ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Can a doctor refuse to treat the baby of a same-sex couple? That situation played out at a local doctor’s office.
Jami and Krista Contreras, of Oak Park, brought their 6-day-old baby to Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville for a checkup. But after waiting for their newborn’s first checkup, Dr. Vesna Roi refused to see them. Another doctor told the couple that Roi decided she couldn’t treat their baby because they are lesbians.
“Under current Michigan law, a doctor has an absolute right to refuse medical treatment on the basis of sexual orientation,” said WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton.
The situation happened last October, but the Contreras decided to go public with their story to raise awareness about discrimination against same-sex parents.
“We want people to know that this is happening to families. This is really happening,” 30-year-old Jami Contreras told the Detroit Free Press.
The 49-year-old doctor has since written the couple a letter of apology, saying that after “much prayer” following their initial prenatal meeting, she didn’t believe that she could develop a personal patient doctor relationship with them.
“I never meant to hurt either of you,” she wrote. “Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice. Again, I am very sorry for the hurt and angry feelings that were created by this.”
Still, the couple says nothing will change the humiliation they felt that day. They had spent months talking with pediatricians before deciding to take their baby to Roi, only to be turned away because of who they are — and it’s completely legal.
“It was embarrassing. It was humiliating … It’s just wrong,” said Jami Contreras.