Pediatrician Refuses to Treat Baby Who Has Two Moms

baby exam

Today in infuriating news about small-minded people: a pediatrician in Michigan is refusing to treat a newborn baby because her parents are lesbians. Jami and Krista Contreras thought they'd found the perfect doctor for their daughter, Bay Windsor Contreras.


Everything they learned about Vesna Roi, M.D., at their prenatal appointment seemed to indicate as much: She leaned towards holistic treatments such as probiotics and natural oils, and didn't seem to mind couple's sexual orientation (not that she SHOULD have). But when Jami and Krista showed up with 6-day-old Bay in tow, they were in for a most unpleasant surprise.

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As they sat in the waiting room, another pediatrician came out and said that she was sorry, but Dr. Roi had decided (and this is the part that gets me), "after much prayer" (!?), that she wouldn't be able to treat Bay after all because of the whole two mommies thing. (Nice to wait until they actually came all the way to the office to break the news, sheesh!)

The scariest, most upsetting part of the whole thing is that what Roi is doing isn't technically illegal. While 22 states currently have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against patients based on their sexual orientation, Michigan is not one of these states; there is no federal law explicitly prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people (though efforts to add LGBT individuals to federal and Michigan anti-discrimination laws have been made). The American Academy of Pediatrics, however, does forbid this type of discrimination in their code of ethics (unfortunately, these rules are only "advisory").

I truly don't understand why any doctor would refuse to treat anyone (let alone a child) for any reason -- the only time refusing to treat a kid ever makes sense, in my opinion, is if the parents won't vaccinate, and that's only because having unvaccinated children in the office could potentially put other patients at risk.

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Why in the world would Roi -- or any doctor -- object to taking care of a baby simply because they didn't "approve" of her parents' lifestyle choices? Never mind the fact that discriminating based on "religious" beliefs doesn't make you religious, it just makes you a bigot -- what harm could possibly come of helping a child to be healthy? Isn't the desire to do good what motivates people to become doctors in the first place? (Isn't that why people practice religion, too?!) Of course it helps if doctors and patients get along and share similar values, but in the end, the only thing that really matters is compassion (and quality of care). Roi robbed the Contreras family of both.

The fact that Roi isn't breaking any laws by refusing to treat Bay just proves that our legal system needs a major overhaul; the fact that Roi actually thinks taking care of a lesbian couple's child would be morally wrong just proves that some people have a pretty twisted take on "morality." I'm so sorry that this happened to Krista and Jami, but if that's the kind of person Roi is, maybe they're better off with a different pediatrician anyway -- one who actually cares about human beings.

Do you think doctors should be allowed to discriminate based on sexual preference? 

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