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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:03 pm 
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Doesn't this remove one of the "major" arguments same-sex couples have in arguing same-sex marriage be allowed?

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/15/ ... isitation/

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Washington (CNN) -- President Obama has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a rule that would prevent hospitals from denying visitation privileges to gay and lesbian partners.

The president's Thursday memo said, "There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. ... Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides."

Gay and lesbian Americans are "uniquely affected" by relatives-only policies at hospitals, Obama said, adding that they "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."

Obama requested that the regulation make clear that any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding, which includes the vast majority of U.S. hospitals, must allow patients to decide who can visit them and prohibit discrimination based on a variety of characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Read the president's memorandum (PDF)

The president listed widows and widowers without children and members of certain religious orders among those who suffer under the policy.

The memo was welcomed by gays and lesbians, who have used the restrictions on hospital visitation as an argument in favor of same-sex marriage.

"In the absence of gay people being able to legally marry in most jurisdictions, this is a step to rectify a gross inequity," said David Smith, an executive at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group. "Because without gay marriage, much more inequities exist. It should be applauded."

Smith said the organization had been working with the Obama administration for months on the request, and that it was sparked by the case of a Florida lesbian couple who were kept apart as one died from an aneurysm. The rule would help hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families, he said.

Obama's memo also requires the HHS regulations to guarantee hospitals honor all patients' advance directives, which include stipulations such as who should make health care decisions if the patient isn't able to do so. The memo also directs the department to look into any other health care barriers that pose challenges to such families and make recommendations to the president on them within 180 days.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:38 pm 
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Since when are relatives the only ones who can visit hospital patients? This does not make sense. Maybe years ago, that may have been the case. As a nurse, I can never remember that happening. We like to know who the responsible party is, so we can only give reports to those that the patient approves. But the patient can include or exclude whom he wants, I believe. Also, doctors and ICU's can limit time of visits and number of people.

This is a smoke screen, an irrelevant issue, I think. Obama is wanting to score points with the gay community and frustrate conservatives. This is largely a baseless issue.

Ken, do you have an emoticon for liar, liar, pants on fire? Patients are not being kept from their loved ones, whom they want to come visit them. Just another of Obama's lies.

(If I am wrong, please show me evidence and I will change this opinion.)

This law could be harmful if it forced relatives, for instance, to let gays visit them just because they are gay. Sounds like another "hate speech" type of regulation that ends up punishing the innocent and removing freedoms by forcing toleration of behavior we do not like.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:10 am 
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justgrace wrote:
Since when are relatives the only ones who can visit hospital patients? This does not make sense. Maybe years ago, that may have been the case. As a nurse, I can never remember that happening. We like to know who the responsible party is, so we can only give reports to those that the patient approves. But the patient can include or exclude whom he wants, I believe. Also, doctors and ICU's can limit time of visits and number of people.

This is a smoke screen, an irrelevant issue, I think. Obama is wanting to score points with the gay community and frustrate conservatives. This is largely a baseless issue.

Ken, do you have an emoticon for liar, liar, pants on fire? Patients are not being kept from their loved ones, whom they want to come visit them. Just another of Obama's lies.

(If I am wrong, please show me evidence and I will change this opinion.)

This law could be harmful if it forced relatives, for instance, to let gays visit them just because they are gay. Sounds like another "hate speech" type of regulation that ends up punishing the innocent and removing freedoms by forcing toleration of behavior we do not like.


I thought only family could visit loved ones when they are in the ICU, but I may be wrong. I'll ask my husband tomorrow and see if he knows.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:51 am 
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justgrace wrote:
Since when are relatives the only ones who can visit hospital patients? This does not make sense. Maybe years ago, that may have been the case. As a nurse, I can never remember that happening. We like to know who the responsible party is, so we can only give reports to those that the patient approves. But the patient can include or exclude whom he wants, I believe. Also, doctors and ICU's can limit time of visits and number of people.

This is a smoke screen, an irrelevant issue, I think. Obama is wanting to score points with the gay community and frustrate conservatives. This is largely a baseless issue.

