By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com September 30 2009 11:45 AM ET
A federal court in Miami threw out the case of a lesbian denied the right to visit her dying partner in a Florida hospital, saying that no law required the hospital to admit visitors.
Janice Langbehn, a Washington state resident, filed the suit against Jackson Memorial Hospital after Lisa Pond, her partner of 17 years, died there in 2007. Pond suffered a brain aneurysm prior to a Caribbean gay cruise with their three children, and a hospital social worker refused to let Langbehn visit her dying partner, allegedly saying that Florida was “an antigay state.”
The court ruled in favor of the hospital, according to The Miami Herald, in a decision that Langbehn’s attorney called “extreme.”
"The hospital took the position that we thought was pretty extreme -- that it has no duty, no legal obligation, to allow visitors [of any sort] in the hospital. The court agreed,'' said Beth Littrell, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal, according to the Herald.
Jackson Memorial denied that it treats gay patients and their families any differently from other patients.
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