Gay Man Arrested After He Refused To Leave Partner’s Side In Missouri Hospital

wdaf_hospital_rights_130411a-615x345As the Supreme Court considers the same-sex marriage cases in Hollingsworth and Windsor, the arrest of Roger Gorley could serve as an answer to justices like Chief Justice John Roberts who asked pointedly what the rush was for an answer on the issue. Gorley was arrested at the Research Medical Center in Kansas City after he refused to leave the side of his partner. While he had power of attorney and the right to make medical decisions, family members did not want him in the room. Because he was not viewed as a “spouse” and therefore a family member, he was told to leave.

Gorley is now the subject of a restraining order to prevent further visitation.

Gorley said the nurse refused to confirm the couple’s shared power of attorney and medical decision form.

“She didn’t even bother to look it up, to check in to it,” the Lee’s Summit resident recalled.

The hospital insists “when anyone becomes disruptive to providing the necessary patient care, we involve our security team to help calm the situation and to protect our patients and staff. If the situation continues to escalate, we have no choice but to request police assistance.”

I do not know how Gorley acted, but the confrontation occurred after he was told to leave. If they were recognized as spouses, such an order would be highly unlikely. Clearly, the hospital can expel anyone who is causing a disruption, including all family members. The absence of marital status however places people like Gorley at a disadvantage in disagreements with other family members over visitation.

Source: Rawstory

109 thoughts on “Gay Man Arrested After He Refused To Leave Partner’s Side In Missouri Hospital”

  1. Republicans Unanimously Approve Anti-Marriage Equality Resolution Without Debate
    By Zack Ford
    Apr 12, 2013

    At a retreat in Hollywood, California on Thursday, the Republican National Committee caved to pressure from social conservatives and unanimously approved a number of resolutions without any debate, including one opposing same-sex marriage.

    As ThinkProgress reported Wednesday, this resolution is based entirely on debunked junk science and assumptions that heterosexual relationships are objectively superior to same-sex couples. Here is some of the text:

    WHEREAS, the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based in the conjugal relationship that only a man and a woman can form; […]

    WHEREAS, no Act of human government can change the reality that marriage is a natural and most desirable union; especially when procreation is a goal; […] therefore be it

    RESOLVED, the Republican national Committee affirms its support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.

    A second resolution reaffirming the party’s 2012 platform included a similar provision opposing same-sex marriage:

    WHEREAS, the 2012 Republican Platform states, “We believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage.”

  2. Rex,
    It sounds like Allen was not incapacitated to make decisions. His brother found him “sluggish” and called for paramedics. What medical decisions, anyway? No one’s thinking about pulling the plus on Allen and neither Roger nor Lee would have any input about what tests or medications the hospital gave Allen.

    It was the police and paramedics who decided to take him to that hospital per Roger’s daughter and its a hospital Allen does go to regularly.

    If situations like this have to be turned into “civil rights” matters, that is bad for everyone. Hospitals will go back to the very limited visiting that they used to have. I appreciate the expanded visiting thats allowed me to stay with loved ones all the time, even over night. But I can see hospitals curtailing everyone if they have to worry about lawsuits. If they can’t deal with disruptive people the way they see fit to deal with them, they will treat everyone the same: everybody is curtailed.

  3. Rex,
    Allen had the right to make medical decisions. The power of attorney is an irrelevancy. Allen was not incompetent.

    Patients don’t have a “right” to have visitors; hospitals have to have control over visitors.

    The brother WAS also asked to leave the hospital and he left. Roger seems to have come on the scene later than everyone else and seems to have come on the scene already angry over what his daughter told him on the phone. She told him he had to “get right over there.”

    You know, really all it says is that Allen is very fortunate to have an awful lot of people who care about him and his health. Many people have to spend months in the hospital without ever having a visitor.

    1. Actually Karen, while Allen may not normally be incompetent, the articles seem to indicate that at that point in time he must was considered to have diminished capacity. Whether that is true or not, both his husband and his brother seemed to think they had the right to decide his care which again seems to indicate that Allen couldn’t make decisions at that point. Now Allen and his husband had been together for five years. While within the realm of possibility , it is not really within the realm of probability that his brother and other members of his family would not know that he wanted his husband to call the shots. So assuming Allen was incapacitated, the question is when did the husband get irate. If he spontaneously became irate and argumentative then yes what happened to him was justified. If he became irate because someone was trying to interfere in his decision making capacity, then he was fully justified to make a stink, the hospital should have supported his decisions, and the brother is the one who should have been removed in handcuffs.


  4. If there was a disturbance, I really doubt it was one side. I would think most likely the patient’s husband and brother were both involved. So why wasn’t the brother asked to leave too? If I had been the only asked to leave and it was my husband, I probably would have become belligerent too. The main questions are when did what occur. Were the husband’s wishes on how the patient were to be cared for being followed or were thr brothers, if the brothers wishes were being carried out, then thr hospital was at fault for not checking into who had medical decision making. If the belligerence occurred after the husband was being ignored, it was totally understandable. Also if the patient had been at that hospital before, the ER most likely would have received his old chart which should contain a copy of the power of attorney. Really unless the husband was violent toward anyone first, most likely end brother and he, if it were necessary, should both have been asked to leave. And if it were a matter of who had the right of medical decision making- unless it was an an extreme emergency situation- which it most likely was not- as there has been no mention of a physician being present in the room providing direct care, then most likely there was time to check on who had the power to make decisions.