Ken, do you have an emoticon for liar, liar, pants on fire? Patients are not being kept from their loved ones, whom they want to come visit them. Just another of Obama's lies.

(If I am wrong, please show me evidence and I will change this opinion.)

This law could be harmful if it forced relatives, for instance, to let gays visit them just because they are gay. Sounds like another "hate speech" type of regulation that ends up punishing the innocent and removing freedoms by forcing toleration of behavior we do not like.
I would agree with you. I don't work in ICU; I work in L&D and we do not tell patients who they can have as visitor(s)-except in the case of children who are walking germ factories (after all it is a hospital and not a hotel as some tend to think). I think the issue may be one more of family disapproval. For example, a person is in the ICU in a coma or other semi vegetative state and the parents refuse to allow a friend they do not approve of to be there. Then the hospital staff would obey the wishes of the family over someone not in the family. Otherwise, I think just about anyone can visit if one or two at a time and for only a few minutes. This is a smoke screen, an attempt to frustrate the successful conservative movement, and to score points with liberals in order to salve his wounded narcissistic pride. :barf


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:00 am 
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justgrace wrote:
Since when are relatives the only ones who can visit hospital patients? This does not make sense. Maybe years ago, that may have been the case. As a nurse, I can never remember that happening. We like to know who the responsible party is, so we can only give reports to those that the patient approves. But the patient can include or exclude whom he wants, I believe. Also, doctors and ICU's can limit time of visits and number of people.

This is a smoke screen, an irrelevant issue, I think. Obama is wanting to score points with the gay community and frustrate conservatives. This is largely a baseless issue.

Ken, do you have an emoticon for liar, liar, pants on fire? Patients are not being kept from their loved ones, whom they want to come visit them. Just another of Obama's lies.

(If I am wrong, please show me evidence and I will change this opinion.)

This law could be harmful if it forced relatives, for instance, to let gays visit them just because they are gay. Sounds like another "hate speech" type of regulation that ends up punishing the innocent and removing freedoms by forcing toleration of behavior we do not like.



justgrace, you are correct. My wife is a nurse, and I showed her the article and she got a dumbfounded look on her face and she said "Since when have we not allowed people to see their loved ones, whether they are their neighbor or a good friend or more?", Then she said "And if there is an legal medical directive, regarding who can make medical decisions, we follow it no matter who the person is specified".

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:26 am 
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I can only remember one time when this happened, it was back in 2002.

Quote:
When Bill Flanigan admitted his partner Robert Daniel to the hospital because of AIDS-related complications his loss was tremendous.

Kept from Daniel during his last hours alive, Flanigan was denied the chance to say goodbye to his partner of more than five years. He filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore City Circuit Court on February 27.

Not only was Flanigan refused the right to be with Daniel, he was also not permitted to share Daniel's treatment wishes with his physicians, according to a statement issued by Lambda Legal. All because the staff from the Maryland Medical System Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore said Flanigan was not family.

Not only was Flanigan family -- the two were registered as domestic partners in California -- Flanigan had a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, and he explained this to the hospital staff to no avail.

The Shock Trauma Center not only violated the Health Care Power of Attorney that Flanigan had on behalf of Daniel, but it also violated national hospital accreditation standards for hospitals that define "family" as the person who plays "a significant role in the individual's life, according to Lambda.

"Bill and Bobby were soulmates and one of the best couples I've known," said Grace Daniel, Robert's mother. "They loved each other, took care of each other, came to family holidays as a couple, and Bill still babysits for my grandson. If that isn't family, then something is very wrong. When someone is dying, hospitals should be bringing families together rather than keeping them apart."

