A woman receiving treatment for breast cancer has been let go by her healthcare center due to accusations of "hurtful remarks" she allegedly made concerning the "LGBTQ community."
Marlene Barbera, who has a mastectomy planned later this month, expressed her views about a trans pride flag she noticed in the waiting area of the Richmond Family Medicine Clinic located in Portland, Oregon, Reduxxreports.
Speaking to the outlet, Barbera claims she had penned a letter to her doctor last year expressing her objection to the display of a trans pride flag she had noticed in the clinic's front office area.
“I wrote my Doctor a MyChart message all about how offensive, I, as a gender critical woman, found political messaging in a healthcare setting,” Barbera stated.
Barbera offered Reduxx a copy of her initial communication to her medical practitioner, in which she conveyed her concerns about the flag's presence.
“I have been threatened on Twitter by trans activists with rape and death — so it is daunting to go for medical treatment with that banner proclaiming that what I am, an adult human female, is a mere opt-in category for any gender non-conforming male and not a reality,” she wrote in her message. “May I please have a telephone appointment to discuss how I may access your medical care without walking under a banner that seeks to negate all I am?”
Barbera clarified that she had initially believed MyChart, a software platform allowing patients to view and manage their personal health records and correspond with their doctor, to be a confidential medium. However, she was subsequently informed that her comments on the flag were viewed by additional clinic staff.
“[My] Doctor said ‘well, I am not gonna go out there and take it down,'” Barbera said, pointing out that her doctor had served as her primary healthcare provider for a 12 years, and also had members of her family as patients.
Barbera states that matters intensified in June when she attempted to send a private message to her doctor about her blood test outcomes, but a front desk staff member denied her the opportunity to do so.
“The person insisted I make an appointment. I have breast cancer and consequently an abundance of medical appointments so I did not want to do that. They got frustrated with my ‘non-compliance’ and hung up on me," Barbera stated.
Some weeks later, Barbera received a message asserting that “Richmond is an all-inclusive clinic and we value and advocate for diversity,” and insisted Barbera had made “transphobic remarks” that were “harmful to our staff.”
Later that day, she received a formal notice via email that read
Effective immediately, you are discharged from receiving medical care at the Richmond Family Medicine Clinic. This action is being taken because of ongoing disrespectful and hurtful remarks about our LGBTQ community and staff … Please note that you are also now dismissed from all OHSU Family Medicine clinics, including Immediate Care clinics.
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