Differing Accounts Emerge in Story of Gay Man Arrested at Patient’s Bedside at Kansas City Hospital

Gorley

New information is emerging in the story of a man who was arrested at the hospital for refusing to leave his sick partner's bedside. A story reported by Kansas City's WDAF yesterday quickly went viral. They said Roger Gorley was put in handcuffs after the hospital refused to recognize him as the caretaker of his sick, longtime partner Allen.

The hospital released a statement yesterday saying that Gorley was acting belligerently and "created a barrier" for them to care for the patient:

We appreciate your concern and would like to assure you that Research Medical Center puts the care of our patients as our #1 priority regardless of sexual orientation. We support all the communities we serve. We have a long history of commitment to a culture of diversity. Research Medical Center was one of the first hospitals in Kansas City to offer domestic partner benefits, which have been in place since 2005, and we have had a policy specifically acknowledging domestic partners’ visitation rights in place for years.

This was an issue of disruptive and belligerent behavior by the visitor that affected patient care. The hospital’s response followed the same policies that would apply to any individual engaged in this behavior in a patient care setting and was not in any way related to the patient’s or the visitor’s sexual orientation or marital status. This visitor created a barrier for us to care for the patient. Attempts were made to deescalate the situation. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to involve security and the Kansas City MO Police Department.

We would also like to correct the misinformation about a restraining order. There was no issue of a restraining order by the hospital.

RmcToday, WDAF has a follow-up on their story, saying that Gorley had a confrontation with the patient's brother:

Roger Gorley said he just wanted to be there for Allen, his partner of almost five years. When he arrived at the medical center on Tuesday, Allen’s brother confronted him and told him to “back off.”

Gorley said he had the power of attorney and had every right to be there. However, HCA said Gorley did not present proof of “power of attorney” during that particular visit.
“‘This is my brother — I will take care of him,’ and I said ‘No, this is my husband I have taken care of him for some time,’” Gorley said.

Gorley claims a nurse wouldn’t accept him as Allen’s husband and had him escorted out by security. He was later arrested by Kansas City, Mo., police.
However, HCA said the decision to ask Gorley to leave was because Gorley and Allen’s brother were fighting inside the hospital room.

“When the nurse went in to ask them to please quiet down and please stop this and they continued, and every time they stepped out it would get escalated, so she stepped back in and asked them to remove themselves for the sake of the patient at the moment,” said Rob Dyer of HCA.
At one point, Dyer said security footage shows a nurse backing out of the room and Gorley was swearing at her, pointing his finger close to her face.

John Aravosis at Americablog spoke with Gorley's daughter. She confirms there was a dispute between Gorley and the patient's brother but says the brother "was being more disruptive and belligerent than her father, yet the hospital had her father removed", the nurse knew what was going on, and knew the relationship between Gorley and his partner.

She also says that when the police arrived the struggle to remove Gorley drew blood and the officers freaked out:

The police considered that a violation of a direct order, so they began to forcibly remove him from the room. My father held onto the rail of the gurney as well as his husbands hand with everything he had. The police responded with brut and excessive force. The office began karate chopping his wrist to get him to release the gurney. Then they wrestled him to the ground forcefully enough to knock his glasses off of his face, his hearing aids out of his ears, and nearly break his wrist while they took him down. To handcuff him, they pushed a knee into his back and wrenched his wrists around.

It didn’t end there. The police changed his handcuffs 4 times! They assumed because he was a gay man that he was HIV+. When they drew blood from accosting him in such a brutal manner they freaked out. One of the arresting officers was so offended by my father’s presence that he would not touch him with his bare hands. He wore gloves the entire time and to make matters even more humiliating he didn’t want his handcuffs back. He grabbed them with gloves on, then another layer of gloves pinched between his index finger and thumb as he handed them off to another officer. The officer taking the handcuffs looked at him like he was crazy and just grabbed the handcuffs with no issue.

Meanwhile, the federal government is looking into it:

At President Obama's direction during his first term, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued regulations mandating that hospitals that receive Medicaid or Medicare funds allow patients the right to have visitors of their choosing, regardless of sexual orientation.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which enforces the regulations through coordination with the states, is looking into the situation. CMS spokesman Brian Cook told BuzzFeed Thursday afternoon, "CMS is aware of this specific issue and we are 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 added. "We take alleged violations of federal rules around hospital visitation very seriously."

Zack Ford also has an excellent set of bullet points on what actually happened, noting:

With these details, both the hospital’s and police’s actions seem more suspect, not less. At the foundation of the story remains the fact that Roger and Allen’s relationship was treated as inferior. Because they did not have a state-recognized marriage, they were regarded as legal strangers despite even having set up the available legal protections for each other. Roger, in turn, was subjected not just to discrimination but police brutality and legal consequences. This tragic story speaks volumes about the consequences of continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to marry and how they continue to be treated as second-class citizens. Notably, not one conservative organization has mentioned this story since it broke.

Comments

  1. Steve says

    He didn’t have to present a POA because it would have been on file from previous visits. Why didn’t his brother have to prove that they are indeed related? And if they were fighting why wasn’t he arrested too?

  2. Jack M says

    Looks like a very bad handling of a difficult situation. The hospital chose the brother over the husband of the patient, and the police showed little competence in dealing with things. The husband obviously freaked out but, of course, the gay person is the one who is seen as being in the wrong. Very sad.

  3. Derrick says

    If Gorley and his daughters account are to be believed and found factual, I think a lot of people need to be fired. The nurse and officers who obviously need to be working in another field because they have no f***ing idea what they are doing.

  4. HankNYC says

    I bet they wouldn’t have called the police on a hysterical wife – this story just keeps getting deeper and more screwed up.

