Nurse at Center of Furor Over Homophobic Remarks Made to Marine Has Left Dallas VA

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Esther Garatie.jpg
Esther Garatie
The Dallas VA Medical Center nurse who told a lesbian Marine her depression was the result of "living in darkness" as a homosexual will no longer be working for the VA. We first wrote about former marine Esther Garatie back in November, after the Dallas Voice broke the story: Garatie went in for counseling after suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. Instead, she was greeted by a bizarre three-hour tirade from nurse Lincy Pandithurai, who allegedly told her, among other things, "The reason you are so upset is because you feel the darkness surrounding you, and you feel guilty about being a homosexual and living in sin. I'm going to prescribe you some anti-depressants, maybe they'll help, but I'm not saying that you aren't going to continue to want to kill yourself."

Now, according to a statement from the VA sent to Unfair Park, the nurse will "retire from federal service January 21, 2012." The email also states that the Administrative Investigation Board "was able to substantiate material portions of the veteran's claims."

"We're very excited," says Jessica Gerson, Garatie's close friend who authored a massive Change.org petition calling for Pandithurai's removal.

We have calls in to Garatie and Pandithurai as well for their reactions. Pandithurai didn't respond to previous requests for comment; her husband Gnanadurai told The Dallas Morning News, "Trust me, she wants to talk, but we have to check with our lawyer. This didn't happen the way it's been described. We really don't want to turn this into a religious fight."

The VA's full statement is below.

The Administrative Investigation Board has completed its investigation. The board was able to substantiate material portions of the veteran's claims. VA North Texas Health Care System will continue to provide an environment where veterans can receive the physical and emotional healing that they desire and deserve. As such, we remain committed to respecting diversity and providing the best possible care to all veterans. Our commitment to equal rights remains strong as we practice our core values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. Ms. Pandithurai will retire from federal service effective January 21, 2012.

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16 comments
cockadoodledoooo
cockadoodledoooo

I've dealt with the VA for quite a number of years, going back and forth, to them to receive help with my PTSD and Depression. They can be quite confrontational with you, when you are at your weakest, and I believe this is something that is inherent in their system. While being an in-patient, a nurse their told me,"that I shouldn't be feeling the way I did, because I had two arms and two functioning legs"....even though I wasn't there for my arms and legs, but what was going on in my cranium. Yes, they can be real insensitive a-holes and I send my heartfelt deepest wishes for nothing but good things for Ms.Garatie....Godspeed!

HistoryGirl
HistoryGirl

As a family nurse practitioner, I am sickened by the way this patient was treated. Please know that professional nurses who are REAL professionals care for every person with dignity and respect

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

The last thing I want to hear about is this Person on the Christian Talk show circuit Whining about being Fired by the VA for her ZOMBIE following beliefs

rougnz
rougnz

I think for those that are not gay it has been at times difficult to understand the different types of discrimination that gay people encounter. 

Here was a situation where you had a person at a time of vulnerability (depression) sought help from a medical professional who seemingly failed to provide the appropriate a medical/psychological intervention, but instead pushed her own agenda which could have easily had the effect of making the patients health worse.  In my view she should not have been just retired from the VA, but her nursing license also needs to be reviewed by the competent authority.   

DavidBGillman
DavidBGillman

Starting this year your child (or children) cannot be denied coverage simply because they have a pre-existing health condition. If you don't have insurance for you and your children search "Penny Medical" online they are the best.

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

Rewarding her  with a lifetime pension was the wrong move.People who behave this way should be fired outright.

Spud
Spud

A simple "Fuck You...mind your own business!" and optional punch to the gut would have taken ten seconds...........instead it became a "three hour tirade".

Who the hell can sit there for three hours?

This is less about a VA nurse and more about someones need for drama in their life.

anonymous
anonymous

Absolutely infuriating that Garatie or anyone would have been subjected to this kind of ignorance.  So glad the witch nurse will "retire from federal service."  Why don't they just say they fired her homophobic ass?   

RC
RC

Adios mofo

Ed D.
Ed D.

That nurse needs to be separated from her medical license, too.

Dalguy
Dalguy

SPUD, aka Couch Potato watching FOX TV.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

A person in the throes of depression being berated by an authority figure is likely to descend further, rather than reacting by defending themselves.  That's what depression is.  If you already consider yourself in a less-than-ideal way, and the person you've gone to for help decides that it's time to kick you when you're down, odds are you're just going to sink further.  That's what depression does to you.  If you've never felt that, then you're luckier than a lot of us.

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

Spud,Decent people don't respond to verbal attacks with violence.That's what our courts are for - and it's why you right-wing psychos hate the DOJ.

Meiko
Meiko

Please don't associate us witches with idiots like this, thanks :)

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