Mar 062011

Deaf woman says in lawsuit that hospital made daughter interpret

By Tony Leys, Des Moines Register 3/5/11

SPECIAL TO THE REGISTER- A deaf Fort Dodge woman is suing a hospital for allegedly forcing her to use her 7-year-old daughter as a sign-language interpreter before the girl had surgery.


Jessie Fox says in a federal lawsuit filed Friday that she asked officials at Trinity Regional Medical Center to provide an interpreter so she could understand instructions from the medical staff. She says the Fort Dodge hospital refused her request, so she had to rely on her daughter, Addison, to translate the staff’s words into sign language.


The arrangement led to a medication mix-up, the lawsuit says. A nurse wanted Addison to continue taking an antibiotic for two weeks before having her tonsils and adenoids removed, but Fox misunderstood the instructions and stopped giving the drug. Addison didn’t suffer any serious problems from the 2009 incident, but the suit says the interpreting arrangement put the girl and her mother an unfair and unsafe situation.

– Thanks to NVRC, Fairfax (3/5/11)