Federal authorities are looking into
whether a Missouri hospital violated a patient's rights when staffers
arrested his visiting partner.
Roger Gorley was forcibly removed by
police when he refused to leave the bedside of his partner, Allen
Mansell. Gorley told several sources that he and Mansell are in a
civil union. However, Missouri does not recognize such unions.
“I was not recognized as being the
husband,” Gorley told Kansas City Fox affiliate Fox 4. “I wasn't
recognized as being the partner.”
Gorley said that a nurse at Research
Medical Center in Kansas City “didn't even bother to look it up.
To check into it.”
Gorley reportedly was asked to leave by
a family member. When he refused, security put him in handcuffs and
he was carted away from the building.
a Facebook post, Gorley explained that Mansell was exhibiting
“some bad side effects” from the lack of Electroconvulsive
Therapy (ECT) to treat his depression. Mansell's scheduled sessions
had been interrupted due to a “large snow storm” and “the ECT
facility forcing him to reschedule many times.” Mansell's brother,
Lee, with the help of police, intervened. Saying that his brother
posed a danger to himself, something Gorley denies, Lee admitted
Mansell into the hospital.
Hospital officials have said that “bad
behavior” was the sole reason they acted.
“He [Gorley] and the patient's
brother were fighting in the patient's room very loudly, very
crassly, inappropriate language,” Rob Dyer of Hospital Corporation
of America (HCA), the parent company of Research Medical Center, told
HCA denied there was a restraining
order against Gorley. But a police report shows he had been cited
for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
comments to BuzzFeed, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) spokesman Brian Cook said his agency was “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. We take alleged violations of federal rules around hospital
visitation very seriously,” he added.