When John Paul Jebian showed up at Baptist Hospital of Miami with chest pains, he asked for an American Sign Language interpreter, Stat.com reports.
Instead, hospital staff brought a video screen with an internet link to a remote interpreter. Jebian, who is deaf, told Stat: “I didn’t know if I had to have surgery. Everything was going past me. I didn’t know what was happening, when it was happening.”
He said a nurse struggled to set up the equipment as he wondered whether he was suffering a heart attack. But the staff didn't know how to operate the video interpreting service, so for the next six hours, while undergoing tests and hooked up to IVs in both arms, Jebian wrote notes back and forth to doctors, lying on a hospital bed with his arms out, unable to see what he was scribbling.
That was five years ago, and it turned out not to be a heart attack. But earlier this month, Jebian and another plaintiff won the right to sue the Miami hospital for discrimination.
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