The Daily Agenda for Thursday, October 4
October 4th, 2012
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Asheville, NC; Baltimore, MD (Black Pride); Belgrade, Serbia; Cymru UK; Dallas, TX (Black Pride); Ft. Worth, TX; Johannesburg, South Africa; Memphis, TN; Miami Beach, FL (Hispanic Pride); Orlando, FL.
Other Events This Weekend: Gay Days, Anaheim, CA; Alaska Pride Conference, Anchorage, AK; Floatilla, Hong Kong, China; Key West Bear Fest, Key West, FL; Black and Blue Festival, Montreal, QC; OctoBEARfest, New York, NY; Chéries-Chéris Film Festival, Paris, France; Rainbow Festival, Phoenix, AZ.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Florida Hospital Dumps AIDS Patient: 1983. Twenty-seven-year-old Morgan MacDonald had been treated at Shands Hospital in Gainsville, Florida, since July for various opportunistic infections because of AIDS. When his state Medicaid benefits ran out, the private teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Florida ordered MacDonald out. Early on the morning of October 4, Shands hospital doctors stuffed $300 into his pocket, loaded him onto a Lear Jet with a doctor and a nurse, and shipped him off to San Francisco and dumped him at the offices of the city’s AIDS Foundation. The nurse and doctor walked out and left the volunteer staff to figure out what to do with him. He’s condition was so bad, he was unable to lift his head. The AIDS foundation was able to get MacDonald admitted to San Francisco’s General Hospital where his condition continued to worsen.
San Francisco General’s Dr. Mervyn Silverman was furious. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” he told reporters. “It’s unconscionable to do this to a patient, especially a patient in serious condition.” A Shands spokeswoman claimed that MacDonald didn’t need hospital treatment, but outpatient treatment instead, and said that shipping him off to San Francisco — even though he came to them from Vero Beach, Florida — was “a real humanitarian thing to do.” They also claimed that MacDonald was ambulatory when he left Shands, and that he worsened sometime after leaving. “AIDS is a disease where your condition changes,” the Shands spokeswoman said. San Fransisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein denounced the dumping and demanded that Florida Gov. Bob Graham investigate. A Florida Health Department official would later admit, “We are having problems in Florida because medical professionals are reluctant to provide care because they know so little about AIDS. We are seeing people take any opportunity within the law to avoid providing care.” The state, however, found no evidence of legal wrongdoing. MacDonald died in San Francisco, a medical outcast, sixteen days later. San Francisco General sent Shands Hospital a bill for $6,627.12, which Shands refused to pay.
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir: 1942. When she became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister in 2009 following more than a year of public protests over Iceland’s handling of the financial crisis, she broke yet another important barrier by becoming the world’s first open lesbian head of government. The LGBT community around the world cheered, but Sigurðardóttir had no time for celebrations. She had her hads full with the collapse of the island nation’s entire banking system and the stock exchange losing some 90% of its value. She renegotiated Iceland’s payment of bank deposits to holders in Netherlands and Britain — much to the outrage of Icelandic taxpayers — and her government launched several criminal investigations of the banking collapse. Under her stewardship, Iceland’s economic free-fall has been halted, and investors are beginning to return. Iceland has also been working on joining the E.U. since June 2009, which has also helped boost investor confidence.
Jóhanna has been in a Registered Partnership with Jónína Leósdóttir since 2002. When Iceland enacted its marriage equality law in 2010, Jóhanna and Jónína became among the first to convert their legal partnership into a marriage. Last week, Jóhanna announced that she will resign as chairperson of the Social Democratic Alliance at the end of the election term next spring and retire from politics.
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And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?