Michigan Doctor Will Not Treat A Baby Due to Lesbian Moms
In a recent Detroit Free Press article, I read about a Pediatrician in Roseville, Mich. who after “much prayer” decided that she would not treat a baby because the baby has two mothers.
She did not alert the patients to her decision until the day of the baby’s first exam, according to the article; however she sent into the exam room another pediatrician, from their practice, who would be the baby’s pediatrician and see the baby that day.
"I was completely dumbfounded," Krista Contreras, the baby's biological mother, told the Detroit Free Press. "We just looked at each other and said, 'Did we hear that correctly?' .... When we tell people about it, they don't believe us. They say, '(Doctors) can't do that. That's not legal.' And we say, 'Yes it is.'"
You see, there is no federal or Michigan law that explicitly prohibits discrimination against LGBT individuals.
"We want people to know that this is happening to families," 30-year-old Jami Contreras told the Detroit Free Press. "This is really happening It was embarrassing. It was humiliating ... It's just wrong."
The doctor in question, Vesna Roi, 49, who has been practicing pediatric medicine for 19 years told the Detroit Free Press, "My life is taking care of the babies.
"I love my families, my patients. I love my kids. And I have become very close with all my patients," said Roi, who noted that she couldn't comment on the case due to federal HIPPA law, which requires medical providers to protect the privacy of patients.
The doctor has apologized to Jami and Krista Contreras in a handwritten letter, which was obtained by the Free Press. It states:
"Dear Jami & Krista, I am writing this letter of apology as I feel that it is important and necessary. I never meant to hurt either of you. After much prayer following your prenatal (visit), I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients…Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice. Again, I am very sorry for the hurt and angry feelings that were created by this. I hope that you can accept my apology."
According the Detroit Free Press, while the letter did not explain why Roi felt that way, nor did it mention anything about the two women being lesbians, it did go on to explain that the women were "always welcome in our office" and that they could still get care from another pediatrician who was on staff.
It is important to note that the parents are not suing Roi. According to the Detroit Free Press, “They concede that Roi did nothing illegal — which is precisely what they have a problem with: There are few laws on the books that protect the LGBT community from discrimination.”
"There's no law that prohibits it," Wayne State University Constitutional Law Professor Robert Sedler told the Detroit Free Press.
There are currently 22 states that have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation. Michigan is not one of these states.
Now as many of you might know Michigan does have its own anti-discrimination law known as the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. However, this law doesn't cover LGBT individuals.
Professor Robert Sedler, who teaches equality issues at Wayne State University, told the Detroit Free Press, the doctor didn't violate any laws, noting, "Basically, the pediatrician handled this in an appropriate way. She turned them over to another doctor."
I understand and respect someone having their own core beliefs.
The doctor mentioned “after much prayer” she decided to not accept the family as patients. Well, in 1st Peter 2:17, the Bible teaches us to "honor everyone." It doesn't allow for discrimination of any type, simply honoring everyone.
There is a moral code to care for those around you. We are often limited by abilities and resources yet are able to provide based on those resources.
Discriminating is done by everyone in some shape or form, for example
- “I don't want you playing with that little girl. She isn't a nice girl.”
- *That boy is up to a lot of trouble. Stay away from him.”
- *That guy is a drug user; therefore, he is a loser."
- *That guy is so lazy. He is a bum who hasn't worked in years"
Discrimination is everywhere. We justify it in our own hearts and minds. But that doesn't mean it is the right or moral way to behave.
The baby did not choose her or his parents, so why bring those core beliefs against the baby?
These are just some of my thoughts. What are yours?
Do you think it's OK for a doctor to refuse taking care of a child because they do not believe in the parents' lifestyle?
Are some people taking their “core beliefs” too far?
The doctor did ask another doctor in her practice to see the child, so no harm had come to the child due to the doctor’s decision.
Let’s discuss this today on my show the Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.