    I’m so tired of hearing about compassion from people that don’t know anything about. If the hospital had any compassion they would have been in there talking his partner down – get the family out of the room, and calm everyone down. The hospital failed on so many fronts – I hope they get investigated and properly fined as well as sued.

    The police – wow – really! They are really trained to handle situations huh. Not one bit of compassion. This is just blatant police brutality. There was no reason this needed to escalate to this point – if the hospital was unwilling to calm the situation down – the police certainly had that capability before jumping to force. What harm was this man doing that he needed to be removed with such force and lack of human dignity.

    Heads should roll in so many directions with this mess.

  5. Stat says

    I read a separate account from someone identified as the sister-in-law of the assailant/brother, who said that the assailant/brother was being extremely belligerent and aggressive toward Gorley.

    She also said that the couple had been supposed to go on a cruise the day that Allen was hospitalized, and that the brother/assailant was cursing, insulting the couple, and making homophobic comments, accusing Gorley of taking his brother on a cruise “to be f*cked by 50 men”. Pure, vile homophobia.

    The nurse needs to be fired and SUED. The hospital has no defense either, and they are only offering the slipperiest of denials.

  6. AJ says

    Am I the only one that thinks this is being blown WAY out of proportion. Violence erupts in a hospital, and someone was removed in the scuffle. I highly doubt the officers showed up and said “REMOVE THE GAY!”

  7. Homo Genius says

    i cant believe I am siding with the police…..

    The police’s reactions and feeling all icked out is not the issue.

    The point is that the Police were called and had a duty to deal with the situation. Gorley refused to comply. He brought his “injuries” on himself.

    We can believe that he should never have had to deal with the situation but I dont believe he handled it well.

    IMO, and from experience, I think he was not treated as badly by police as he could have been.

    Please lets not make him a martyr or poster child.

  8. Daniel says

    @AJ, agreed. None of us were in the room, and Gorley’s daughter is clearly going to put her father in the best light possible. There are plenty of times when gay people are actually discriminated against, and that may have played a small factor here, but I’m willing to bet money that it was his belligerence, not his gayness, that led to his removal.

  9. Steve says

    And of course the usual Towleroad morons come crawling out of the woodwork. By all accounts it was the brother who was belligerent. He should have been removed.

    If there was even a reason to involve security (which American hospitals seem to do all too readily), then the correct action would have been to take them to another room and sort things out. Not to arrest him.

  10. Indy says

    Regardless of the cause of the fighting between Mr. Gorley and his partner’s brother, it stands to reason that the hospital employee would seek to have the party removed who was screaming at her and pointing in her face. If the video evidence shows her physically backing out of the room as Gorley came at her aggressively, this does not seem unjust. I am not excusing any of the actions of the police or hospital staff, but it does not sound like Mr. Gorley is without fault here either. It appears that all involved parties could benefit from turning their focus back to Allen and his serious medical needs.

  11. Civil Lib says

    There is never an excuse for police violence. They are like pit bulls in need of euthanizing. You give some hospital cop the tiniest bit of authority and they go karate chopping and body slamming 50-something year old men, who are ALREADY under the stress of having a partner in the hospital.

    Police are DISGUSTING.

  12. Ratchet says

    Would someone identifying herself as a wife have to produce a marriage certificate and documentation of Power of Attorney to be allowed to stay by her husband’s bedside?

    This is all the more galling because the couple was KNOWN to the nurse, and previously KNOWN to the hospital.

    The nurse should be identified and investigated for evidence of anti-gay bias.

  13. jsb says

    There are always three sides to any story, one side’s version, the other side’s version, and what really happened. We weren’t there and don’t really know what all the facts are. Maybe before getting all hysterical we need to wait and watch how this plays out and deal with it accordingly. But we can be supportive of Gorely and Allen in the mean time.

  14. Tom in Long Beach says

    Wow, I cannot believe people here are siding with the hospital and police. What “Uncle Toms”. So we are to remain polite and calm even when insulted and treated shabbily. It really sounds like the hospital is trying to whitewash discrimination. This would never happen to a strait couple.

  15. noteasilyoffended says

    I am almost NEVER one who suggests legal action, but SUE, SUE, SUE the hospital and police department. I hope the hospital loses their medicare and medicaid funding- a death sentence for a hospital these days. EQUALITY NOW! Complaints to CMS will hasten the investigation and they must investigate the hospital with every complaint, so keep the complaints coming to CMS. I’m a health care worker and know you do NOT want CMS in your hospital.

  16. Dan Cobb says

    Clearly, the hospital didn’t give a rat’s ass for their marriage. And the fact that they decided to remove the husband as opposed to the brother speaks volumes.

  17. Joe says

    Look at it this way, if a man is admitted to the hospital and then brother enters starting a debate and argues that his brothers wife has no right to decide on his treatment and care, would the nurse handle this situation differently? Would she refuse to acknowledge their marital rights? Does the wife carry her marriage certificate with her?

  18. Dan Cobb says

    Indy, you are an ass.

    Mr. Gorley, who is the HUSBAND of the patient was asked to LEAVE!! Maybe that’s why he went off. I think he had every right to do so and EVERY RIGHT to berate that nurse with whatever degree of anger and hostility. He was RIGHT to be hostile to the nurse and to be angry with her.

  19. Dan Cobb says

    To the gay uncle Toms taking the hospital’s side… did you ever ask whether Mr. Gorley was responding to the demand that he leave his husband’s side??? Ever?
    It seems that if Gorley was angry and belligerent, he would have every reason to be so (and even more!) if that were the case.
    Do you people not understand the concept of righteous indignation!?!? What a bunch of passive wallflowers you are! WIthout righteous indigination you prisses would have NOT gay civil rights…UGH! The gays supporting the hospital disgust me even more than the hospital.

