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Lawsuit: Race-based request sidelined Michigan nurse


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#61 carpantherfan84

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:37 PM

How so?


Granted the wording of the Constitution does not expressly say a particular request will be honored. However through various actions made in the court system over the course of the history of this nation, I believe that someone can reasonably assume that a request made to honor a partiicular religion will be honored.

#62 Happy Panther

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

Granted the wording of the Constitution does not expressly say a particular request will be honored. However through various actions made in the court system over the course of the history of this nation, I believe that someone can reasonably assume that a request made to honor a partiicular religion will be honored.


I'm aware that a private entity cannot refuse service based on race, religion etc...but I have not read anything that says a private entity has to honor religious requests. If you have a court example I will take it.

If I run a taco stand I can't refuse service because someone is a certain religion. However I don't have to honor a request that only women handle the burrito.

#63 carpantherfan84

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

Sorry. Wrong on pretty much every point.

First, the constitutional right to religious freedom mandates that you have the right to express your beliefs. It does not mandate that individuals or businesses must comply with any request you make simply because it's based on one of those beliefs.

Second, do you honestly believe that a woman who would marry a Nazi yahoo like this guy is going to be in disagreement with his request?



These two statements are in conflict. If the business is under no obligation to comply with a request based on that persons beliefs, why would it matter what the request was or who made it?

Third, hospitals in general do make every attempt to help patients and families be comfortable, which includes giving them a say in their treatment. Do you think if a patient requests a certain doctor over another that a hospital's going to say "no, he's better for you" and override them? As my friend the nurse said, they comply with patient wishes as long as it's not detrimental to their care. You can't really make a case that this request fits that mold.

Bottom line: The request sucked, but compliance with it was the lesser of two evils. Like I said, the husband is the villain, not the hospital.


Whether or not hospitals make "every attempt" is going to be very subjective and everyones experience is going to be different depending on whether or not you are the hospital, patient or family member. That is my point. The hospital has an obligation to provide reasonable care in reasonable situations. A reasonable request is asking for a female over a male doctor (which by the way is far more likely to be fulfilled vs the other way around) or asking for a familiar doctor if that one is available. I'm pretty sure they dont often rearrange shift schedules for people regardless of the reason.

The hospital was faced with a moral decision. They chose to act in a certain way based on the morals of the people making it. You cant morally decide to accomadate racism. And I have seen that the argument has been made that that would have been denying care. That is not true. The only one who would have made the decision to deny care would have been the family. Had the mother made the request we would have been having a different argument (well..slightly).

I understand that for you this is just a case of the hurt feelings of some nurse. For others this is symbolic of a country that refuses to accept blacks as human and a culture that refuses to fully acknowledge the impact it has on the psyche of those that that belief system affects. Imagine the homophobic soldiers now forced to take public showers with openly homosexual soldiers. Or extremely chauvanistic infantrymen now forced to go into combat with women. This is America, and there will be people that we dont like, or dont care for but you can not discriminate. period. The hospital made a choice. I am not for leaving a pregnant mother out in the cold. But at this particular hospital there were black nurses. If she didn't want one she had every right to find one that didn't. What she didn't have a right to, was to assume or to expect that accomodations would be made in order to appease her discriminatory beliefs. (I tried to keep this about the father but you explicitly stated you feel that the mother would agree.)

#64 carpantherfan84

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

I'm aware that a private entity cannot refuse service based on race, religion etc...but I have not read anything that says a private entity has to honor religious requests. If you have a court example I will take it.

If I run a taco stand I can't refuse service because someone is a certain religion. However I don't have to honor a request that only women handle the burrito.



Okay now I'm confused. It seems to me that now you are arguing that a business does not have to honor a particular request, ipso facto, the hospital was not obligated and therefore willfully decided to honor the request of the father. I think that makes them liable in a civil suit. Dont you?

#65 MadHatter

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:14 PM

These two statements are in conflict. If the business is under no obligation to comply with a request based on that persons beliefs, why would it matter what the request was or who made it?