  5. Man says hospital removed him from partner’s room
    Associated Press
    Posted Friday, Apr. 12, 2013

    Brian Cook, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said the agency is aware of Gorley’s complaints. Cook said the agency is “working to gather the facts and determine what steps to take in a speedy manner.”

    “All Americans are guaranteed the right to receive hospital visitors that they designate, and there are specific protections in our rules for same-sex couples across the country,” Cook said.

    According to an arrest report, Research Medical Center did not want Gorley’s partner to have visitors and contacted Kansas City police after Gorley continually refused to leave “and began to cause a disturbance by physically resisting security officers as they escorted him out of the patient’s room.”

    Doug Bonney, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, said the ACLU is concerned about the case. He said federal laws largely say patients determine who stays with them in the hospital.

    “The hospital should have asked the patient who he or she wants,” Bonney said. “That should be the end of it. If the person is conscious and, you know, not just completely out of it, that is the end of it. The patient decides.”

  6. Elaine,
    What a wonderful clip of Jonathan Winters. He was one of my favorites growing up. I especially liked him in Its a Mad, Mad Mad Mad World!

  7. Nick,

    I think laughter is an excellent antidote for what ails us. Having a sense of humor and being able to see the funny side of things/life is a great gift.

  8. Karen,

    That’s YOUR take on what happened. You’ve imagined your own scenario of what happened the day that Allen was hospitalized. You should take into consideration what the patient wanted…why he and Corley shared power of attorney. Allen and Corley entered into a civil union. Obviously, they loved each other.

  9. Elaine, Yes Maude was this wonderful comedians way of getting in touch w/ his bipolar feminine side. He considered comedy therapy, and a release for all of that manic energy.

  10. Elaine,
    Sure, family doesn’t run anyone’s love life but you can’t make people like each other. What I think really happened — can’t help but try to figure it out — was that Roger’s daughter got her dad all upset over the phone that Allen was being taken to that hospital and not the other one. She was on the scene and the police and paramedics weren’t listening to her so she got on the phone and complained to her father. He assumes its all Lee’s doing so he goes over there mad as hell.

    What Lee said at the hospital doesn’t matter because he wasn’t making any decisions for Allen. Its not the hospital’s fault if Lee said something and Roger went ballistic.

  11. nick,

    I LOVED Jonathan Winters. I read about his death earlier today. He was my favorite comedian. I especially loved his character Maud Fricket.

  12. Karen,

    “We don’t know why Allen’s family is not supportive of the relationship with Roger. Maybe they just don’t like Roger but they did like other guys Allen was involved with. We don’t know. Allen’s family are not monsters if they come to see him and try to look after him. ”

    Did I say that Allen’s family members were monsters? Who are the “other guys” that Allen’s family approved of? Should an individual be required to select a life partner from among the people that one’s family approves of or should an individual be able to select for himself/herself a life partner that he/she loves and trusts?

  13. Nick,

    Thank you…. I had jut heard that Jonathan Winters was a depressive…. What I find ironic as well… Is he had a breakdown on stage in 1959 and made an impressive comeback…..


    Thank you….. Another thing about Winters… He was a Marine…. He will be buried at sea… Or scattered…… He refused Electroshock treatment…. Because he said some to the effect tht that is what made him him…..

    There must be a reason that I really like KK….. And Sunday Morning Coming Down….. He is the only singer that gets it…… That song right….. He lived the battle as well….. He is also the son of a Major General….AF and a Rhodes Scholar to boot…..

    1. AY,

      Sunday Morning… among my favorite songs. It reflects places I’ve been myself and know well because my mother sufferedp from depression. Hang in there which is sll any of us can do.

  14. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Eerily creepy….. But it’s the truth….

  15. The comedic genius, Jonathan Winters, has died. Mr. Winters suffered from severe depression but got great help @ The Institute of Living in Hartford, Ct. decades back. Robin Williams often says he could not have been a comedian w/o Winters paving the improv/stream of consciousness road.

  16. AY is correct that ECT is one of the treatments of last resort. As currently done (called “modified ect”) it is not as bad as it was in the 1970s. Back then, no medication was given to modify or reduce the convulsion. Occasionally patients convulsed so hard they would pull ligaments and break bones. With modified ECT, the patient is given a tranquilizer or light anesthesia before treatment, and the convulsion is very mild. In some patients all you might see are fingers and toes twitching momentarily.

    Depression is as real as a heart attack, and I have no patience with those who dismiss it as some kind of character flaw. ECT is only used when medications don’t work. Approximately 15% of patients with major depression are medication resistant on normal antidepressants. If everything else fails, there are really two options. ECT or MAO inhibitors. If it were me, I would choose ECT before taking an MAO inhibitor.

    One reason for giving ECT is that it works fast. In a suicidally depressed patient, having to wait several weeks to build up a therapeutic level of antidepressants runs a terrible risk. The brain is an electrochemical organ, and new scanning technology has discovered depression to be associated with hyperactivity in a particular part of the brain. That seems counter-intuitive, given the sluggishness most depressed patients report. ECT seems to dampen the activity in a part of the brain called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortical region. That is mapped as Brodmann areas 44, 45, and 46. An article in Science reports a study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). The Science report is a lot easier to read than the dense PNAS journal article explaining the findings of the PNAS article in a more readable form.

  17. it’s the patient and the patients wishes that matter. if the hospital won’t allow that then they should find another hospital. if the family tries to block it, well, that’s what judges and court orders are for.

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