Michigan hospital sued over 'No African American Nurse for a baby- father's request'

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    This can happen even in the 21st century, when we have an African American president. Racism is very much alive.

    A father of a newborn did not want an African American nurse for his baby, and the hospital honored his request, by not allowing their veteran African American nurse in the neonatal division to care for that baby. The hospital is facing a law suit, but it does not seem fair to me that the father of the baby gets off without a lawsuit.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/free/20130219michigan-no-black-nurses-lawsuit.html
     
  2. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

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    I'm not a fan of lawsuits - only the lawyers win.. I wish he could get some sort of community service whereby he has to give back to the community - better still the African American community ;) Racism is alive and well - remember the little toddler who was slapped and called the 'N' word on the plane.. I hope he goes to jail..
     
  3. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

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    "Family-centered care" gone awry...
     
  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    What should the father of the newborn be sued for? It's his right not to want African Americans to be around his newborn, and he has every right to make that request to the hospital. The hospital definitely could've/ should've refused the request.
     
  5. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ But then, in that case, maybe he needed to take his wife to a different hospital where the makeup of the nursing staff was more to his liking, even if they had to book a flight to Sweden or Norway. God forbid, if his wife's regular gynecologist was unavailable and the hospital provided a black-skinned doctor of East Indian ancestry or a fair-skinned doctor who just happened to be African-American. :duh:

    I wonder whether the father of the newborn ever pitched a fit while dining in a restaurant where either the chef, the owner, the dishwashers or any of the waiters happened to be African-American. :duh: :duh:
     
  6. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    Mind-blowing. :eek::(

    I can't believe the hospital caved in to this man's request.
     
  7. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

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    I can, it's all about making the "customer" happy these days. Google "Press Ganey"
     
  8. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    Really......totally true. It is the father's right to ask. (I wouldn't have had the courage to ask, even if I had the thought). I kinda think everyone is out of control. I can't believe the note in the chart.........but a lawsuit against the hospital? Really? Come on! It was one moron... I think if people like Al Sharpton didn't make his living from sensationalizing stupidity, we'd all be better off.

    I can't imagine what was behind the hospital's logic. Might as well have put.........."sue us" on the chart.
     
  9. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Really AxleAnnie, if I said I don't want any Jews touching my baby, you're fine with that? How many steps is it then till we get to no blacks or Jews work in OUR hospital.

    That is why there is a lawsuit.
     
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  10. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Honestly, this is no different than when a female patient refuses to be seen by a male doctor or refuses to let a male nurse or technologist do their mammogram or vaginal ultrasound. Or a male patient refuses to let a female do a prostate exam. Happens every day. Patient's have cultural and religious beliefs that impact their healthcare all the time. And, I suspect many of you would be appalled at the number of healthcare workers who refuse to treat certain patients. The hospital was stupid for documenting the issue. Nurses, doctors, technicians are reassigned for different reasons every day.
     
  11. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    One of my fellow Flamenco students is a massage therapist, and she told me that on occasion, the client will ask for a "real Canadian."

    I bet her family has been in Quebec longer than their family has been in Canada.
     
  12. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    I wouldn't be FINE with it but I wouldn't necessarily sue either. It makes me wonder what else is going on at that hospital. I suspect it's not an supportive environment and the nurses are already feeling aggrieved. I know when I feel jerked around at a job, I'm much less likely to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    And, if I was the hospital, I would have put something like: "Father is racist. Therefore don't let any African American personal near the baby or he'll have a cow and we'll have to treat him too." on the chart. I also would have had some sort of meeting with the employees to explain we were humoring this jerk and that it wasn't about the quality of their work at all. This is assuming I didn't have the authority to tell the father to go take a long walk off a short pier, of course.
     
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Yes it is. Sex and race are different things. We have male and female bathrooms. We gave up black and white bathrooms years ago.
     
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  14. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Doesn't that depend on how long the mom and baby where in for? If the father was adamant that no one remotely dark looking be anywhere near his baby and the mom had a c-section or the baby was in NICU, it could be a while and it might have been harder to be discrete about it.

    Or maybe they were just stupid. :lol:
     
  15. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Ya think, rfisher??? I suppose they must live in a lily white community where they're planning to home school their child so as to avoid the possibility of having to sue the school district for possibly hiring African-American teachers, and not even just because such teachers might be dangerously allowed to teach their child necessarily, but just the specter of them walking anywhere on the premises near their child... Shudder!!! Horrors!!!%!@&$#!

    So then, rfisher, I guess that means blatant prejudice is okay as long as it's conveniently kept under wraps and never documented or publicized.

