UPDATE: A former employee of Research Medical Center, and a current employee of a Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) subsidiary – HCA is the parent company of Research Medical Center – spoke out about this case and said that the hospital does not discriminate against “f*gs.”
I just spoke with Amanda Brown, 26, the daughter of Roger Gorley, who was handcuffed and dragged away from the bed of his husband, Allen Mansell, at the Research Medical Center in Lee’s Summit, Missouri on Tuesday.
Amanda, who was in the hospital room when her father, Roger, was taken away by hospital security and then the police, directly contradicts the hospital’s claim that Roger needed to be removed because he was “disruptive.”
She also accuses the police of wearing gloves, and worrying that her father had AIDS, simply because he was gay. It appears, following my discussion with local police officials, that she may have been referring to hospital police – meaning hospital security – as they were the ones who handcuffed Roger, only to have the Kansas City police arrive after and then take Roger away.
Hospital says gay husband was “disruptive and belligerent”
“This was an issue of disruptive and belligerent behavior by the visitor that affected patient care,” the hospital alleged in a statement released Thursday afternoon, after the story had gained national attention. In addition to intense media scrutiny and anger in the gay community, federal officials are now also investigating.
The incident happened Tuesday around 4pm, central time.
According to Amanda, her father Roger had every reason to be disruptive at his husband’s hospital bedside – his authority as Allen’s spouse, and thus the person in charge of Allen’s medical decisions, were Allen unable to make them himself, was being challenged by Allen’s brother, Lee, in the presence of a nurse.
Roger has Allen’s medical power of attorney, so there should have been no question as to who was legally responsible for care decisions.
Nurse allegedly knew the parties, yet did nothing to confirm Roger had medical power of attorney
What’s more, the nurse, according to daughter Amanda, knew Roger and Allen. Amanda say the nurse must have known that Roger was Allen’s designated representative, as they had been to the hospital many times before, and had been treated by the same nurse.
“The nurse knew who my farther was, she knew who Allen was,” Amanda told me by phone. “She had treated Allen before, and dad had been there before, dad had signed off on medical treatments before. She should have had all the information on file.”
Amanda says that the nurse had her father removed because of the loud disagreement her father was having with his partner’s brother, Lee, who had arrived at the hospital room at the same time as her father.
Rather than intervene and inform the brother that Roger was in fact the designated representative of his gay partner, the nurse had Roger removed. This, in spite of Allen reportedly saying from his hospital bed that he wanted his husband to stay in the room with him.
“Allen said he wanted dad in the room,” Amanda told me. “He said ‘I want him here’” as the nurse was asking Roger to leave.
When I asked Amanda if the nurse was possibly not aware of what the fight was about, Amanda responded: “She knew what was going on.”
Nurse had gay spouse removed, even though daughter says other man was more disruptive and belligerent
Amanda says that Lee, the man her father was fighting with, was being more disruptive and belligerent than her father, yet the hospital had her father removed – and then did nothing about Lee’s continued presence.
“Lee was being more crazy than my dad, he was the one who was yelling,” Amanda said. No matter. According to Amanda, the nurse “directed her comments to Roger, ‘you need to leave the room.’ My dad said, ‘no, this is my husband, I’m going to stay with him.”
That’s when the hospital called security to remove Roger, in spite of the fact that Amanda says Allen specifically asked for Roger to be permitted to stay.
Daughter says security assumed dad had AIDS because he was gay
Amanda’s account of hospital security’s treatment of her father, which she posted to her blog, is chilling – it’s still unclear if this was the KCPD or the hospital’s own private police:
When the Kansas City Missouri Police Department arrived they asked my father to leave the room. He said to them, “No. This is my husband and I am going to stay with him.”
The police considered that a violation of a direct order, so they began to forcibly remove him from the room. My father held onto the rail of the gurney as well as his husbands hand with everything he had. The police responded with brut and excessive force. The office began karate chopping his wrist to get him to release the gurney. Then they wrestled him to the ground forcefully enough to knock his glasses off of his face, his hearing aids out of his ears, and nearly break his wrist while they took him down. To handcuff him, they pushed a knee into his back and wrenched his wrists around.
It didn’t end there. The police changed his handcuffs 4 times! They assumed because he was a gay man that he was HIV+. When they drew blood from accosting him in such a brutal manner they freaked out. One of the arresting officers was so offended by my father’s presence that he would not touch him with his bare hands. He wore gloves the entire time and to make matters even more humiliating he didn’t want his handcuffs back. He grabbed them with gloves on, then another layer of gloves pinched between his index finger and thumb as he handed them off to another officer. The officer taking the handcuffs looked at him like he was crazy and just grabbed the handcuffs with no issue.
Interestingly, later the hospital also asked Lee, the man who was fighting with Roger, to leave as well. Why? Because it was Allen, the hospital patient, who asked for Lee to leave. For some reason, this time the hospital was willing to abide by Allen’s wishes regarding who should be with him. But not when his wishes were for his gay partner to remain.
“Allen was in and out of consciousness,” Amanda told me. “He didn’t want his brother in the room, so he asked his brother to leave. He [the brother] wasn’t calming down,” even after Roger was taken away in handcuffs.
Amanda says the hospital did let her father back in to see his husband today, after her father showed up and threw a fit. Amanda says the family is “planning to respond,” and has been talking with the local ACLU, among others.
The hospital issued a statement this afternoon, blaming Roger, but says it is unable to provide any details of its side of the story. Nonetheless, the statement makes clear that the hospital thinks it did nothing wrong, and presumably will treat other gay couples in this manner in similar situations in the future.