  20. says

    This is a messy situation, as hospital scenes involving medicinal emergencies and family at odds with one another can be. The question is whether the nurse and the hospital would have handled this the same way had it been a straight couple involved, with a straight spouse in conflict with a brother. Who would they have deferred to in that situation? The brother instead of the husband/wife? I seriously doubt that, unless there were very particular circumstances that would make deferring to the spouse risky for the patient.

    After the details of this case are sorted through and, hopefully, the conflicting stories resolved, the question to the nurse and hospital must be answered: Was the spouse in this situation treated differently because he is gay and, if so, how did the cleearly unequal status of gay couples in MO contribute to this?

    If a hospital nurse denied me my right to make medical decisions for my husband I would be belligerent, too.

  21. Akrontru says

    This made me so angry yesterday that I looked all over the net to find the details. Pertinent aggravators are (1) the homophobic brother that ridiculed the couple’s upcoming vacation as a butt- f#@k fest is a cop; The couple normally went to St. Luke’s for treatment except for ECT, but this excuse for a nurse did know them–as she said, “I know about you two.”

    As for the lickspittle kapos who think the hospital or cops will proceed in a correct fashion–well, you just make me sputter in contempt.

  22. kookie says

    I happen to be a nurse, and I’m gay. I’ve had family members removed numerous times. I don’t care who you are, what your relation. If you are disrupting care, interfering with the patient’s treatment, you are gone. If you are in my face with your finger or your fist, you are gone. If you touch me, you will be arrested and I will press charges. Try defending health care worker assault in court…it’s treated similarly to assault against a law enforcement officer. Family disturbances & disagreements have become a too-common occurrence at a patient’s bedside. Having those close to you during hospitalizations is an important part of the healing process. However, conflict & discord causes more stress and delays that same healing process. At the end of it all, it really isn’t the family member’s decision. It’s the patient’s decision. That’s one aspect of the story that hasn’t been mentioned, the point of view of the patient. After all, it is HIS story and his care that is important. I’ve worked hospitals all over the country and I can honestly say-from deep south to large cities-at the end of the day health care workers don’t really care who their patients have at the bedside. Unless you’re signing consents, or making end of life decisions, as long as they make the patient happy, it’s fine.
    I can see, from the nurses point of view…if things were calm, and peaceful between the patient and his brother, and then the husband comes in and all hell breaks loose, it would be perceived that the conflict comes from the person that last entered the picture. If you’re the person perceived to be the troublemaker, you’re going to get thrown out….legal document or not. It’s not your right to be at the bedside if you are a disturbance. In this case, if it was that heated and violent, everyone should have been removed.
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I would love to hear from someone other than the husband and his daughter. An impartial 3rd party.
    As for the police. Most hospitals employ security teams. In these instances, they aren’t allowed to touch or physically remove someone, it must be done by an actual police force, which is what it seems in this case.

  23. Jack M says

    If the patient’s husband and his brother were fighting in the patient’s room, shouldn’t both of them have been asked to leave the room temporarily and cool down?

  24. sfjerry says

    Unfortunate all the way around. As with most families, relationships are often complex and usually f’d up. As more pieces of the puzzle are reveled, it’s more challenging to know what actions were based on sexuality and what was really a result of bad blood.

  25. Kevin Ryan says

    Um….no, a conservative DID bring up this story. Me.

    This Isn’t About Legalizing Gay Marriage, This is About Playing It Smart

    by Kevin Joseph Ryan

    As many here know, I am a conservative and a Republican. However, this story caught my eye as a grievous wrong. I am not against gay marriage, gay marriage is already legal is all 50 states. What is NOT legal is the recognition by those states of gay marriage as equal to a standard marriage. What I would prefer is religious marriage and legal civil unions for all. We’d solve an issue that is both divisive and largely semantic.

    In this case, the couple WERE in a civil union AND had legal power of attorney, in other words, already recognized by MO state law to have full rights and legal privileges as if they were married. When Roger Gorely, the partner of the patient was thrown out of the hospital and arrested, the hospital and the Kansas City Police broke the law, period. I see a very big payout over this, and rightfully so.

    Lee Mansell, the younger brother of the patient in this case, Allen Mansell, had his brother committed. The older Mansell has a history of mental illness and is an ongoing patient of the Kansas City Research Medical Center. The domestic civil union partner of Mansell, Roger Gorley was thrown out at the insistence of the younger Mansell and hospital staff refused to acknowledge the legal status of the two partners. A marriage license in this situation would have solved absolutely nothing, the hospital was already told what they should have done, and failed to listen. The police than exacerbated the issue by charging Roger Gorley with criminal disorderly conduct and trespass. Personally, I hope somebody gets suspended. This is the dictionary definition of egregious.

    To add insult to injury, the hospital doubled down on their stupidity by saying in one breath they couldn’t comment on the situation, but then issued a statement that if they aren’t hung already, this statement should finish them off. The hospital said that Gorley “created a disturbance by resisting security” after they grabbed him and were bodily throwing him out of the hospital in handcuffs. Creating a disturbance?

    A private civilian tries to put me in handcuffs, frankly, should they remain in one piece afterwards, should look forward to a criminal complaint being filed against them for assault and unlawful detention at the very least, and should fully expect a call from my attorneys which may in fact end with me owning their houses. In this case, if I were the security team, I’d start painting Gorley-Mansell on my mailbox.

    The hospital then continued to not do themselves any favors by wrapping up their statement by saying that they “had no choice” but to involve security and police. I love that line. I need to know where I can pick up one of the mind control machines that takes away choice from people like that, cause frankly , it’d come in handy from time to time.

    Of course the hospital had a choice. They could have checked patient records. They could have listened to Roger Gorley. They could have followed their own policies and then followed Missouri state law. They had lots of choices. The first choice they made was not to avail themselves of any of the foregoing choices. The next choice that they are still making was to try to bull their way out of trouble for what they did.