    I can see it now, the father of the newborn making the rounds of white-hosted talk shows, preferably on FOX network (fuggettabout dat scary Oprah) to discuss the relevancy, meaningfulness and saleability of his new book, Fear of a Black Nurse.
     
  16. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how far this case can go.

    It'd be one thing if the hospital has a history of racially-discriminatory practices, or if they were the ones that requested no African-American nurses be near that bigot's baby. However, since he was the one who requested it as an individual who has no real position of power over the employees, I don't know what the hospital could have done.

    Maybe there's a case to be said that the hospital could have refused his request, but then we get into the question of whether that could have caused unneeded complications during labor and delivery, and then a hostile environment after the birth. However, I guess you can argue seeing that sign on the chart created a hostile work environment as well.

    I do agree that this is distinguishable from sex. There are biologically sensitive reasons why one patient would be more comfortable being treated by a member of the same sex. Racial discrimination doesn't really pass the same test. Culture may come into play here, but I wonder how much weight that argument has. I guess it's a question of patient autonomy and if it stretches to racially-discriminatory reasons to reject care.
     
  17. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    I'm in Canada. I can't imagine it happening at a hospital here; our system is funded differently of course.

    But still, to write "no African-American staff to provide care" or some such thing on a hospital chart - blatant racial discrimination - I wouldn't have expected that to be possible. I'm glad the nurse sued the hospital.
     
  18. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Wiki reports that according to the 2010 census

    Must be tough for that man. :lol:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint,_Michigan#2010_census
     
  19. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    No, of course I am not fine with that. It is horrid. BTW - there is some more to the story. The hospital denies honoring the request:
    Detroit Free Press

    As I said, the guy was a moron. Just get him out of the place!

    BTW - I am a Jew, and no, I would not like a hospital that said "no Jews" or "no blacks" or whatever. (I was picked up by Triple A once, and the driver had huge swastikas on his neck. I was actually terrified....and very happy that my Magen David necklace was tucked inside of my shirt.)

    But I do agree that the guy had the right to ask. I think it will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I couldn't believe the hospital accepted the guy's request, and evidently, they didn't. Now, if the hospital had some kind of "policy" - white on white, Jews on Jews - that would be something different (in my opinion). A one-off..........not so much.
     
  20. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    I would think it might be to those clients' benefit to be more concerned about the expertise and professionalism of everyone on the staff where they are looking to receive a massage, rather than worrying about particular nationalities or skin color. But then most people in the world are unaware that the bodies we walk around in are just shells or vessels within which our true essences (spirits) reside for a short while, i.e., non-permanently. IOW, our bodies are not who we are. I know that's too heavy a concept to bother with pondering, so continue on.
     
  21. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I didn't say anything about "right" or "wrong" but that similar things happen every day in hospitals. I've seen Black physicians refuse to treat Asians or poor or patients refuse to be treated by someone of a different ethnic group. This is quite common. There are so many things that happen in hospitals that the general public has absolutely no concept about. And the patient does have rights regarding their treatment and care. The patient broke absolutely no laws. You may disagree with what he did, but it wasn't illegal or unethical and was within his rights. If the patient threatened harm to a nurse or attempted harm, they'd be removed from the hospital, but they can ask to have someone removed from their care team for any reason they want. They really don't even have to give a reason. And, a nurse would have to show harm to win a suit. Did they lose pay? Or were they just reassigned to a different patient? If the later, they have no case. One can file as many suits as one wants. That doesn't mean they violate the law or will be successful in court.
     
  22. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^^^ that.
     
  23. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Yep dis and dat -- all colors of the rainbow belong regardless of how we perceive them. As regards suits of a legal kind, our culture is kinda all about sue first, ask questions later. In any case, I doubt this case is as shut and closed as one or two of us might think. ;) Although it may indeed be as empty and devoid of logical reasoning and human understanding as apparently is the closed shut mind of the father of the newborn.

    Wonder whether it might have helped any had the nurse been able to prove that she had the white blood of some ancestors running through her veins? Most probably not.

    http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2012/0...d=54217&o_lid=54217&o_sch=External Paid Media
     
  24. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

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    Where are those clients going to find a "real Canadian", and what would that be anyway? :rofl: Canadian cities are becoming very diverse, and increasingly that's happening in rural areas as well. Societal change is making that sort of comment less frequent all the time.

    ETA: The headline story in this month's Toronto Life magazine was on Toronto as a post-racial city ("how a new generation of mixed-race kids will transform the city"...and it was a very positive article). By mixed-race, this is everything from South Korean/Polish, to Trinidadian/English/Irish, to Chinese/Scottish/African-American.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Here's a another website that gives more specifics on the plaintiff's complaint:

    http://www.eclectablog.com/2013/02/...mand-that-no-black-nurses-treat-his-baby.html

    I do find it funny when people say they don't want lawsuits or that only lawyers win. People always say that until they need a lawyer.

