Discrimination hurts — more so in hospitals

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February 17, 2009


Your wife is dying. One moment everything was fine. You were in your stateroom on the cruise ship ? it was to be an anniversary cruise ? unpacking your things. The kids were in the adjoining stateroom playing with your wife. Suddenly, they banged on the door crying that mom was hurt. So now you're in the hospital ? Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital ? waiting for word, and it's not coming. They tell you, Joe (we'll call you Joe), you can't be with her. You plead with them, to no avail. No, Joe, sorry, Joe, we can't tell you anything. One hour turns to two, two to four, four to six. Your wife is dying, and no one she loves is there. Finally, in the eighth hour, you reach her bedside. You are just in time to stand beside the priest as he administers last rites. Your wife is dead. Her name was Lisa Marie Pond. She was 39. It happened, Feb. 18 ? 19, 2007, except that Pond's spouse was not a man named Joe, but a woman named Janice.

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