lesbian in Florida has filed a state complaint against a
doctor and a physician's assistant alleging she was given
literature condemning homosexuality as "sinful and
sexually impure" after a routine appointment.
Jamie Beiler, formerly of Kissimmee, saw
physician's assistant Dawn Pope-Wright on March 11,
2005, for a bronchitis checkup because her regular
doctor was on vacation, according to a January 27 complaint
filed with the Division of Medical Quality Assurance.
Beiler's sexuality was noted in her medical file but
unmentioned during the appointment, her lawyers said.
When she opened up an envelope Pope-Wright had
left at the checkout counter, she was shocked to find
photocopied pages that included Bible verses
denouncing homosexuality and assertions
that God can help her change. "The information that Ms.
Pope-Wright gave to Ms. Beiler was derogatory and offensive,
and completely disrespected her right to dignity and
privacy," the complaint says. Also named in the
complaint is John R. Hartman, MD, who allegedly
deflected Beiler's concerns when she complained to the office.
Two telephone messages left at Hartman's office,
one with an office manager, during business hours were
not immediately returned. An office employee said
Pope-Wright no longer worked there, and she couldn't be
otherwise reached by the Associated Press.
Lawyers Karen Doering and Shelbi Day, who
coauthored the complaint on Beiler's behalf, also
filed a similar one with her insurer, Cigna
HealthCare. The health care company also did not immediately comment.
Doering, senior counsel for the National Center
for Lesbian Rights, said Pope-Wright was
inappropriately using her job to distribute religious and
political beliefs. "It was just a routine follow-up visit,"
she said. "It had absolutely nothing to do with her
sexual orientation." (AP)