By Claire Cleveland
On one of her many days in the hospital in 2017, Cathy asked her partner not to tell the nursing staff they were married. She’d been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and Cathy feared the care she got would suffer if the staff knew she was a lesbian.
“She says, ‘Don't tell the nurses that we're married,’” said Cathy’s wife, Esther Lucero. “And I said, ‘Why?’ And she says, ‘Because they're treating you differently. They're treating me differently.’”
According to a study recently published in The Gerontologist, older people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer often face discrimination during end-of-life care. They’re also more likely to have their health care wishes ignored or disregarded.