Demand Hospital Reinstate Visitation Rights for Gay Man

Target: Research Medical Center’s Ethics Compliance Officer, Liz Tremain

Goal: Demand the hospital allow gay man to visit his partner

A hospital in Kansas City, Missouri recently arrested a man after he refused to leave his sick partner. The gay man, Roger Gorley, was visiting his partner at the Research Medical Center when a family member specifically asked him to leave due to unspecified reasons. After Gorley refused to leave the bedside of his ailing partner, the hospital called security, who arrested him and escorted him from the hospital. Since then, the hospital has issued a restraining order, which prevents Gorley from any kind of visitation rights. Gorley was not disrupting the safety of the patient or other patients in the hospital, and although he refused to leave at that moment, it does not mean that he should be completely barred from visiting his partner. The Research Medical Center must reinstate his visitation rights.

When it came down to who had the power of attorney, which is the legal power to make medical decisions, in the patient’s situation, Gorley wanted to be acknowledged as the husband of the patient. He had the right to make decisions for the benefit of his partner, which the family members did not seem happy about. After the complaint, Gorley was handcuffed and kicked out of the hospital. Gorley believed that the nurse purposely ignored the fact that he and his husband shared the power of attorney over each other, and thus are able to make medical decisions for one another. Due to this injustice, Gorley believed that he was ultimately forced to leave because of his sexual orientation.

Gorley described the situation and stated, “I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner. [The nurse] didn’t even bother to look [power of attorney] up, to check into it.” Gorley and his partner have been in a civil union for five years, but are not legally married due to the state’s refusal to acknowledge same-sex marriages.

After a 2010 memorandum, President Obama stated that hospitals that receive government funding from Medicare or Medicaid must allow visitation rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation. The hospital claims that Gorley was disruptive and would have continued to be if he was not completely banned from the facilities.  But the hospital has not commented further on the exact details of the situation.

Refusing any visitation rights is infringing on Gorley’s human rights. The hospital must remove the restraining order and allow Gorley to visit his partner.


Dear Liz Tremain,

The recent arrest of Roger Gorley has raised concerns over this hospital’s stance on same-sex visitation rights. Gorley was visiting his partner at the Research Medical Center when one of the family members asked him to leave. The hospital called security, which proceeded to handcuff and escort him out of the facilities. The hospital then took a step further and got a restraining order against him, taking away all visitation rights.

Gorley has the power of attorney for his partner, which means that he can legally make medical decisions. However, the nurse and the hospital appeared to have ignored that right as well. According to the law, hospitals that receive government funding in the forms of Medicare and Medicaid, must allow homosexuals the same visitation rights as heterosexuals. Gorley should be allowed to visit his partner.

Reinstate Gorley’s visitation rights and allow him to visit his partner.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Research Medical Center via Facebook

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    Totally absurd and discriminatory to deny a citizen and friend visitation rights.

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