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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Gay Partners Must Have Hospital Visitation Access
    Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:30pm
 
 

Obama: gay partners should have hospital access


By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer  
1 hr 15 mins ago

WASHINGTON Hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must let patients choose which persons, including gay and lesbian partners, can visit them and help make critical health decisions, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Gay rights advocates hailed the move as a major step toward fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

"This is a critical step in ending discrimination against LGBT families and ensuring that, in the event of a hospital stay, all Americans have the right to see their loved ones," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

With no fanfare, the White House on Thursday night released a statement by Obama instructing the Health and Human Services Department to draft rules requiring federally subsidized hospitals to grant all patients the right to designate people who can visit and consult with them at crucial moments.

The designated visitors should have the same rights that immediate family members now enjoy, Obama's instructions said. It said Medicare-Medicaid hospitals, which include most of the nation's facilities, may not deny visitation and consultation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The new rules, Obama said, should "guarantee that all patients' advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected," and that patients' designees be able to "make informed decisions regarding patients' care."

Some gay advocacy groups say Obama has moved too slowly to fulfill campaign promises to expand their civil rights. The nation's top military leaders recently said it is time to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that has kept gays from serving openly in the armed services.

The Human Rights Campaign, which backs gay rights, said Obama's hospital decision was inspired in part by a New York Times article about a lesbian couple in Miami. They were kept apart while one lay dying in a hospital despite having an "advanced health care directive" asking for full visitation rights for each other.

"Discrimination touches every facet of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including at times of crisis and illness," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "The president's action today will help ensure that the indignities" suffered by the Miami patient and her children will not happen to others.

In his statement, Obama said: "Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay. Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend."

He added: "Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated."

Without the expanded visitor-designation rights, Obama said, "all too often, people are made to suffer or even to pass away alone, denied the comfort of companionship in their final moments while a loved one is left worrying and pacing down the hall." 


Edited by PurpleHaze - Apr 15 2010 at 11:32pm
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Grade_A_Gemini View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:31pm
they wasnt allowed before...? wth
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:32pm
didnt know there wasnt allowed in b4
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:33pm
Yes. Much respect. Get them potus. Fucc all these negative people
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:35pm
awesome!! about time!! society and the law needs to be reflective of all partnerships/couples.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2010 at 11:37pm
i think thats retarded they werent allowed before... why? what?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2010 at 1:23am
I am still a tad bothered that gay people will have to travel with 'papers' to prove their rights.

But, baby steps...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2010 at 4:42am
baby steps is not moving quickly enough. there is no reason for their to be a visible "other" in the united states in 2010.



Originally posted by PurpleHaze PurpleHaze wrote:

I am still a tad bothered that gay people will have to travel with 'papers' to prove their rights. But, baby steps...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2010 at 4:57am
im glad this is happening. i remember a story on BHM about some woman who couldnt see her partner in Florida when she lay dying in the hospital
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2010 at 5:14am
we're not there yet, but this is change we can believe in.
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