John M. Becker

Ohio Hospital Won't Release Medical Records to Lesbian Widow

Filed By John M. Becker | August 06, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay marriage, hospital visitation, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, medical records, Ohio, same-sex marriage

gay_hospital_visitation.jpgThe issue of marriage recognition in Ohio goes before a federal appeals court in Cincinnati today. Here's a heartbreaking example from the Buckeye State of why the freedom to marry matters so much (via WCPO News):

A Blue Ash woman wants Bethesda North Hospital to release her former spouse's medical records, but the hospital won't let go of the reports.

Marcia Gallas said Thursday the hospital has denied her request because she was married to another woman. Faced with a struggle, Gallas wants help to get the records signed over...

"I'm grieving," Gallas said. "It's going to take a long time to get over Barbara and I really don't understand why they won't recognize... what am I to think except that they have a problem with same sex marriage?"...

She and her attorney have a federal injunction, which is based on another local case that recognizes same sex spouses on a death certificate. As a team, they feel Bethesda North shouldn't put up such a fight.

"All they need to do is release her medical records, that's all I'm asking for," Gallas said. "I don't think that's too much to ask for."

The fact that loving same-sex couples -- including folks like Marcia and Barbara, who were in love for more than three decades -- face this kind of galling and humiliating discrimination, even in death, is an indictment of our society. We must end marriage inequality now.

UPDATE: The hospital has relented and released Barbara's records to Marcia. But as Gallas notes, this whole episode never would have happened at all if Ohio had recognized their marriage.

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