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  • Now who'd like an enema?
    June 17, 2013 - 13:32

    Mr. Badcock's letter tells us nothing we didn't know - that for every issue the gamut of public opinion varies widely. For example, while I think it would be nice if everything was free, I don't have any real problem paying a few dollars for parking at the Health Science Complex. It's because we have one of the most expensive health care systems in Canada that hospitals in St. John's are forced to charge for parking and - now it seems - to shove men and women in the same dirty, overcrowded hospital rooms. If I have any problem with the latter it's probably more so because I would hate being in a hospital room with another patient of any sex. Nevertheless, I can very much empathize with those who do have a problem with unisex hospital stays. I know from just visiting patients in hospital that many are sensitive to who else might be in the room, and of what sex, when procedures are being carried out, or indeed, when they are simply talking to doctors and nurses about their personal situations. Ridiculing those people is extremely uncouth. Frankly, I'm not sure where things are going with the unisex trend and - most recently - Ottawa's passage of the 'bathroom bill'. The latter was intended, in part, to make things easier for transgendered people or people who aren't quite certain of their gender assignment. But I do have some advice - firstly for hospitals. Ask before shoving an already distressed person into a unisex hospital bed. Secondly - for patients who feel their right to privacy is being breached - politely decline the hospital's offer to shack you up with the opposite sex. Tell them, if necessary, that it is against your religion. If you think that's a joke, ask yourself what would happen if a Muslim woman wearing a hijab, niqab or a burqa were offered a unisex hospital room. Muslims almost always insist on separation by gender outside the home. How long would it take a Charter challenge to reach the Supreme Court if hospitals everywhere were to insist on co-locating patients with members of the opposite sex? The bottom line is that institutions must be sensitive to the reasonable sensitivities of people. And if that means Mr.Badcock and I must continue paying for parking - and other costs of operating a hospital - I'm O.K. with that.

  • Colin Burke
    June 17, 2013 - 09:08

    "I don't understand this hangup...." What one does understand one may be able to oppose with a rational argument, right?

  • Herb Morrison
    June 17, 2013 - 08:36

    Very effectively written. Great balance of truth, humour and common sense.

  • JT
    June 17, 2013 - 07:30

    It's a good thing Tom was only there for one night because he would have had one heck of a parking bill to pay. One month he's taking them to court for charging for parking and the next month applauding them for putting men and women in the same room. Perhaps if you were really sick or had more dignity you would feel differently. Need I say more.,,,,,