Why Marriage Equality Matters to Nurses

There are many topics that fire Nurses up. Fitness articles are generally divided. Some of you blame hard shifts, on your feet all day, and ‘no time’ as a reason to eat badly and not invest time into your health. Politics, as well as everyone, fires Nurses up. At Scrubs Magazine, we don’t get involved in political drama. There’s enough of that on House of Cards for everyone.
However. A landslide victory for our fellow Australians happened this week. The country voted in a majority to allow same sex marriage. While some might think this falls into a political category, most will argue it’s a basic human right. Regardless of both these topics, it actually has a massive effect on Nurses and Caregivers.

We posted our support yesterday. It was wonderful to see messages and comments of support.

Stephanie Figurella said, ‘If you don’t understand how much of an impact this has on our role as nurses in giving holistic care to our patients, I can’t even begin to explain it to you. You must just really REALLY not get it.’

Chiyoko Iwata …..’This is absolutely related to nursing as a profession- the civil rights of our patients and our colleagues can have a huge impact on their health, mental, physical, and spiritual.’

Emma Teresa Its nursing related because this means the world to alot of nurses .i cant believe the ignorance its disgusting the comments on social media about equality, mind your own damn business its not affecting you! (sic)

Not a lot of you however, felt the same.

Tracy Derrick says ‘Who cares? This has nothing to do with Nursing’

Melissa Lyons of Independence, Kansas claims ‘Scrubs Magazine claims to be 100% about Nurses. And that was a lie.’

Lori Brackett griped ‘Ummm, SCRUBS is your name’

A more worrying comment from Amber Jones (Former President of the Student Nursing Association) hashtagged ‘#THISPAGEHASNOTHINGTODOWITHNURSING’

We posted the same congratulatory image on some of our other social sites, and boy did you let rip.

Eddie Hostler didn’t hold back his thoughts….

Eddie Hostler

‘Congratulations on supporting the moral degradation of our world! Congats aussies! Now your colon cancer rate will increase and youll be forced to bake cakes!’ (sic)

Dustin Clayton from Paris, TN stands by his convictions that there should be ‘no celebration of sodomy’. Here’s his full remarks.

Dustin Clayton

I am a nurse/APRN of 9 years, I can suggest to you with confidence that recent posts from your page have nothing to do with male nurses. They are however, political, biased, and off-topic. I do not wish to have my feed peppered with liberal ideologies that promote the murder of babies in the womb or the celebration of sodomy. Neither is beneficial for society or male nursing. Please change the name of your page to something less inclusive, since your worldview is obviously far-left as evidenced by the constant negative feedback on your posts. You may possible consider changing your name to “quasi-nursing for extremists” or “male pseudo-nursing” to ensure a transparent fan base. As for me and my cohorts, we will no longer be following your strange, ignorant postings. Thanks.’ (sic)

Marriage Equality has a profound impact on Nursing. And so to help explain why, Trish Gorman, a former intensive care Nurse explains it perfectly well, in a heartfelt note she wrote on her Facebook page.

’20 or so years ago, I was a staff nurse in a trauma ICU. We had a patient come in who had a life-threatening head injury from a car crash. Most patients that come in in this condition receive a number and a fake name -“unid-1234” – until we can track down their family. 

Well, the first person we tracked down was this guy’s mother, so we called her in. She was in charge of all the medical decisions we made for this guy. It was up to her when he had surgery, if we resuscitated him if his heart stopped – all kinds of things. It was also up to her who we called in case of an emergency and who we allowed to come visit.

Well, turns out, this mother hadn’t seen her son in over twenty years. She had disowned him because he was gay and because he had fallen in love with a man and decided to live with him.

Anyway, our hands were tied.

We eventually tracked down the guy he’d been living with for the past twenty years. They had bought a house together. They had purchased furniture together. They had built a life together.

Anyway, our hands were tied. 

The patient’s “family” had already established a list of rules of who could and could not visit.

The man’s life partner was not on the list.

We had to – legally – comply with everything the mother asked of us.

One of her most adamant requests was that the life partner of this man not be allowed to visit.

We had to comply. We had no legal choice.

I spent weeks leaving work and buying a coffee for the poor man in the lobby who was crying because he couldn’t visit his partner of twenty years. I couldn’t even legally tell him of his partner’s condition because of HIPPA violations.

My hands were tied. And my heart was broken.

I was going to spend the rest of my life fighting for marriage equality.’

And that my fellow Nurses, is why it matters.

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