"Tragically, gay and lesbian partners too often have to argue their right to hospital visitation with ill loved ones, even in the middle of a family crisis," said David Buckel, Lambda Legal's Senior Attorney on the case. "But rarely does it rise to the shocking inhumanity of this case," he added.


http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/2002 ... ng-partner


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:58 am 
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My long-time assistant is a gay Atheist. His partner of over 25 years, also an Atheist, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2007. When the partner was admitted to the local regional medical center, my assistant was denied permission by the hospital to be at the bedside. Instead, members of the partner's family--parents, brothers and a sister--from whom he had been estranged for years were allowed to make his dying pure hell by telling him constantly that was precisely where he was going. This is not conjecture, it is fact. Both my assistant and I were in the hospital waiting room when the mother brought her pastor--a non-relative who was allowed at the bedside--to try and persuade the partner to renounce his sinful ways. The partner's response was epic, which is how I happened to hear verbatum about the whole encounter.

Being an Atheist did not stop the "immediate" family from burying the partner in a church cemetary with a full religious funeral even though the partner specifically requested in his will, my assistant being the heir and executor, that he be cremated and his ashes buried in the garden he built and loved. Not only that, my assistant was physically barred from attending the funeral by his partner's two brothers. The family told my assistant, "If you want Mike--go dig him up!" Since the cost was prohibitive, Mike now rests in the last place on earth he would want to be.

One of my client attorneys is handling a civil suit, pro bono, against the family to bring Mike back to his garden.

Before supporting Mike Huckabee, I discussed this situation with his staff and was assured the Governor's position was one of compassion and equity. I would very much like to hear his response to Obama's directive.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:14 am 
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This situation is easily handled by an individual executing a Health Care POA - naming anyone they desire to be their health care rep. It is a simple form which can be quickly prepared by any attorney and is also available on many legal websites for a small fee. State law determines what should be included on the form, but I believe all states recognize the validity of the document.

I would be shocked if a hospital denied a HCPOA representative access to a patient. That WOULD be the basis for a lawsuit IMO.

Some hospitals may have a simple HCPOA form available for patients to execute when checking in for surgery, etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:35 am 
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I guess my original question though, hasn't been discussed much, but again- doesn't this directive essentially handicap one of the most powerful and persuasive arguments in favor of gay marriage? (as this is one of those arguments that I believed had some merit).

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:42 am 
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I remember the incident that McFox quoted. Remembering that and reading lrobb's post shows us something has to be done. I'd much rather Obama get credit for addressing it with legislation than redefining marriage.

Steadfast wrote:
This situation is easily handled by an individual executing a Health Care POA - naming anyone they desire to be their health care rep. It is a simple form which can be quickly prepared by any attorney and is also available on many legal websites for a small fee. State law determines what should be included on the form, but I believe all states recognize the validity of the document.

I would be shocked if a hospital denied a HCPOA representative access to a patient. That WOULD be the basis for a lawsuit IMO.

Some hospitals may have a simple HCPOA form available for patients to execute when checking in for surgery, etc.


Steadfast,
Thank you for that information.

Danny,
I agree with you. Adam Graham posted an article at RightOSphere relating to agreeing with the policy but disagreeing with the law. Here's Adam's closing of Good Policy, Bad Law
Quote:
The way the policy is being enacted is more troubling as it showcases the ever-expanding power of the Federal Government and its executive to control a larger circle of activity. No matter how laudable the policy is, it is a sign of the slouching of our federal government towards an oligarchy that the President can transform the policy of every hospital in America.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:44 am 
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In South Carolina a Health Care POA determines who gets to authorize medical services, but legally has no power to alter hospital regulations on who may be admitted to a patient's bedside. The person in the waiting room may be able to say "pull the plug" but not be allowed to hold the patient's hand during the process. Insane? Of course, but this is South Carolina. It may be different in other states.

One can always count on well-meaning Liberals to establish policies with wide-ranging unintended consequences. This actually ranks right up there with Nancy Pelosi's comment about only being able to find out what is in the health care legislation by passing it. Well it passed, and she found out she had just choused her co-legislators and their staffs out of their dandy federal health plans. Obama has not just tugged at the rug under gay marriage but also one of the main reasons for civil unions. You have to love a constitutional law lecturer who can find a way to establish compassionate and legal equity for all without needing to change traditional marriage--although that was probably the furthest thing from his original intent.


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