What does sexual orientation has to do with having a baby brought to a doctor for checkups? Who has the right to refuse? Who is the final arbiter of what is moral or not? What did the baby do in order to be refused treatment in this case? Well, you can read on and find out for yourself.
This happened and was unexpected since there was prior arrangements before the visit. A lesbian couple was refused to have their baby treated by a pediatrician because of their sexual orientation.
The couple involved were Krista and Jami Contreras said that Dr. Vesna Roi of Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan, agreed at the beginning to be the attending pediatrician of their baby girl, but after “much prayer” Roi reneged on her promise and refused.
When they arrived at the clinic with their 6-day-old baby for a wellness checkup, they were met by another doctor who told them that Dr. Roi won’t be seeing them after all.
” I was completely dumbfounded,” Krista, who is the baby’s biological mother, told the newspaper. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we hear that correctly?'”
The other doctor at the practice offered to care for the baby. The couple told the local Fox station that the second doctor also told them Roi didn’t even come into the clinic that day because she didn’t want to see them.
“As far as we know Bay doesn’t have sexual orientation yet so I’m not really sure what that matters,” Jami told myFOXDetroit.com. “We’re not your patient — she’s your patient. And the fact is that your job is to keep babies healthy and you can’t keep a baby healthy that has gay parents?”
Roi later sent a letter of apology to the couple later, which the Free Press posted online and can be seen below.
“After much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients,” wrote Roi, who has an average of three out of five stars at Healthgrades and four out of five on vitals based on limited reviews.
Roi apologized for his behavior and said the couple were welcome to bring their baby to the clinic, but would have to be attended by other doctors.
“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,” Roi wrote. “Again, I am sorry for the hurt and angry feelings that were created by this. I hope you can accept my apology.”
Roi’s decision may not be illegal but it certainly was disgraceful. It was reported in the Free Press that 22 states make it illegal for doctors refusing to treat patient basing on their sexual orientation but the State of Michigan is not one of them.
Nonetheless, the American Medical Association code of ethics is against doctors who refuse to treat patients based on their race, gender or sexual orientation. Doctors are allowed to refuse specific treatments if they are at odds with personal, religious or moral beliefs.
Roi terminated her affiliation with AMA since 2001according to her website. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which believes in nondiscrimination practice as well.
Krista and Jamie Contreras were married in Vermont in 2012. They told both MyFOXDetroit and the Free Press during an interview that they are going public to increase awareness and amend the laws to ensure families with same-sex parents get equal treatment.
“It was embarrassing, it was humiliating and here we are, new parents trying to protect her,” Jami told myFOXDetroit. “And we know this happens in the world and we’re completely prepared for this to happen other places. But not at our 6-day-old’s wellness appointment.”