Whether or not hospitals make "every attempt" is going to be very subjective and everyones experience is going to be different depending on whether or not you are the hospital, patient or family member. That is my point. The hospital has an obligation to provide reasonable care in reasonable situations. A reasonable request is asking for a female over a male doctor (which by the way is far more likely to be fulfilled vs the other way around) or asking for a familiar doctor if that one is available. I'm pretty sure they dont often rearrange shift schedules for people regardless of the reason.

The hospital was faced with a moral decision. They chose to act in a certain way based on the morals of the people making it. You cant morally decide to accomadate racism. And I have seen that the argument has been made that that would have been denying care. That is not true. The only one who would have made the decision to deny care would have been the family. Had the mother made the request we would have been having a different argument (well..slightly).

I understand that for you this is just a case of the hurt feelings of some nurse. For others this is symbolic of a country that refuses to accept blacks as human and a culture that refuses to fully acknowledge the impact it has on the psyche of those that that belief system affects. Imagine the homophobic soldiers now forced to take public showers with openly homosexual soldiers. Or extremely chauvanistic infantrymen now forced to go into combat with women. This is America, and there will be people that we dont like, or dont care for but you can not discriminate. period. The hospital made a choice. I am not for leaving a pregnant mother out in the cold. But at this particular hospital there were black nurses. If she didn't want one she had every right to find one that didn't. What she didn't have a right to, was to assume or to expect that accomodations would be made in order to appease her discriminatory beliefs. (I tried to keep this about the father but you explicitly stated you feel that the mother would agree.)


Requesting a male doctor over a female doctor can be construed as discrimination based on gender. No real difference than the guy requesting a caucasian doctor.

Would I have applauded the hospital if they had told the man to go pound sand....absolutely. Douchebags like him give everyone a bad name.

However, there were no damages realized by the nurse (she was not given a crappy shift because of race...she was not passed over for a promotion due to race...she was not given lesser tasks because of race). The guy was a jerk....but in a court of law, she will NOT be able to show damage or loss. Thus, the lawsuit likely has no merit.

#66 Mr. Scot

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

These two statements are in conflict. If the business is under no obligation to comply with a request based on that persons beliefs, why would it matter what the request was or who made it?

Whether or not hospitals make "every attempt" is going to be very subjective and everyones experience is going to be different depending on whether or not you are the hospital, patient or family member. That is my point. The hospital has an obligation to provide reasonable care in reasonable situations. A reasonable request is asking for a female over a male doctor (which by the way is far more likely to be fulfilled vs the other way around) or asking for a familiar doctor if that one is available. I'm pretty sure they dont often rearrange shift schedules for people regardless of the reason.

The hospital was faced with a moral decision. They chose to act in a certain way based on the morals of the people making it. You cant morally decide to accomadate racism. And I have seen that the argument has been made that that would have been denying care. That is not true. The only one who would have made the decision to deny care would have been the family. Had the mother made the request we would have been having a different argument (well..slightly).

I understand that for you this is just a case of the hurt feelings of some nurse. For others this is symbolic of a country that refuses to accept blacks as human and a culture that refuses to fully acknowledge the impact it has on the psyche of those that that belief system affects. Imagine the homophobic soldiers now forced to take public showers with openly homosexual soldiers. Or extremely chauvanistic infantrymen now forced to go into combat with women. This is America, and there will be people that we dont like, or dont care for but you can not discriminate. period. The hospital made a choice. I am not for leaving a pregnant mother out in the cold. But at this particular hospital there were black nurses. If she didn't want one she had every right to find one that didn't. What she didn't have a right to, was to assume or to expect that accomodations would be made in order to appease her discriminatory beliefs. (I tried to keep this about the father but you explicitly stated you feel that the mother would agree.)


This is not "accommodating racism". This is trying to keep a volatile person from causing bigger problems than the ones he was already causing.

That does not equate to racism on the part of the hospital.

#67 TheRed

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

This is not "accommodating racism". This is trying to keep a volatile person from causing bigger problems than the ones he was already causing.

