:32am
  51. …..I am so sorry for your loss…. :(

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 8:33am
  52. Hitler would be proud to call them friends and have them over! Modern Day Nazis, there here and they hate queers!
    Hitler would be proud to call them friends and have them over! Modern Day Nazis, there here and they hate queers!

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 9:16am
  53. Hitler would be proud to call them friends and have them over! Modern Day Nazis, there here and they hate queers!
    Hitler would be proud to call them friends and have them over! Modern Day Nazis, there here and they hate queers!

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 9:16am
  54. God must be proud!

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 9:16am
  55. God must be proud!

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 9:16am
  56. Somebody needs to sue somebody.

    Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012 at 7:50pm