    Yeah, I’m a Republican, proud of it. Yeah, I’m defending a gay couple’s rights. And Yeah, Denise Charpentier, the hospital’s PR lady, time to dust off your resume. You may need it

  26. Indy says

    Dan Cobb, name calling is not nice. You sound like the kind of person who would get into a fight in your critically ill partner’s hospital room.

    Regardless of the circumstances, in what public establishment or business can a person become physically aggressive with an employee and NOT expect to have security/the police called in response? In all seriousness, please respond.

    Make all the excuses you want for Gorley’s conduct. The hospital room of a critically ill person is not the place for a screaming fight, even if you’re being treated like garbage and you believe your rights are being infringed upon. It is a choice to allow a situation to either escalate or de-escalate. In a state that does not currently recognize same-sex marriages, how is it unreasonable for a hospital to request proof of POA in this situation? The hospital has a responsibility to protect the patient in this way, and they certainly have the right to protect themselves from potential litigation as well.

    Please take note of the fact that I didn’t make any excuses for the hospital or police in my first post, I just said Mr. Gorley was clearly not without fault. Don’t be so nasty.

  27. mary says

    @Kookie If you read the daughter’s account her father Mr. Gorley and the patient’s brother arrived at the hospital at the same time. The brother didn’t want him there. Mr. Gorley said he had a right to be there because he had the POA and it went from there with the nurse refusing to check and calling the police instead.

    Also the daughter states that the patient requested his husband to be there but was ignored.

    According to Mr. Gorley’s facebook account, the brother Lee hadn’t been in contact since December. Allen was out with Mr. Gorleys daughter. When they got home the police was there with Lee who claimed Allen was suicidal. Allen told the police several times he wasn’t but the police ordered him to go to the psychiatric hospital. When Mr. Gorley heard about this he rushed from work straight to the hospital (which is why POA papers weren’t on him).

  28. Homo Genius says

    @civil lib — can we stop with the “BRUTALITY!!!!!. He was holding onto a rail and they slapped his wrist. They kneed him in his back which is another attempt to subdue him

    They only did this because he was fighting in the first place. Like what did Gorley think that they would simply go away.

    They could have tased him, pepper sprayed him, beat him over the head until he was down.

    Sounds to me like they treated him as one might a small child pulling a similar fit.

    Its outragous that he is in the situation in the first place but seriously they guy was throwing a fit and having a meltdown

  29. Civil Lib says

    @HomoGenius: They were KARATE CHOPPING his wrist, not slapping it. Then they subsequently BODY SLAMMED him to the floor, knocking of his glasses and hearing aids. By any measure, this is BRUTALITY. He is a 50-something year old man, not a methed-up 20 year old resisting arrest!

    When did we Americans, and in particular GAY Americans get unwilling to stand up and fight for ourselves? If you’d been at Stonewall, Homegenius, you’d have crawled meekly up into that paddy wagon and waited for your beating down at the precinct station wouldn’t you.

  30. mary says

    Think Progress has some of the follow up. Allen was taking ECT (electro shock therapy) for his depression. Here’s some of what they wrote:
    Amanda was taking care of Allen while Roger was at work at Tuesday, but when they returned home from a few errands, Allen’s brother Lee and sister Pat were waiting at the door with paramedics and police.

    Due to Allen’s sluggish state, the police determined he was a “danger to himself” and decided to take him to the hospital against his will. Rather than taking him to St. Luke’s Hospital in Lee’s Summit, the local hospital where his regular doctors are, they took him to the Research Medical Center in Kansas City, which he only goes to for his ECT. They ignored Amanda’s attempts to explain Allen’s medical needs and procedures.
    Amanda called her father, Roger, and urged him to get to Allen’s side immediately. When he arrived at the hospital, Lee was also there.

    Lee asserted that he was not going to allow Roger to make decisions for Allen and that he would instead. This enraged Roger, who replied, “No you won’t! This is my husband. I know what he wants and needs. You are never around. You need to leave.”

    The nurse informed Roger that because of his agitated state, he needed to leave. When he explained that he intended to stay with his husband, she replied, “I know who you two are. You need to leave.” Refusing to acknowledge their legal relationship, she called the police to have Roger forcibly removed.

    Allen, who was in and out of consciousness, objected as he was able, saying, “I want him here.”

  31. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “Mr. Gorley said he had a right to be there because he had the POA and it went from there with the nurse refusing to check and calling the police instead.”

    To add to that, according to Gorley’s daughter, this nurse KNEW Gorley and his husband. Gorley had signed papers regarding his husband’s treatment with this nurse in the past.

  32. says

    @Indy, I’m not sure how you can deduce from what’s been reported on this case so far that the hospital was protecting themselves from potential litigation? Deferring to a family member (the brother) who was specifically excluded from making medical decisions over a husband who was specifically designated (in papers they should have already had) to make decisions would seem to be setting themselves up for a lawsuit not vice versa. These guys had taken reasonable steps to protect themselves, and it appears those steps were ignored.

    Obviously, a hospital can’t allow a brawl in their room but the cause of the heated argument needs answers. One can easily understand why the husband would be angry–his husband was in an emergency medical situation and family who wasn’t supposed to be there was trying to take over. He had a right to be angry, especially if the nurse/hospital went against the patient’s wishes (which it looks like it did, though an investigation is needed). Any spouse would be furious in such a situation. The cause of the brother’s anger is less obvious.

  33. Donald says

    Wait…are you telling me this might be a case of the internets freaking out over an incomplete story that gets reported as news when in fact it’s merely conjecture?

  34. Steve says

    I really should stop visiting this site. The sheer stupidity and lunacy in the comments is breathtaking.

  35. jimstoic says

    We can’t really know what happened, but of course the hospital is going to defend itself with a statement like this.