That does not equate to racism on the part of the hospital.


Sigh, I just can't understand how you guys actually believe what you type with this stuff.

#68 Mr. Scot

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

Requesting a male doctor over a female doctor can be construed as discrimination based on gender. No real difference than the guy requesting a caucasian doctor.

Would I have applauded the hospital if they had told the man to go pound sand....absolutely. Douchebags like him give everyone a bad name.

However, there were no damages realized by the nurse (she was not given a crappy shift because of race...she was not passed over for a promotion due to race...she was not given lesser tasks because of race). The guy was a jerk....but in a court of law, she will NOT be able to show damage or loss. Thus, the lawsuit likely has no merit.


My nurse friend mentioned a discussion that had gone on at her particular hospital on the topic of sexism.

She stated that for female victims of domestic violence, it's common for the hospital to make sure that only female personnel are assigned to treatment. In my mind, I'd say that's a reasonable thing to do.

However, in cases where the victim of domestic violence is male (and yes, such cases exist) no actual provisions are made to shield the victim from people matching the sex of the abuser, whether male or female. It's just whomever's available at the time.

There's been some grumbling about that, but per her, no action being taken about it.

#69 Happy Panther

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:38 PM

Okay now I'm confused. It seems to me that now you are arguing that a business does not have to honor a particular request, ipso facto, the hospital was not obligated and therefore willfully decided to honor the request of the father. I think that makes them liable in a civil suit. Dont you?


No, not remotely.

#70 Mr. Scot

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

Sigh, I just can't understand how you guys actually believe what you type with this stuff.


What would you do? Tell the guy "too bad" and then watch him either blow up in the middle of an NICU? Is that really something you wanna deal with?

Or worse. Maybe you watch him slink away mad and then he waits around, follows the nurse out and goes after her later? The Nazi tattoo pretty much tells you this guy's not all there, and it's not like hospital security can escort her all the way home and stay with her for the next month.

Call the police and have him arrested? For what? being an ass isn't a crime. Have them offer the nurse protection? Did he actually make a verbal threat or did he just seem menacing?

Oh wait, you escorted him off the premises at a time when his wife was admitted and his baby was in intensive care? On what grounds? That he's a racist? That he said something racist? And then something happened to his baby when he wasn't there? Oops. Now you're looking at trouble.

What you're not getting is that there are a lot worse ways this could have come out. Instead, the hospital goes to the nurse and says "Yeah, this guy's a twit, but we have to deal with him. You're not losing any pay or any time, we just can't have you working on this baby."

That's the big picture.

#71 TheRed

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:57 PM

What would you do? Tell the guy "too bad" and then watch him either blow up in the middle of an NICU? Is that really something you wanna deal with?

Or worse. Maybe you watch him slink away mad and then he waits around, follows the nurse out and goes after her later? The Nazi tattoo pretty much tells you this guy's not all there, and it's not like hospital security can escort her all the way home and stay with her for the next month.

Call the police and have him arrested? For what? being an ass isn't a crime. Have them offer the nurse protection? Did he actually make a verbal threat or did he just seem menacing?

Oh wait, you escorted him off the premises at a time when his wife was admitted and his baby was in intensive care? On what grounds? That he's a racist? That he said something racist? And then something happened to his baby when he wasn't there? Oops. Now you're looking at trouble.

What you're not getting is that there are a lot worse ways this could have come out. Instead, the hospital goes to the nurse and says "Yeah, this guy's a twit, but we have to deal with him. You're not losing any pay or any time, we just can't have you working on this baby."

That's the big picture.


They can simply tell him no, we cannot do that. If he has an issue with that decision, hospital security should be glad to talk to him. If your argument for allowing racist behavior is fear of threats or retaliation on whichever parties involved then hey let's just allow all racism to slide. We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt.

The hospital absolutely accommodated racism, what is there to dispute about that? I will ask the question again. If this sitaution was no big deal at all and completely within the laws as you keep suggesting. Why did the lawyer for the hospital get upset and have to intervene on a clearly poor decision?

