Hospital says no to Isis
First Posted: 3/31/2015
Maci Bookout and Adam Lambert of Wilkes-Barre were denied the right to name their child on Monday, March 30. The new parents picked out what they thought to be a beautiful name but the hospital staff at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital abruptly denied them their 14th and First Amendment.
“We wanted to name our new baby girl Isis,” said 20-year-old Bookout. “We thought it was a beautiful name. I have no idea why they wouldn’t write it on the birth certificate.”
Bookout and Lambert are painfully unaware that ISIS is short for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a radical Sunni Muslim organization whose aim is to restore an Islamic state, or in short a terrorist group. Though the name is also the goddess of fertility in Greek and Roman literature, hospital staff did not seem to care.
“The fact is that this couple is young and don’t know the consequences of their actions,” said nurse Jackie Bailey. “This name would be ridiculed and questioned every day of the child’s life. We are protecting the child.”
The question remains, is it the hospital’s role to protect the child? Currently, there is no naming law in the state of Pennsylvania. Restrictions vary by state and most are put in place for the sake of practicality. Several states limit the number of characters that can be used because of limitations of software used for record keeping and others ban the use of numerical digits or pictures for similar reasons.
There have been similar cases. In 2013, a judge in Tennessee ruled a baby boy named Messiah had to change his name, stating “it’s a title that has only been earned by one person…Jesus Christ.” The decision was overturned and the judge was fired.
Bookout and Lambert do plan to take legal action against the hospital.
“They can’t do this,” Lambert said. “First the government wants to take my guns and now they want to tell me what I can and cannot name my child. I am taking a stand. We don’t even know who Isis is, we just liked the name.”
“It’s not like we wanted to name our baby Tom Cruise,” Bookout said. “I could see them banning that name, I mean he is crazy. This is our decision.”
Chief of medicine, Richard Webber, declined to comment but stood behind his employees’ decisions.
“I am the one who puts the names in the system and I refused,” said nurse Frank Tank. “I am not subjecting a baby to a life of terrorism. The little girl would grow up hating America.”
The couple is filing charges against the hospital. This is a story that is far from over.
“We haven’t signed a birth certificate yet,” Bookout said. “But we are calling our little girl Isis.”