As discussed on a recent blog post regarding patients who do not speak English well, it is never appropriate for a family member to interpret. Medical interpretation requires that interpreters be a separate non-party as to ensure that the information being transmitted is the complete information and without bias.
I have a friend who is a and has accompanied me on several visits with deaf clients. In fact, I wouldn’t dream of visiting a deaf or hard of hearing client without an ASL interpreter. Not only would that create unnecessary stress for the patient, but leaves a huge possibility for errors and liability.
If those reasons aren’t enough, it is the law to provide an ASL interpreter for these individuals.
I must say that I have a great deal of respect for the affected patientsthey aren’t asking for millions in damages or for anything other than Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville be forced to provide ASL interpretive services.