Doctors Adding to Gay Grief?

“Doctors, nurses and priests are adding to the suffering of grieving gay people by not acknowledging their relationship to deceased partners, a study claims. Some are being excluded by medical staff despite identifying themselves as next of kin. They are also euphemistically referred to as a ‘friend’ or ‘special friend’ in religious ceremonies, research by nursing experts has found. This leaves the surviving partners of same-sex couples feeling ‘disenfranchised’ while the wider community views the loss they suffer as less than that of married couples, the authors say.

“‘Not having the relationship openly acknowledged at a time when the participants were in deep emotional pain exacerbated their distress and reinforced their invisibility,’ according to the study by Michelle Glackin of St Angela’s College, Sligo, and Agnes Higgins of Trinity College, Dublin. … ‘While the findings suggest the majority did not experience overt discrimination or homophobia, healthcare professionals and the wider community were complicit in reinforcing the invisibility of gay/lesbian bereaved people,’ said the study in the International Journal of Palliative Nursing.” [Times of London]

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  • Berry

    Thanks for posting this. The findings aren’t a huge surprise but this will be very helpful for health reform activists.

  • Ahem!

    Where do you think these people are from? They are the neigbors who spits at you because they know you are gay. They are the jocks who beat you up in high school because you were gay. They are the same people who support fart phepl’s church because we are gay. Get the picture? If you really believe they decided on this profession for altruistic reasons, you are all fools. It is for the MONEY! Judging by the cruelty and incompetence that is everyday at retirement homes, the health care workers are nothing but evil motherfuckers whose day will come, one hopes.

  • Jax

    @ Ahem! – You are basing this on what? That SOME of them are nasty homophobic mother fuckers? So then, all health care workers must be?

    Sounds familiar? Exchange health care worker for gay, and add in some appropriate sentiments…suitably homophobic ones – and you will find you are saying what thse nasty evil homophobes have always GENERALISED about us, but you are GENERALISING about health care workers.

    And on what basis? I’m a proud, openly lesbian Registered Nurse (yes, a health care worker), working in a gay-friendly environment (not a resthome – Primary Health Care Clinic (Accident and Medical Clinic)), with mostly straight staff who have NO PROBLEM WHAT SO EVER with my sexuality, or my partner (who is in fact included in work drinks as “one of the girls”). NOR have I EVER worked in a Health Care facility where my sexuality has been a problem. (granted, not a rest home…)

    Oh, and on the money – what money? It’s only recently (at least in my country) – say the last few years – that nurse’s wages have become anything to write home about. And do NOT get me started on the Nurse Aids – minimum wage anyone? Yes – or only just above it….it’s DEFINATELY NOT for the money.

    So, yes, some of those nasty health care workers are homophobic, and nasty. But NOT all of us – and hell, quite a few of us are GAY!

    To the article – yeah, it sucks. However, I will always acknowledge someone’s partner, lover, etc for who they are to that person – I hate it when my partner is referred to as anything other than that. AND I’ll say something about it. YEs, it’s different in New Zealand – BUT IT HAS TO START SOMEWHERE. Start kicking up a stink and things will change, slowly but surely they will change.


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