Justice and Rights collide…


I just finished reading the story of the federal ruling that nursing home patients in Indiana can no longer choose their health care providers based on race. On the surface you’d say well that seems right.

Does it though? Its bad enough getting squirreled away in a nursing home and losing your freedom and self-esteem but not even being allowed to state who can or cannot touch you? Nursing homes can be total shitholes and to that I can testify from personal/professional experience. Some of the pitfalls that are nursing homes led to laws actually allowing patients the right (among other rights) to choose their care givers,regardless of how someone else feels about the criteria they use.Indiana,the state where the case arose,had one of the widest interpretations of the federal statute aggressively bowing to patients rights and desires.

Anyway Brenda Chaney has won the day as it has been ruled that HER civil rights were violated when a white patient was on record to not have black caregivers and Ms. Chaney had to go find a cracker to pick up the fallen bigot.I don’t get that part at all. Nothing seems to be said that her job was tied to this issue nor does it seem she was headed for trouble after doing what she had to do.

You see I am honestly confused here. I get how I can’t be allowed to DENY care to someone,but why can’t people refuse care from me?

The latter actually happened to me. Back in my paramedic days my good and oh so professional attention was vociferously denied by a Hasidic Jew in NYC. I was there secondary to a 911 call with NYC/EMS 18Y. It turned out to be a questionable psych call but we still ended up being tied up while we waited for the “kosher bus”, aka a private service Jew only ambulance,to arrive. The doctor on board was very polite,almost apologetic as he nodded and released back to the backlogged system that is NYC 911 CAD.

As sad as it is that we have folks that have preferences of who can and can’t touch them it is even sadder in my opinion when the state tells you to shove it.The full truth on this is proof of that, seeing as certain other folks will continue to be allowed to use the law and its loopholes. The other sad part of this story is one is supposed to fight off the belief that Ms.Chaney and her lawyer did this out of desire for $$$$$$ as opposed to any real concern for civil rights. Sadly I’m one of those folks that say it’s all about the $$$$ and recognition.



  1. jonolan says:

    It’s just another Black either suffering from their oh-so-typical victimology or an overwhelming desire to due whatever it takes – aside from actual work – to get some more of the “White Man’s” money. It’s worthy of ridicule, nothing more.

    The Hasidim had a point though based upon his religion. They have strong prohibitions about blood, especially the blood of Gentiles. He would have had to undergo lengthy purification rituals if he’d taken your ambulance, ones he might not be able to undertake if he was particularly bad off medically – think of a Muslim dying exposed to pigs for a comparison.

  2. Natassia says:

    Veeeery interesting.

    Are you advocating for your individual right to discriminate about who can give you care and who can’t?



  3. Alfie says:

    Are you advocating for your individual right to discriminate about who can give you care and who can’t?

    Absolutely! Although I personally can and have dealt with every conceivable variation treating me and my loved ones I think especially in the n.h. setting it is weird but ok. My views are matched with never denying care and I have a past career that speaks to me stepping up to that call.

  4. jonolan says:

    I know that I’m advocating just that, but I advocate for the right to refuse treatment for any reason or no reason at all.

  5. Natassia says:

    I definitely am enjoying this post, Alfie.

    What if a Hasidic Jew who is also a dentist refuses to provide dental cleanings to Gentiles for religious reasons?

  6. Alfie says:

    Well on a humorous note I’d never use one out of fear the sideburns would be used as floss.

    On a more serious note I think non life saving and non life sustaining types of practioners can discriminate, or if they want to spin it this way, specialize. I get how humans like what they like.I think this approach is very capitalistic and I like that kind of stuff.

  7. Natassia says:

    Except health care is a right, you know.

  8. Rutherford says:

    From a different perspective, and putting aside all the black victimization and health care razzes …. what kind of idiot actually says “I don’t want any blacks taking care of me?” Isn’t it so much easier to say “I just don’t like that lady, can you get me another nurse?” And then if the next nurse is black …. “ehhh, I’m sorry, I don’t like that lady can you get me another nurse?”

    There are women who understandably refuse to be treated by male nurses. So, I do think patients rights trump caregiver’s “rights”. So long as the caregiver’s income or job is not endangered. I just think when a patient can come up with any excuse in the book for a nurse change, why they’d be honest about their blatant bigotry is beyond me.

    Very interesting post Alfie.

  9. Natassia says:

    @ Rutherford

    what kind of idiot actually says “I don’t want any blacks taking care of me?”

    A politically incorrect one who doesn’t give a damn, that’s who.

    Why is it understandable for a woman to refuse treatment from someone of a different gender but not someone of a different culture or race?

  10. Rutherford says:

    Why is it understandable for a woman to refuse treatment from someone of a different gender but not someone of a different culture or race?

    You’re serious? OK, I’ll parse your question a bit. I “understand” someone not wanting to be taken care of by a different race or culture … the same way I understand that people kill each other. I can “understand” all sorts of stuff. What of it?

    Let me make the word “treatment” more specific. Do you “understand” why a woman might prefer a woman OB/GYN over a male? Some women find a man staring at their woo-woo a bit creepy because in every day life, men have sex with women. I don’t find a parallel in the race/culture area. If you do, please help me “understand”.

  11. Natassia says:

    Well, Rutherford, women have sex with women too, you know. So your argument is weak.

    And just because YOU don’t find a parallel between the race/culture area, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Take a Hasidic Jew, for example. Or perhaps someone who has suffered from persecution from a particular race or culture before.

    Just because YOU don’t find something “understandable” (as in, something you can empathize with and consider a legitimate excuse) doesn’t mean it isn’t a legitimate discrimination for someone else.

  12. There goes Alfie bringing up old memories again! (jk)

    One company that I worked at had contracts with both the local Chassidic Temple, and Christian Scientist’s. Things were worked out in both cases.

    Unless the patient has an altered mental state, is unconscious, and no legally responsible decision maker is present I vote for the patient being able to refuse treatment. I would include a written DNR Order as a legal decision BTW.

    As to the opposite sex caregiver question? I think it depends on the situation. At least at one time the heads of the University of Colorado Medical Center Burn unit, and Saint Anthony Hospitals Trauma Surgery were both women. Who gives a damn about things like that when you are quite literally about to die..? Nor, during my career, did I ever have a woman get mad and sue when we did a strip and flip to find hidden injury that was killing my patient… On the other hand, in most settings, it is protocol that same sex caregivers place a catheter. Just remember, protocol’s are guidelines, and not hard fast rules or even law.

  13. Natassia says:

    Mr. Sperry, this will likely lead into a totally unrelated topic, but why is it protocol for same sex caregivers to place a catheter?

  14. Alfie says:

    I’ll chime in with that the “professionalism” of female clinicians is given higher regard than that of a male. Ergo in many settings Nurse cratchet can grab my stuff and jam a Foley into it. Examinations of females let alone treatments tend to be supervised. This has the added benefit to the provider as well but I’m sayin’

  15. Natassia says:

    Alvie, you are describing the reality of it. But I want to know the Whys of it.

  16. Natassia says:

    *Alfie. (IPad is still hard to type on.)

  17. Alfie says:

    wow you want to talk about a thread going in a completely different direction….How do you like the iPad?
    As for the why’s. The history from a litigation standing for one,for sure but there is also the assumption thing I think.

  18. Natassia says:

    So, a history of women suing male caregivers is why females can legitimately discriminate against male caregivers? And what is this “assumption thing”?

    I like the IPad, but it’s WiFi capability is not as strong as my laptop, and it is not compatible with Adobe Flashplayer which is a big pain in the ass because I can’t watch shows and movies on Hulu.com. 🙂

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