#72 Mr. Scot

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:05 PM

They can simply tell him no, we cannot do that. If he has an issue with that decision, hospital security should be glad to talk to him. If your argument for allowing racist behavior is fear of threats or retaliation on whichever parties involved then hey let's just allow all racism to slide. We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt.

The hospital absolutely accommodated racism, what is there to dispute about that? I will ask the question again. If this sitaution was no big deal at all and completely within the laws as you keep suggesting. Why did the lawyer for the hospital get upset and have to intervene on a clearly poor decision?


No, we wouldn't want anyone to get hurt, and that's kind of an important factor here.

You really think hospital security is so intimidating that this guy is just gonna back down and do nothing? Unless this hospital has the most badass security guards in the country, I wouldn't bet on it (obviously they didn't think so).

As far as the lawyers, they're a lot like HR guys. It's their job to be paranoid.

You can be flip about that sitting in front of your computer, but being in the actual situation with an obviously off-kilter guy right there in front of you, not so much. You act like risking harm to the nurse is no big deal. Seriously? :blink:

#73 TheRed

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:13 PM

No, we wouldn't want anyone to get hurt, and that's kind of an important factor here.

You really think hospital security is so intimidating that this guy is just gonna back down and do nothing? Unless this hospital has the most badass security guards in the country, I wouldn't bet on it (obviously they didn't think so).

As far as the lawyers, they're a lot like HR guys. It's their job to be paranoid.

You can be flip about that sitting in front of your computer, but being in the actual situation with an obviously off-kilter guy right there in front of you, not so much. You act like risking harm to the nurse is no big deal. Seriously? :blink:


I was being sarcastic. I wonder how the civil rights movement would have gone if all those people had simply sat down, shut up and just took the racism because of fear from the various means of intimidation by the bigots that existed and still exist today. I guess that's the way some in this country wish it could be. Good thing it isn't.

My word Mr. Scot you are giving this clown waaaaaay too much credit, what is he some super villain?

#74 Mr. Scot

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

I was being sarcastic. I wonder how the civil rights movement would have gone if all those people had simply sat down, shut up and just took the racism because of fear from the various means of intimidation by the bigots in this country. I guess that's the way some in this country wish it could be. Good thing it isn't.

My word Mr. Scot you are giving this clown waaaaaay too much credit, what is he some super villain?


You don't exactly have to be a super villain to wait in a parking lot and jump somebody (or follow them home and go after them, for that matter).

And do you really wanna compare institutional racism to one guy being an asshole?

Are towns that allow Klan members to hold demonstrations or display racist symbols "accommodating racism"?

The hospital's prime concern is going to be the baby. It has to be. Taking this nurse off the baby's care isn't adversely affecting. Having to deal with the father's anger at his wishes not being met could be adverse to a lot of people.

Sometimes unpleasant people do unpleasant things. You might hate it, but often there's nothing that can be done about it.

#75 TheRed

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:48 PM

You don't exactly have to be a super villain to wait in a parking lot and jump somebody (or follow them home and go after them, for that matter).


Why do we keep returning to this retaliation angle? So basically someone can do whatever they want if they are threatening. Got it.

And do you really wanna compare institutional racism to one guy being an asshole?


Being a white supremacist/neo nazi is hardly the same as your average run of the mill asshole.

Are towns that allow Klan members to hold demonstrations or display racist symbols "accommodating racism"?


Is this a serious question? Yes they absolutely are. It's the kkk. They aren't selling girl scout cookies, they're preaching hatred.

The hospital's prime concern is going to be the baby. It has to be. Taking this nurse off the baby's care isn't adversely affecting. Having to deal with the father's anger at his wishes not being met could be adverse to a lot of people.

Sometimes unpleasant people do unpleasant things. You might hate it, but often there's nothing that can be done about it.


Yes the baby AND the mother, not some prick father who chooses a hospital of all places to force his flawed idealogy on the general population.


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