Friday, February 03, 2006

Woman Suing Doc's Office For Harrassment

(Link) If you visit the doc for bronchitis cure, you expect to get some pharma -- not a packet of anti-gay religious tracts and a notation in your medical files that you're lesbian.

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
From Associated Press

A 36-year-old lesbian in Florida has filed a state complaint against a doctor and physician's assistant alleging she was given literature condemning homosexuality as "sinful and sexually impure" after a routine appointment.

Jamie Beiler, formerly of Kissimmee, saw physician's assistant Dawn Pope-Wright on March 11, 2005, for a bronchitis checkup because her normal doctor was on vacation, according to a Jan. 27 complaint filed with the Division of Medical Quality Assurance. Beiler's sexuality was noted in her medical file, but unmentioned during the appointment, her lawyers said.

When she opened up an envelope Pope-Wright left at the checkout counter, she was shocked to find photocopied pages including Bible verses that denounced homosexuality and asserted God can help her change. "The information that Ms. Pope-Wright gave to Ms. Beiler was derogatory and offensive, and completely disrespected her right to dignity and privacy," the complaint says. Also named in the complaint is Dr. John R. Hartman, who allegedly deflected Beiler's concerns when she complained to the office.

Two telephone messages left at Hartman's office, one with an office manager, during business hours were not immediately returned. An office employee said Pope-Wright no longer worked there, and she couldn't be otherwise reached by The Associated Press.

Lawyers Karen Doering and Shelbi Day, who co-authored the complaint on Beiler's behalf, also filed a similar one with her insurer, Cigna HealthCare. The health care company also did not immediately comment.

Doering, senior counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said Pope-Wright was inappropriately using her job to distribute religious and political beliefs. "It was just a routine follow-up visit," she said. "It had absolutely nothing to do with her sexual orientation."