We feared legal problems

We had heard about a lesbian whose partner developed a terminal illness and the parents refused to let the partner in to see her. The way the hospital saw it, the partner was not a blood relative, and the parents, who had been estranged from the woman for years, were blood relatives. And so her partner died and she never got to see her after she was initially taken into the hospital. The fear that I was living with was that I wouldn't' be able to be with Judi while she was in recovery, or that something would go wrong and I wouldn't be able to be near her. Well, this was the Bay area, so nobody batted an eye. You know, we went to an attorney, we signed our forms and they said "Oh, good. Well, let's make copies right away and we'll put one in the front of the chart so that there's no question." There was actually no problem from anyone. We just had these fears because of horror stories we'd heard from other people.

 © 1999 Michigan State University
Communication Technology Laboratory