Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's News Because?

Indiana's Ball Memorial Hospital Responds After Refusing to Treat a Trans Woman

The woman was in pain and coughing up blood and was turned away after two hours of humiliation. The original story is here. It's news because it's rare. Or at least I hope that's the reason. I've seen a handful of hospital or first responder stories like this over the years. The thing I find second scariest is that someone will not help a fellow human because they have a problem with that particular person.

[Some readers might be equating this with Charles Drew, the black doctor who invented blood transfusions. The story is, he died after being denied a blood transfusion at an all-white hospital. He did receive a transfusion; his auto accident injuries were too severe.]

Tyra Hunter bled to death after paramedics refused to treat her after an auto accident. Apparently, blood, death, broken bodies were OK but finding out that the woman they were treating was really a man was too much for them.

Amanda Milan was murdered for minding her own business. As she lay bleeding from a slit throat, cabbies cheered and applauded.

The scariest thing is, there were groups of people present who did nothing to help! Why couldn't one hospital worker, paramedic, cabdriver, have the decency to say "that's a person. We need to help".

These are people who would probably rush to save a puppy in distress, if they could.

I really hope it's news because it's rare. Stana regularly does outreach, to help people understand that they're no different from us, really. I wish we had an army to educate the masses. That's one army I'd enlist in.

Sorry for the downer today ~ I'm trying to figure out why.


  1. I read about this and was HORRIFIED. It is an unfortunate example of exactly how far behind simple, moral thinking in our society currently is.

    Hospitals exist to treat PEOPLE. The transgendered, transexuals, cross-dressers, whatever... are people. Period. Maybe they think the Hippocratic oath doesn't apply to us.

    Sorry for the emotional oppinuendo. Things like this really bring out my inner b****. Small wonder so many of us are closeted.

  2. Meg;
    This is a sad situation and I hope that it is rare and not often repeated. Looking for the positive side would be that any publicity about this event would tend to cast the hospital in a bad light and add to and confirm the humanity of the transwoman.

    Medical personnel who work in ERs and trauma units have to deal with all sorts of issues, many serious, some not. My experience has been that the doctors, nurses and staff at most trauma centers are the true angels of the profession. On the occasions when I have had to use the hospital ER I have found the workers wonderful and responsive while working under difficult circumstances.

    On most of my visits, however, I have found the ER fairly well occupied with non-English speaking patrons who to my untrained eye were not in need of emergency care but were just using the facility because they know it was free and that they would not be turned away.

    Not to sound too jaded but I suspect that if an undocumented, non-English speaking person presented at that same hospital where the transwoman was turned away that the illegal alien would have been treated.


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