  36. says

    The hospital and the nurse were obviously in the wrong but what the police did does not constitute brutality. The way they restrained and took away Roger was in accordance with standard police procedure. They did their job, although it’s painfully obvious that several of them were ignorant in their dealing with Roger in thinking he was HIV+.

  37. David Hearne says

    One can only imagine the trials of dealing with people who are certifiably crazy, as opposed to those wandering around loose like Kiwi.

  38. Alex Parrish says

    My partner has been in-and-out of the hospital since July and, believe me, there are times when I MUST step-in and act as an advocate. Several times when this has happened the hospital staff has reacted negatively to my advocacy although it never escalated this far. I try to advocate in a non-thretening manner, but if anyone at the hospital here tried to remove me from the room there would be hell to pay. I’m not saying that the husband didn’t over-react — I don’t know, and as was previously stated, none of us do because we weren’t there, but my experience with hospital staff is that the slightest resistance to any order (which they seem to think is their right to give) is met with hostility. I have had to go as far as having a nurse and an attending intern removed from his care team — all this is to say that hospital staff are not accustomed to being challenged and on the whole I’m likely to come-down on the side of the husband. I am a very easy-going person but hospital staff can get even my dander up by the sanctimonious behavior of SOME OF THEM — most of them are angels — really!

  39. Indy says

    @Ernie, if a hospital allowed someone to come in and make medical decisions for another unrelated adult without verifying that this person has been legally granted POA over the patient, they would certainly be vulnerable to litigation.

    There is a lot of conjecture here about how everyone except Mr. Gorley should have behaved differently, but there are very few facts being offered. Among those facts we do know: Mr. Gorley knowingly went to the hospital without proof of POA, and he physically intimidated a member of the hospital staff after becoming engaged in an altercation inside his partner’s hospital room before being arrested.

    I have great personal sympathy for Mr. Gorley, and this is one of many situations which clearly show why our laws must change to protect members of same sex couples. However, I don’t think we should make a martyr of Mr. Gorley, especially before all the facts emerge. His personal conduct shows that he’s not exactly Rosa Parks in this situation.

  40. Civil Lib says

    I think we’re getting a pretty good idea of what happened, based on the eyewitness accounts and background information provided by Gorley’s adult daughter.

    Mansell’s (great name, btw)police-officer brother was attempting to kidnap/involuntarily commit Gorley’s spouse, despite Gorley having legal authority to make medical decisions for his spouse.

    The police-officer brother was belligerent and aggressive toward Gorley, and was insulting him using homophobic language.

    The hospital responded by removing Gorley, the patients legal spouse and medical decision maker, and allowing Gorley’s violent, foul-mouthed brother to stay.

    The hospital is now lying to minimize legal liability.

    All clear?

  41. Civil Lib says

    @Indy: HORSE$HIT! Mr.Gorley went to a hospital facility under emergent circumstances, where he was KNOWN as the partner of the patient and where it was KNOWN that he had Power of Attorney!

    He did NOT intimidate anyone. He stood up for his rights in the face of abuse by the brother, and refused to be removed from overseeing his partner’s care.

    You are a L.I.A.R! for trying to distort the KNOWSN FACTS of this situation to try and make Gorley look responsible for a situation, when it is KNOWN from the FACTS that the police-officer brother and the nurse were in the wrong.

    Stop LYING.

  42. ratbastard says

    There’s obviously still more background missing from this story. Mr. Gorley should have proper legal papers available and ready for times like hospital visits. He also needs to tone it down, as does the brother. Presumably the brother has legal I.D. and this would be enough for him to be there. Mr. Gorley it would seem hadn’t provided the necessary legal papers to prove he also has a right to be there. Nothing more complicated than that.

    These types of disputes are pretty common, and just as often involve heterosexuals.

  43. Civil Lib says

    @RatBastard: WRONG. Mr. Gorley had previously provided the Power of Attorney, which the hospital had on file and is LEGALLY OBLIGATED to observe.

    Mansell’s brother did NOT have Power of Attorney documentation and would, by LAW, have been required to leave the hospital room if so directed by Gorley, given the patient’s diminished capacity.

    Mansell-the-Brother was trying to make a power play, and involuntarily commit his brother and have Gorley cut out of the decision-making loop by having him thrown in jail.

    All it takes is for one bigoted, homophobic nurse aided by a bigoted, homophobic brother, aided by bigoted, homophobic police officers to trample on the rights of a legally wed couple who had taken ALL the necessary legal steps for precisely this situation.

    Stop making excuses for the thugs and the bigots and trying to divert blame to Gorley. Either you do not know what you’re talking about or you are lying. So just stop with the lies.

  44. Insider says

    There is some suspicion that the police officer-brother was trying to involuntarily commit Mansell and take control of some jointly-held assets. This is why he was trying to get his brother committed, and have Gorley arrested so that he could clean out bank accounts and stock holdings.

  45. says

    Ok, that is a concise explenation of events and I am inclined to agree with the hospital on it. They also have video proof…

    Man, the news is just one big trap designed to spurn up crap on an issue and ignore the fallout or truth after the fact. It sounds like this man never calmly, outside of the patients room, asked that the hospital honer his POA and SO rights and bar the brother from the room.

    Side note, if someone is sick, grow the hell up and deal with their crappy family, this isn’t about you anymore, swallow that pride. I know sometimes things can’t be helped, that isn’t the case here.

  46. RJ says

    @ratbastard … There’s such a thing as an I.D. that legally identifies one as being someone’s brother?

  47. Audio Visual says

    @Fenrox: Have you seen the video?

    I have seen the video. And it clearly shows the brother acting aggressively toward Gorley. The nurse attempts to intervene, and falls (or is pushed) to the ground. She then exits the room.

    Gorley was holding on to the hospital bed, so that means that the brother was the one who physically contacted the “nurse”.

