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Thread: Hospital forms and non traditional families

  1. #21
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    The times I have had to fill out information, they want as much of the biological information as possible. The last time I went to a new doctor I had to call my mom and get HER life history. I will agree that this situation would be relevant to to many people that did not have a traditional family, not just GLTB. Divorced, widowed/widower, adopted. That said, it is normal in a surgery situation to answer the same questions several times. It is also normal that each new person asking you questions is not going to have communicated with the previous person asking the questions. When DH recently had his kidney transplant I had to tell each new person that he was allergic to one pain medicine. I am sure it was on his chart, but each new person that talked to him asked if there were any allergies.

    I do understand her frustration in that it would be irritating to always have to correct people about your title or family status, but it seems that this is a raw nerve for her. The staff seemed very accommodating to her each time they told her. That is not the same experience she would have gotten everywhere.
    I feel like people absolutely SHOULD be reading the charts though....especially for info as important as allergies to medicine. On the chart, it is written down for them so they won't forget....assuming they actually read it.

    Just curious what kind of treatment you feel she would have gotten elsewhere? They already completely ignored her repeated chabges to the paperwork and didnt bring the other mom a gown or whatever to let her go into surgery. What else are they going to do? Are there hospitals out there that would be so unprofessional as to actively treat a patient or mother of a patient poorly because they are gay?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I feel like people absolutely SHOULD be reading the charts though....especially for info as important as allergies to medicine. On the chart, it is written down for them so they won't forget....assuming they actually read it.

    Just curious what kind of treatment you feel she would have gotten elsewhere? They already completely ignored her repeated chabges to the paperwork and didnt bring the other mom a gown or whatever to let her go into surgery. What else are they going to do? Are there hospitals out there that would be so unprofessional as to actively treat a patient or mother of a patient poorly because they are gay?
    I think elsewhere she would not have found people who agreed with her that the forms were outdated, people who apologized, etc. She's in NY, where people will say, "I know, how outdated!" whereas in other places she might get blank stares, "what do you mean?" and things like that.

    I guess that's why her emotional response seemed a little off the scale to me. I liked her willingness to take action and speak up, but in a place where people understand that these families are everywhere, she got positive reactions from most people after speaking up. In many other places in this country things would not have been like that.
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Okay, that makes sense. I agree that the fact that everyone was nice about it right away (even if they didn't take note about it) was part of why I thought she was over reacting a little bit - it's not like anyone acted rude about it. But then, I wouldn't expect anyone to be rude anyway.
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    Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.
    That part doesn't make sense to me. They don't know who the "biological" mother is and I don't think it matters...it matters who the legal parents are. Biology shouldn't enter into it at all (unless you're asking for medical histories). Gay, straight, adopted, biological, it's all parents wanting to do the most they can for their kids.
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    This issue of "what is family" is actually why DH & I got married. He was in the ER with chest pain and they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't legally "family." Even worse, they wouldn't even tell me how he was doing or whether he was alive or dead. The hospital staff actually called his mom in Southern California, and asked questions for which she didn't know the answers because he hadn't even lived with her for a decade. I was his family regardless of what a piece of paper might say. His mom said, you need to talk to Stacey because I don't know what you need to know, and they said no, they couldn't talk to me because we weren't married. Even though I had a durable power of attorney, it didn't apply because DH was able to make his own health care decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    Laurie is right. Other reactions you might get are that many people would not act so polite and forgiving about it or say that the forms should be changed. The other thing that I was thinking was that in a situation like surgery where only the immediate family was allowed, that they would only allow the biological mother. It seems like I read an article of that happening awhile back. I do not remember where I read it so I would not be able to find it.
    His second mom *IS* part of his immediate family.
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    I can be passionate abot certain things and I would not want people to discount my feelings because it is my reality. I won't say she is being silly about it. If it is what bothers her, and what she wants to make people aware of, then more power to her. To be honest, until I read what was posted, I would have never thought twice and I'm happy she brought it to light. I also find it scary that nobody is reading the patient charts.

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    Quick comment about hospital staff reading patient charts.....
    My daughter had a procedure a few weeks ago at our local children's hospital. We were "warned" at check-in that we would be asked LOTS of questions, many of them more than once. The nurse, respiratory therapist, anesthesiologist, and physician all asked about allergies, when she last ate/drank, was she exposed to any illnesses, etc. Pretty sure that has become common procedure in most places.

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    I got the impression that the fact that they were so polite and agreed with her, yet kept asking the same thing over and over, made her feel as though she was being brushed off. I am glad she persisted and something might be done about it.

    I think they do routinely re-ask important questions, like about allergies etc to ensure they get the same answer every time. I dont think this fits into the same category. Especially only bringing one gown.....that was just ignorance. I do think her outrage was a bit much, but I do see how this could be frustrating, especially when everyone keeps agreeing with you, and yet keeps doing it over and over again!
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    Kyla
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