Indianapolis resident Sarah Bray is claiming that St. Francis Hospital is keeping her from seeing her partner Jennifer Clemmer, 28, who is hospitalized from a prescription drug overdose. Though Clemmer’s immediate family has been allowed to see her, Bray hasn’t, and she’s distraught. “We are in a partnership. It’s heart-wrenching,” she said. “If I were a man and this were my wife, there would be no issue.” The couple owns a home together, both take care of Bray’s son from a previous relationship, and were even planning on getting married in Iowa in the near future, but it hasn’t been enough for the hospital to grant more than a few minutes of visitation privileges at a time.
The hospital responds:
It is unfortunate that the current situation has been reported inaccurately in the news media and throughout social media. Contrary to the reports and social media comments, the significant other of the patient has been granted visitation with the patient regularly since her admission to Franciscan St. Francis. In addition, the significant other has been provided updates regarding the health status of the patient. We will continue to provide such access and updates as is our policy. Our hospital has worked diligently and sensitively to meet the needs of both the family and the significant other, while at the same time caring for the best interest of the patient. All are an integral part of the healing process for the patient and Franciscan St. Francis will continue to work with both parties to ensure appropriate care to the patient.
Regardless, there would be no question of her rights if she and her partner were married and if Indiana recognized that marriage. Instead, GOP lawmakers (and a few Democrats) seem hellbent on writing such discrimination into the state’s constitution, at a time when most other states are moving in the opposite direction.