    Don’t talk about what you don’t know about.

  48. mary says

    If you read the accounts Allen was involuntarily placed in the hospital. That means against his will. This was done at the instigation of Lee’s brother who hadn’t seen him since December.

    Roger Gorley’s daughter called him frantically to get to the hospital right away. He did , which is why he didn’t have the POA on him.

    Allen requested that Gorley stay but the nurse ignored that. She knew Roger Gorley & Allen because they come in regularly for ECT. Even though the brother was yelling louder and stating he was in charge, the nurse only requests Roger to leave. She refused to check his POA status.

    We don’t know much about the brother but on Lee’s facebook page it says he graduated from a Missouri police academy in 2006. Maybe that’s how he got the police to basically involuntarily commit his brother. This says something also about how the mentally ill have very little rights. Allen apparently requested that Roger stay but was ignored.

  49. Supreme Injustice says

    Are you following this Anthony Kennedy?

    This is why civil unions and patchwork regulation won’t work. Things will only get worse as the deadender homophobes in the flyover states like Missouri dig in and become more aggressive about denying legally wed couples their legal rights.

    Anything less than nationwide marriage equality guarantees years more travesties and abuse like this.

    Do the right thing, Kennedy.

  50. says

    i can only assume that the people defending the family and placing blame on the husband have never been in an actual loving relationship. and from your galling lack of empathy, it’s safe to say you never will.

    shame, though, that stories like this don’t happen to the Chris Barron’s of the world……

  51. Insider says

    More sister-in-law’s account:

    “Lee was determined from the beginning to tear Allen and Roger apart. All he could focus on was how Roger was only interested in Allen’s big house and his fat bank account. Lee doesn’t care about Allen’s health. He was pissed that Roger was taking Allen on vacation. He made several very derogatory comments about Roger taking Allen on vacation that were distinctly homophobic. The sad part is he hadn’t even seen Allen since Christmas. It was only when Joe and I came to town that he suddenly cared about Allen. It didn’t help that his drama queen sister Pat was egging him on. I can say with 100% certainty that I am so ashamed to be related to Lee and Pat, even if it’s only by marriage!”

  52. Insider says

    More sister-in-law’s account:

    10:40 AM yesterdaymaria71 commented on Hospital In Missouri Facing the Mother of All Lawsuits.
    These are my brother-in-laws. The same day that Allen went into the hospital they were scheduled to leave on a vacation. Roger did nothing wrong other than simply refusing to leave Allen’s bedside. Lee, Allen’s younger brother, who has never liked Roger, got into an arguing match with Roger and got very hateful and nasty, saying that Roger was taking Allen on some “gay vacation so he can get butt f****d by 50 guys”. Apparently, Lee thinks that’s what it is to be gay/homosexual. He has no concept or understanding that they have shared a loving relationship for the last 5 years. Lee told the police and nurse that Roger was mistreating Allen. Roger told the nurse that he was Allen’s partner and had every right to be there and they shared power of attorney. He did raise his voice at the nurse saying he had the right to be there and she needed to make Lee leave because he was upsetting Allen. So the nurse apparently didn’t appreciate being yelled at by Roger and immediately called security. So I guess that’s what you call being disruptive?

    12:33 PM yesterdaymaria71 commented on Hospital In Missouri Facing the Mother of All Lawsuits.
    The worst part is when Roger tried to explain to the nurse that he had the legal right to be there and that he and Allen had joint power of attorney she wouldn’t even hear it. He tried to explain that they make medical decisions for each other and it wasn’t up to Allen’s brother Lee or his sister Pat. In fact Lee hadn’t seen Allen since X-mas! He never calls or goes to see Allen or Roger. Pat only visits when she needs something! The policy took Roger to the ground. Bear in mind he’s early 50’s with grandchildren, his glasses got knocked to the floor, both his hearing aids got knocked out of his ears. Was it really necessary for 2 young police officers to be that aggressive? And they did this in front of Allen who was already traumatized!

    maria71 commented on Hospital In Missouri Facing the Mother of All Lawsuits.
    For those of you who don’t know, Allen was forcibly removed from his home when Lee showed up with the police and paramedics. He had no right to do this and no knowledge of Allen’s medical condition. He never liked Roger and was furious that Roger was taking Allen on vacation.

    2:26 PM yesterdaymaria71 commented on Hospital In Missouri Facing the Mother of All Lawsuits.

    My brother-in-law Roger Gorley’s daughter’s comments about the incident! Please read!

    http://www.weareatheism.com/arrested-at-hospital-just-for-wanting-to-hold-his-partners-hand/

  53. says

    @Indy, they weren’t unrelated adults, obviously, and from reports thus far the hospital should have been well aware of that as the couple was known to the staff and had directives on file. You and several others here profess sympathy for the couple yet bend over backwards to defend those who were going against the couple’s stated wishes. There is no reason in the evidence so far to support the brother’s wishes being given first priority, quite the opposite.

    The larger point–beyond the specifics of this case–one which everyone here should be able to agree on, is that we need full federal marriage equality so that gay couples in any state, not just in equality states like mine, can enter a hospital with the reasonable expectation that they will be treated like family members instead of legal strangers and that they will be given the same respect that a married straight couple would. Until solid legal protections are in place and hospital staffs are clearly educated on them, couples in non-equality states will remain vulnerable to the whims and potential prejudices of random staff members.

  54. Indy says

    @Ernie, in the eyes of the law in Missouri, they ARE simply unrelated adults- that’s my point. Until a hospital has been presented documentation that gives one person legal jurisdiction over another, they can’t just take someone’s word for it. We will continue to face this issue as long as our relationships are not recognized.

