Bil Browning

Indy Hospital Is Not Denying Lesbian Visitation Rights

Filed By Bil Browning | November 15, 2013 10:45 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: David Stevens, hospital visitation rights, Indiana, Indianapolis

UPDATE 11/20/13: Bray has been arrested for attacking her partner in front of her children and then attempting to make it look like an overdose.

fake.jpgYesterday Indiana GetEQUAL activist David Stevens pushed a story about an Indianapolis lesbian who had been forced from her partner's side during a stay at a local Catholic hospital. Many media outlets picked up the allegation, including the Indianapolis Star - where I saw the story. It turns out that, like many other rumors spread by Stevens lately, the story may be false or, at the very least, dramatically overblown.

In a statement released late yesterday, Franciscan St. Francis Health denied the charges and said the woman has had full access to her partner's bedside all along.

Franciscan St. Francis Health has as part of its mission to provide the compassionate care and respect of our patients, their families and visitors. As such, our visitation policy applies equally to all people regardless of their orientation.

It is unfortunate that the current situation has been reported inaccurately in the news media and throughout social media. Contrary to the reports and social media comments, the significant other of the patient has been granted visitation with the patient regularly since her admission to Franciscan St. Francis. In addition, the significant other has been provided updates regarding the health status of the patient. We will continue to provide such access and updates as is our policy.

Our hospital has worked diligently and sensitively to meet the needs of both the family and the significant other, while at the same time caring for the best interest of the patient. All are an integral part of the healing process for the patient and Franciscan St. Francis will continue to work with both parties to ensure appropriate care to the patient.

State and federal laws prohibit us from commenting directly on the patient's condition, prognosis or related details. During this difficult time, the family asks that their privacy be respected by the news media and the public.

Sarah Bray, is standing by the claims, however, in today's Star.

Joe Stuteville, a St. Francis spokesman, said there was a mutual agreement between Bray and the patient's family that Bray could visit. He said he could not, however, disclose that publicly on Wednesday because the hospital needed the approval of the family before it would release any such information.

"We've known it from the beginning" that Bray could visit the patient, Stuteville said. "But you need the patient's family's consent to discuss anything."

Bray, however, told The Star on Thursday evening that there was no such mutual agreement between her and the patient's family. She said the hospital's director called her late Wednesday night and said Bray could see her partner for several minutes -- and that the visit, around 10 p.m., was only allowed because her partner's mother changed her mind.

"If they want to call that a mutual agreement," Bray said, "then that's a joke."

Bray, when told that the hospital said she had been able to visit the room since her partner's arrival, replied, "That is not true." She did, however, acknowledge that the hospital called twice Thursday with updates on her partner's condition.

The story hit the news on Thursday morning - after both Bray and the hospital say she was allowed to visit with her partner on Wednesday night.

Stevens has a history of overblowing events and making some charges up out of whole cloth. Indiana Equality Action, the state's LGBT organization, had to contact the police department earlier this year because Stevens wouldn't stop harassing the group's leadership by sending threatening emails, texts, and emails.


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