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 Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request 
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Modmin Dude
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Post Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request
Just when you think we're starting to make some progress.....
USA Today wrote:
Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request

FLINT, Mich. -- An African-American nurse who is suing a Michigan hospital because she said it agreed to a man's request that no African-American nurses care for his newborn recalled Monday that she was stunned by her employer's actions.

"I didn't even know how to react," said Tonya Battle, 49, a veteran of the neonatal intensive care unit and a nearly 25-year employee of the Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

Battle's lawsuit states a note was posted on the assignment clipboard reading "No African American nurse to take care of baby," according to the eight-page complaint against the medical center.

Hurley, which according to its website was founded in 1908 and is a 443-bed teaching hospital, released a brief statement Monday, saying that it "does not comment on past or current litigation."

Battle said she was working as a registered nurse in Hurley's neonatal intensive care unit Oct. 31, when a man walked into the NICU, where Battle was at an infant's bedside. He reached toward the child, according to the lawsuit filed in Genesee County (Mich.) Circuit Court last month.

"I introduced myself to him. 'Hi, I'm Tonya and I'm taking care of your baby. Can I see your (identification) band?,' " Battle said, referring to the hospital-issued identification used to identify infants' parents. "And he said in return, 'And I need to see your supervisor.' "

Perplexed by his curtness, she asked for the charge nurse, who spoke separately to the man.

When the charge nurse returned, she told Battle that the father didn't want African Americans to care for his child. Further, the charge nurse told Battle that he had rolled up his sleeve to expose what appeared to be a swastika.

"I felt like I froze," Battle said. "I just was really dumbfounded. I couldn't believe that's why he was so angry (and) that's why he was requesting my charge nurse. I think my mouth hit the floor. It was really disbelief."

The charge nurse passed the request to her supervisor, and Battle was reassigned, according to the complaint.

Even after hospital officials removed the sign that had been placed for a short time on the assignment chart, Battle and other black nurses were not assigned to care for the baby for about a month "because of their race," according to the lawsuit. Battle is seeking punitive damages for emotional stress, mental anguish, humiliation and damage to her reputation.

Battle said colleagues have told her they were surprised at the hospital's stand and they have been supportive. But she said she felt the issue was important enough to pursue the matter legally because she expected Hurley to have turned down such a request.

"What flashed in my mind is, 'What's next? A note on the water fountain that says 'No blacks?' Or a note on the bathroom that says 'No blacks'?" she said.

Larry Dubin, a law professor at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, called the hospital's actions, if true, "morally repugnant."

"The patient's father has the right to select the hospital to treat the child. The father does not have the right to exercise control over the hospital in discrimination of its employees," he said.

The case "puts into tension two different facets of the law," said Lance Gable, an associate professor specializing in health law at Wayne State University Law School.

Patients choose their doctors, he said. Some women prefer to see female gynecologists, for example.

"But there are also laws prohibiting discrimination," he added, citing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, among others.

"The bottom line is that the law is not clear about this, although I suspect the nurse will have a pretty strong case," Gable said.

One in three doctors in a 2007 survey said they felt patients believed they got better care if they matched their doctor's race. Patients' requests were more likely to be honored if the request came from someone who was female, non-white or Muslim, according to a report on the survey written in part by a University of Michigan researcher.

But just how often hospitals receive requests based on race is unclear.

Vickie Winn, a spokeswoman for Children's Hospital of Michigan, said the hospital may try to accommodate a patient's request for providers with a certain religion or gender, but a request for a doctor based on race is different, she said.

"It has come up in the past, but generally speaking, we don't accommodate that. ... We have a very diverse population, and we just don't feed into those kinds of beliefs," Winn said.

Julie Gafkay, an employment discrimination and civil rights lawyer in Frankenmuth, Mich., who is representing Battle, said medical personnel might receive such requests from time to time, but employers must guard against racial discrimination.

"I don't doubt that people have made requests like this in the past. You're not going to control the prejudices and biases of people. That's not my client's issue. The problem she has ... is that her employer of 25 years granted" the request.

She added: "We made a decision in this country that that kind of discrimination is wrong."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nati ... d/1928253/

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February 19th, 2013, 1:02 pm
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Post Re: Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request
Ridiculous. If anything, this woman was given less work. Why should she care? What are her damages? This is absolutely stupid.

I don't necessarily think it's right for the hospital to accommodate the request, but what if the racist that made the request said "fine I'm taking my baby home then..." Does the hospital just let the couple take the child out into a dangerous situation, or do they accommodate the request?

IMO this is much ado about nothing...


February 19th, 2013, 2:59 pm
Modmin Dude
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Post Re: Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request
wjb21ndtown wrote:
Ridiculous. If anything, this woman was given less work. Why should she care? What are her damages? This is absolutely stupid.
Why should she care? She's a frickin nurse, it is her JOB to care. Her damages? She feels she was discriminated against, which AFAIK is still against the law.
wjb21ndtown wrote:
I don't necessarily think it's right for the hospital to accommodate the request, but what if the racist that made the request said "fine I'm taking my baby home then..."
Peeps refuse treatment all the time, IMO this would fall in the same category.
wjb21ndtown wrote:
IMO this is much ado about nothing...
Well, either there are laws against discrimination or there isn't. Considering there are, the hospital is in the wrong.

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February 19th, 2013, 5:02 pm
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Post Re: Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request
Having someone NOT do work on you is not discrimination, and guess what? Private citizens have a RIGHT to discriminate if they so choose. It IS a protected right (Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association).

Generally discrimination means she wasn't paid properly, she was asked to do more work or a different kind of work than other people. Here she was asked NOT TO WORK, but still given her pay. She has no damages, this is no insult. This was one bigoted POS. Big deal.

A "feeling" isn't damages, unless it results in severe emotional trauma and requires therapy. That's the law...


February 19th, 2013, 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Nurse sues after hospital grants dad's racial request
there is a couple of things to consider IMO. if that baby was in the hospitol for weeks, there was something severly wrong with the child. Newborns are out ina few days...not weeks. Seems to me that the hospital didnt NEED to accomodate the racist bigot. had he tried tio take the child out of care, they could have slapped cuffs on him for endangering the child....least thats how it seems to me. IMO the hospital catered to an idiot and no good EVER comes from that.


That said, the lawsuit is simply rertarded and just escalated the problem. if she was insulted so be it. where is her compaaion for the child? should she be the better person and let someone else care for the child, if tats what the (ignorant) parent wishes? is she the ONLY nurse in the hospitol that can care for a baby with problem? i'm sorry, while she has every right to be insulted, suing just makes the whole thing worse and makes her once high ground stance, much seedier, and low life looking.

I have worked with/for the public for decades. I can count how many times i've heard "ooh no not this white boy", should I sue? or should I do the right thing and ignore the dumba$$es and do my job to the best of my abilities?

I think i'll continue to do what the nurse FAILED to do....and thats take the high road and be above the ignorance.

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February 20th, 2013, 7:01 pm
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