    Your most recent post says that the hospital knew they were a couple, had the POA on file, etc… where is any proof of this? That’s a lot of conjecture upon which to form a strong opinion about who is right and wrong here. The fact that a couple people have made some posts on Facebook and in online comments which place all the blame on everyone besides Mr. Gorley does not mean this version of the story is necessarily true.

    I certainly have great sympathy for Mr. Gorley as well as his suffering partner for the discriminatory policies which created this situation in the first place. With the knowledge of these policies in mind, I wish he would have approached this situation from a calmer and more level-headed perspective, armed with POA paperwork in hand so there was absolutely no lack of clarity as to who had been entrusted with Allen’s medical decisions. I would frankly expect this of my partner at a time of critical need, particularly if there were extant family issues which might cause complications.

    Had these steps been taken, it’s quite possible we would not be having this discussion. If the hospital had refused to comply with a documented POA, then by all means get a lawyer to intervene. Allen’s life was not in immediate danger… it’s not as if his family was about to authorize a frontal lobotomy until Gorley intervened. I am not making any excuses for the conduct of the family members, hospital workers, or police, but I’m not going to do it for Mr. Gorley either. We’ve got to avoid sensationalizing this story while so much information is still unclear.

  55. Insider says

    @Indy: You keep ignoring that the hospital already had that documentation on file, and that both patient and legal-spouse-with-power-of-attorney were known to both the facility AND the nurse in question.

    There was NO further legal requirement for the couple to re-produce the documentation. The nurse would just as easily have ignored the directive if they had re-produced it.

    Why are you repeatedly ignoring both KNOWN facts and law? The only answer can be that you are trying to be an apologist for a bigoted system. Your “sympathy” is not that convincing, and your “support” is really not that helpful. Why don’t you go support the other side for awhile?

  56. Homo Genius says

    @indy thats an issue I have too. Allen is in a hospital he has been to before. There seems to be no danger and really for some one who is ill what safer place is there than a hospital. Now this was against his will but other than that I dont really see what the issue is.

    Since Allen is in no actual danger and doesnt need a round the clock vigil the proper course of action would have seem to have been to go get the papers and/or a lawyer and check Allen out rather than make a bedside stand.

    What I seriously dont get is from reading the daughters blog it took great effort for Allen to go get a hair cut yet in his condition they were taking off to Amsterdam.

  57. Bob says

    I really don’t understand the point you’re making, Indy, saying that the husband should have come to the hospital prepared to prove that he was the spouse with POA? Are you saying that he should carry those documents with him at all times in case he’s called to the hospital in such an emergency? Keep a set of papers in his trunk? Keep multiple sets of documents in multiple locations? What if the hospital would only recognize ORIGINAL documentation? How many sets of original papers would a spouse reasonably need to keep in order to satisfy a bigoted hospital employee’s unreasonable demands for “proof”? And why couldn’t the spouse reasonably rely on being recognized when he had previously submitted proof, and previously been recognized, and knew that the hospital had the documenation on file?

    You sound like you’re trying to deflect blame to the spouse (Gorley) for not having foreseen an emergency. That’s absurd and unreasonable.

  58. Susanna says

    Allen was being involuntarily committed by a brother who did not have the authority to do so. Roger’s decision to stay with his husband is completely appropriate, NECESSARY even, to make sure that Allen’s brother didn’t try to fraudulently have him sign any legal documents while the brother was incapacitated. Accounts are beginning to emerge that the brother had financial incentive to have his brother committed, and gain control of his finances. The husband was completely correct to attempt to defend the well-being of the patient. There is no gray area on this whatsoever.

  59. says

    @Indy, if you look at the reports that have emerged so far there is quite a bit of evidence actually that the hospital should have understood that the men were a couple with the legal authority to make medical decisions for one another. There is very little evidence that the brother should have been deferred to, quite the opposite. It’s a sign of changing times and law–for there are provisions in Obama’s health care reform that are intended to protect couples like this, even in states like MO–that the hospital will be forced to answer some tough questions about why a spouse was ejected. Even if they supply those answers, it doesn’t change the larger picture–it’s not like stuff like this hasn’t happened many times before.

    We can agree that, independent of this case, U.S. law needs to be changed so that gay families in MO receive the same treatment as gay families in VT or MA because what happened in MO almost certainly would not have happened in VT, and if it did, most certainly heads would roll. We need a uniform environment both legally and culturally where gay couples face no more burden of proof about their chosen family situation than straight couples, and if this case brings some light to that bigger inequality, all the better for this couple and many others like them.

  60. Steve says

    According to new HHS binding guidelines he didn’t even need a POA. The patient clearly made a statement that he wanted his husband there and that should have been it. The hospital was also obligated to accept other proofs of a relationship such as financial interdependence or a joint home.

    The rules also clearly state that if there is a dispute over who is in charge, they need to get proof from everyone who claims to have authority. Yet they never asked the brother for anything.

  61. Jay says

    kookie you are 100% right. I am an RN also, this behavior has become all too common at the bedside. If behavior is unacceptable,you’ll be removed even by force, especially if you threaten a nurse, or any care provider.

  62. mary says

    I think you wouldn’t be calm either if your partner was basically committed to a hospital against his will.

    This is what the sister in law say on her fb page: “The story is not entiry accurate. My husbamd Joe (Allen’s 2nd brother) and I have always supported Allen and Roger as has Allen and Joe’s father. It’s only younger brother Lee and Pat who don’t support Allen amd Roger.”

    And a comment on her page: “Joe was mentioned in the linked article. Some OPs here noted that Lee waited until Joe left the area before trying to have Allen committed because they knew Joe would have objected.”

    Now if you were confronted by the fact that someone was placed in a hospital against their will, and the person who placed him there says now he’s in charge of their care from now on, you’d blow up too.

    This was not some benign hospital stay. This was an involuntary commitment based on the brother being at the house with the cops & the paramedics saying Allen was suicidal–even though from all accounts he couldn’t possibly know that since they didn’t have contact since December.

