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Transgender Woman Turned Away From Indiana Hospital

Transgender Woman Turned Away From Indiana Hospital

This is one of the most appalling and blatant cases of prejudice that I’ve seen in a long time.  And the fact that it happened in a hospital, to a patient who was coughing up blood, only made it worse.  A transgender woman says that she was ridiculed and eventually turned away by employees of Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana when they discovered that she was transgender.  Officials are now investigating the allegations, which, if true, are horrifying in the extreme.

Erin Vaught, the woman in question, is transitioning from male to female.  She reported that when she arrived at the emergency room two weeks ago, accompanied by her wife and son, employees entered her into the computer system as male, despite the fact that her ID said that she was female.

“I pointed out that my ID says female,” Vaught explained. “There were two ladies there, and one of them snickered a little bit and covered her mouth. The other got a very annoyed look on her face.”  Vaught then entered the examination room and was referred to “he-she,” an “it,” and a “transvestite.”  She was kept waiting for two hours, at which point the doctor arrived and refused to treat her because of “the transvestite thing.”

Hospital spokespeople said that the claim was being investigated, and that as an institution, they were “committed to providing care with respect, dignity and courtesy.”  However, Vaught is now being treated at an Indianapolis hospital.

Assuming that all of these claims are true, it’s bad enough that Vaught was denied treatment – this is something that should never happen in a hospital.  But the behavior of the hospital’s staff is also completely inexcusable, and something that the hospital is obligated to investigate.  Their claim that all patients are treated with “respect, dignity and courtesy” seems to have fallen completely flat, and the fact that the hospital can’t bring itself to apologize for these actions – or even acknowledge that they might have happened – just adds insult to and already-horrible injury.

Advocacy groups, including Indiana Equality and the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, have filed complaints with the hospital.  You can tell the hospital staff what you think of their behavior here.

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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291 comments

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5:20PM PDT on Apr 22, 2011

Aaron Baker

You say 'discrimination is unacceptable'
then you proceed to discriminate!

You must be SIN-FREE to be casting the judgment stones?!?!?

Look deep into you scriptures....

YOU are the un-natural, sad, ABOMINATION!

12:39PM PDT on Apr 22, 2011

Oh... Kay? So what else is new here? These people acted with no more nor less respect, understanding or compassion, than... maybe 75sh?... percent of the population of the U.S. of A when interacting with transgender persons,

Having PERSONALLY lived exclusively as a woman for the last for-teen years i can honestly report that I

Have NOT been allowed contact with my grand children in that time.

Been told by my boss of the previous six months that... "I have an opening for a CAD operator. I'll be dammed if I'm giving it to a man in a dress."

Denied an apartment.

Assaulted.

And incarcerated in the male side of the jail when arrested for "Driving on a falsified operator's permit".

Anyone that believes we in the "trans community" need to be looking to the LGB community for help needs to look at how U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D Massachusetts) tossed the "T" under the bus in his quest for equal rights for gays. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-whitman/barney-frank-bails-on-the_b_66604.html

1:28PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

Aaron Baker: Those who are without sin cast, the first stone. Don't you, like all the rest of us "sinners" live in a "sinful" world?

I heard a story a long time ago of the origin of the world "sin". It was in Roman times and a christian was tied to a pole. A couple of Roman soldiers walked by and one threw a stone at the pole and missed. The other solider said: Oh, you missed, such a sin! True or not, it's a good story. But since I don't believe in the existance of sin, or bigotry or religion, etc, for me it's just a story. What I do believe is the right, priviledge and obligation of mankind to support equal rights and to put a stop to cruelty towards animals and humans.

9:41PM PDT on Oct 2, 2010

Aaron Baker,
"Transexual" has nothing do do with sexuality (i.e. homosexual). It has everything to do with GENDER. Some transexuals are homosexual, some are not.

You obviously do not love Jesus, or you wouldn't be so disgustingly judgmental upon those who are different than you.

4:33PM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

I hope that people' get it' sometime soon. People are all unique, and special. No one needs the dread about their uniqueness.

4:26PM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

Arron Baker....."you people"????Since when did you become judge and jury over someone's lifestyle....oh,ya you are a self-appointed judge and jury.Small narrow minds who evoke God and the Bible say small,narrow minded,judgmental,holier than thou statements.You are arrogant and self-righteous.Sounds like you haver serious issues w/ anyone who choses a lifestyle different than your own.....acceptance and tolerance are not in your vocabulary.You talk about how "sad and sickening" it is that people are getting sex changes.You Mr. Baker,just described yourself....sad and sickening.

9:51AM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

Erin needs to get herself a lawyer! I do hope that she receives good care, and gets well very soon!

9:08PM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

Discrimination is unacceptable. But it is sad and somewhat sickening that people are getting "sex changes". It is so unnatrural and ungodly. HOMOSEXUALITY and is an abomonation to GOD. Why can't you people understand or see that. Because you are living in a sinful world and see nothing wrong with sin. But the time is at hand when you will see the truth of the word of GOD as BIBLICAL PROPHECIES are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

12:06AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Those who back or excuse that behavior seem to reflect a similar quality. I cannot believe anyone can support that sort of behavior.

8:51PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

This story sickens me still, and makes a mockery of the hypocratic oath! Disciplicary action, sensitivity training, ha, to say the least! How about an unpaid suspension too. The best place to smack a person who has behaved inhumanely toward anything or anyone, is in the wallet! They are free to have their personal beliefs, but to make fun of a patient and then to refuse treatment would make me worry about the quality and capacity of their care skills in general.

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