Beyonce gave birth to baby girl Blue Ivy Carter this weekend at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she and Jay-Z also succeeded in pissing off several other new parents along the way. Their over-the-top security measures effectively shut down the entire floor of their private birthing suite, even kicking parents out of the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where their premature newborn babies are kept. The parents are raging over Beyonce and Jay-Z’s unjust narcissism and disregard for other families, but all I can think is: What’s wrong with a hospital that it would allow any patient to rewrite its rules?
Beyonce, 30 (or is she?), gave birth to her new daughter on Saturday night by (or did she?) C-section after checking in on Friday under the name “Ingrid Jackson.” A hospital spokesperson said that reports of she and Jay-Z spending $1.3 million for “the entire floor” of the hospital, but she declined to say by how much. Whatever the price, they did succeed in getting the hospital to lock down the floor so that she could come and go without being disturbed; one new father was even kept from seeing his newborn twins in order to maintain her privacy:
“They just used the hospital like it was their own and nobody else mattered,” raged new dad Neil Coulon, whose efforts to see his premature, newborn twins in the NICU were disrupted by the birth of little Blue Ivy Carter.
“They locked us into the NICU and would say, ‘You can’t come out to the hallway for the next 20 minutes.’ When I finally was able to go back out, I went to the waiting room and they’d ushered my family downstairs!”
It’s despicable, but it’s not at all surprising that celebrities wouldn’t be mindful of other patients in a hospital. What’s more surprising (and more despicable, if you ask me) is the fact that the hospital was willing to let celebrities—and their money—compromise the health and rights of other patients. Twenty minutes may not seem like much, but to a father who hasn’t seen his babies, it’s a lot. And for newborns in the NICU, it could be even more crucial: Studies show that human contact improves weight gain and development in premature babies.
Just like with anything else money can buy, it’s to be expected that the super-rich have access to extravagant health care that most of us don’t. But that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to interfere with other patient care; after all, those other parents aren’t getting health care for free. If a hospital wants to cater to clients like Beyonce and Jay-Z, by all means: build a wing that supports all the privacy and luxury they’d like. But it shouldn’t interfere with what other patients need.
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