    As stated several times, he didn’t have the POA on hand as he came directly from his job due to the emergency situation.

  63. Bill says

    @ Kevin Ryan : a marriage license very likely would make a difference in the outcome because a hospital employee who has trouble with legal details is far more likely to know the rules for married couples than for domestic partners – there are many more people who are married than who are in domestic partnerships or civil unions.

  64. ratbastard says

    @Civil Lib,

    If what you say about him having provided the hospital with the documentation, then yes, forget about most of what I previously posted. But is it accurate?

    Anyway, a close relative, like a brother, would not be denied visitation rights. Is this accurate? Can whoever has Power of Attorney block a close family member?

  65. mary says

    Yes ratbastard the POA trumps personal relations. We had to get permission from the person with the POA, who was a non relative, before the hospital would release any info and allow us to even visit in the ICU. And you can’t get closer than being someone’s daughter or son. The Hospital told us per HIPAA rules they had no choice and boy were they a stickler on this point. The person with the POA got to make all the medical decisions and we were only lucky that we got along with her.

  66. andrew says

    Who is right and who is wrong in this very complex story? It doesn’t matter to most of the very opinionated posters on this site. They all know who they want to be right and who they want to be wrong and that to them is the important thing.

  67. BZ says

    @kookie: I’m not a nurse, but I do deal with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a daily basis. What you are saying may be true – that physical or verbal assault of healthcare providers is not okay and will result in the offender being removed from the premises. BUT. In this instance Gorey’s rights were being violated, and by not recognizing his legal right to be there the hospital was provoking Gorey and contributing to the situation. I very much doubt CMS is going to have much sympathy for this hospital, and they and the nurse are in deep trouble. The nurse undoubtedly underwent mandatory annual Medicare compliance training and at that time would have been informed that patients have the right to designate a caregiver. That means the nurse in this case is legally liable, quite independent of the hospital’s liability under CMS regulations. Gorey can sue both the hospital and the nurse, the hospital is likely to get slapped by a heavy fine by CMS, and the nurse will probably be fired.

  68. Lymis says

    Another point that isn’t being mentioned but that has come up in some of the reports by the family is that it seems that Allen’s care involves some pretty significant needs for routine and timing, and not introducing new factors, such as other drugs, into the situation.

    For the brother to have him involuntarily committed into the care of people who aren’t his regular doctors (on the day he was getting ready to go on vacation, for God’s sake), and then put through all this stress, and to demand that he gets to start deciding on the medical course of treatment, could possibly (and may have) seriously set back Allen’s health, completely illegally and unnecessarily.

    So, it’s not just a situation where Roger was justifiably upset over being told to leave when he had far more legal reason to be there than the brother did, it’s also a situation where he was faced with what could be serious harm to his husband.

    And the reports also indicate that because of this action by his homophobic brother, the couple lost a significant amount of money in the non-refundable deposits on their vacation plans.

    People are acting like Roger should have been calm and happy about all this. That’s ludicrous.

    Would anyone defending the hospital feel this way if it had been a wife in that hospital bed, involuntarily committed unnecessarily by her brother, and a husband who as assaulted and arrested? I don’t think so.

  69. MichaelJ says

    Regardless of whether the hospital dealt with the situation as they should have, I don’t think anyone should rely on hospital or nursing home staff to look through medical records on the spot for documents such as medical power of attorneys, living will, proof of marriage or domestic partnership, etc. You should always have copies of any important document with you when visiting a seriously ill partner or other loved one. Medical facilities cannot be relied upon to look things up in a hurry, and even if they do, these documents seem to have a way of getting lost in the files. I can’t tell you how many times I had to re-furnish copies of my mother’s living will to the nursing home where she spent the last years of her life. I am sure sloppiness with the medical records was part of the problem in my mother’s case, but I had to wonder if someone who objected to my mother’s very strong opinion about not being put on life support played a role in things “getting lost.” I can only imagine how tempting it would be for some anti-gay hospital administrator or other staff member to “loose” a power of attorney document giving a patient’s same-sex loved one the right to make medical decisions.

  70. BZ says

    @MichaelJ: I agree with you that it’s better to keep your own physical copies of these directives with you, but I don’t agree that providers can “forget” about these things at will. Many LGBT have been conditioned to expect the worst in these situation, so it may come as a shock to many to learn that the hospital can be at risk for serious fines and sanctions if it fails to honor a patient directive once the documentation has been provided. CMS can levy fines for each incident, and it takes these reports seriously. It’s just that a lot of people who’ve been victimized in these situations don’t realize how to safeguard their rights (and of course, the complaint and sanctions happen after the fact when you’d really rather prevent them in the first place.)

    If a nurse disregards your directive, ask to speak to their supervisor; remind the supervisor that their failure to obey mandatory CMS regulations can put them at risk of fines, legal liability, and potentially forfeiture of the hospital’s Medicare or Medicaid contract.

  71. Lymis says

    “Regardless of whether the hospital dealt with the situation as they should have, I don’t think anyone should rely on hospital or nursing home staff to look through medical records on the spot for documents such as medical power of attorneys, living will, proof of marriage or domestic partnership, etc.”

    Whether you think they should “have to” or not, the fact is that they are legally obligated to do so as soon as someone raises the issue – and in this case, all that was required was Roger’s ID showing that they share a home address, not the full blown POA paperwork, though if the brother disputed that, then they were LEGALLY obligated to sort it out.

    Not to call hospital security, assault the man, and call the cops to have him dragged out in handcuffs. He had all the paperwork he needed, and he had the patient’s statement the he wanted his husband there and wanted his brother to leave.

    While it might have been possible for the couple to do more, they had already done far more than was legally required, and it was forcibly and illegally ignored.