By Kenneth Rochel de Camargo*
Clay and Gary lived together for 20 years. For the last years, they had settled in Sonoma, CA, and had all their legal paperwork in place, naming each other as legally and medically responsible. One day, Harold, 88, fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Legally, Clay should have been consulted from the get-go.
County and health workers, however, chose to trample their rights, their dignity and their lives; they isolated one from the other, treated Harold as if he had no family and sought in court the power to make the decisions for him. The court decision was shameful in itself, naming Clay as just a “roommate”, but still granting only limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his medical expenses.
Without legal authority to do so, the County auctioned off all of the couple’s belongings, removed Clay from his home and confined him in a nursing home, against his will, and terminated their lease, returning the house that was their home for many years to the landlord.
Harold died three months after he was hospitalized, without ever seeing Clay again. Clay was left with nothing, and no souvenirs of their life in common, but for an album that somehow Harold managed to put together during his hospitalization.
And the media has shown no interest in covering this man-made tragedy…
For more details, see:
> The video Clay Greene Vs Sonoma Countyo, at Youtube website
*Kenneth Rochel de Camargo is member of the SPW’s advisory group and Associate Professor of the Social Medicine Institute, at the Rio de Janeiro State University (Brazil)