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Hospital Abided by Whites-Only Request

Hospitals and nursing homes have long found themselves in an awkward spot when a patient refuses to share a room with someone of another race. Sometimes prejudice also arises when the caregiver and patient are of different races.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that a St. Petersburg nurse has filed suit in federal court against her employer, Palms of Pasadena Hospital, saying she was ordered to stop caring for a white patient because she is black. The suit says the hospital, part of HCA, was abiding by the wishes of the patient’s family that no African-Americans be assigned to her case or even to clean her room.

Syrenthia Dysart told the Times that hospital officials said they had to respect the rights of patients. But in her suit she said employees have rights, too.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.