    Anyway, although I do think from what little we've seen of the facts of the case, the hospital will prevail. However, I would worry about using common practice as a way to gauge whether an action or conduct is legally ok. Not saying this will happen here, but we have seen traditionally-accepted conduct being overturned by courts, especially when dealing with a suspect class like race.

    Also rfisher, I don't think anybody said you said anything being right or wrong. People just had a problem with your analogy of preference to be treated by someone of the same sex v. preference to be treated by someone of the same race. Those seem to be really different and the sex preference is seen as being much more understandable than the one about race. Of course, I think we have to worry about the volume of patients and whether it was just easier for the functionality of the hospital to give in to the man's demands (if the hospital did indeed give in). However, another argument is why are we honoring these sort of requests if they don't really affect the function of the hospital. Also, if a patient refuses care for a racist reason for a non-emergency, should the patient be granted their request? What about telling the patient to seek care elsewhere? I'm sure hospitals have refused care before.

    Also, why are physicians refusing to care for patients based on their race? That seems to go against what the practice of medicine should be promoting. I don't know, but I think there's legal trouble there. I'm sure the common practice you're talking about wasn't overt because I doubt a doctor could go up to an Asian patient and explicitly tell him "I'm sorry, but I refuse to take you as a patient because I don't like Asians." It was probably a "behind the scenes" sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  26. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with rfisher. The dad had the right to be stupid. Perhaps the person who wrote it in the chart thought it was not different than requests other patients have made about gender or race, but a supervisor apparently quickly corrected that. There probably needs to be some staff training on acceptable/unacceptable restrictions.

    Wasn't there a hotel (in DC? NY?) that got in a whole heap of trouble because a client specified no Jews?

    The very best nurse I had in the hospital after surgery was a male nurse. His IV setups hurt less than anyone else's, and he didn't fish around trying for veins for several minutes. I'd ask for him again in a heartbeat, and I wouldn't care if it was for recovery from gyn surgery or anything else.
     
  27. duane

    duane New Member

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    It's the father's prerogative--to be a racist and to make such a request. But if the request was honored, the hospital is discriminatory and should definitely face a lawsuit.
     
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  28. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about MI, but in CA, there are certain laws that provide statutory damages for each act of racial discrimination, so even if the nurse didn't sustain any damages, she could prevail. The nurse may have felt angry that the hospital didn't back her ... which is why she is suing. I do feel sorry for the baby, though.
     
  29. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think the patient has a right to refuse treatment from any health care professional for any reason. You may not LIKE the reason (I may not like the reason) but that is not ours to determine. Having said that, if a patient refuses treatment...........(think Jehovah's witness) that is their deal. Race (just because it is politically correct, and we can probably all agree morally correct) doesn't get an exception in the "any reason" department. So if the patient refuses....have them sign a waiver and kick their A$$ right down the street. Doesn't anyone watch Grey's Anatomy. Don't you remember the Nazi guy and Bailey and the Chief?

    Should is the operative word. I think Doctors should be able to refuse to take on a patient if they want. Not, of course, where emergent cases need immediate care (as in the guy comes in with a bullet wound - you are the ER doc, etc) again, I refer you to Grey's LOL. A doctor / patient relationship should be one that works for both parties, and both should be comfortable. And, I don't think the practice of medicine should be tasked with fixing harmony amongst the races. Doctors and health care professionals are there to help people who want their help.
     
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  30. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    Well, as a african american who has a mom who is has been an RN since 1974, rfishers' makes a point. Now, if it was a life or death situation then the healthcare worker is ethically obligated to treat the patient. It's strange that it was documented in the chart. But the hospital wants the money so they probably are not going to turn down money. I think it will be a hard case for the nurse to win. If she does win she better make sure she gets enough in comp. to never work again because the law suit will be a blemish on her nursing resume and I highly doubt she'll get hired at another hospital. There is a consequence to all actions and I hope the nurse weighed her options.

    My mom has been called the N word while in nursing school and early in her career. She's heard this type of request made 'verbally' before and the request granted. Now, if a physican denies seeing a patient due to race alone, I have a issue with that. I'm sure some physicans decline seeing patient that are poor because they don't feel they would be paid.

    If a person would not want my help and expertise because of my race, screw them. I don't waste to much thought on stuff like this. That couple may have lost the nurse who was best qualified to care for their newborn.

    Now racist/racial motivated things like Miss. ratifying the 13th amendment is something that african americans in miss. should look at as the last nail in the coffin as to why they should remain in Miss.
     
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