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Kathy Belge

Hospital Visitation Rights on Their Way

By April 16, 2010

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President Obama yesterday issued a memorandum to ensure that gay and lesbian couples will not be denied access to their partner's bedside when they are hospitalized. All hospitals that participate in Medicaid and Medicare must allow patients to designate who shall be allowed to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. The order would allow for same-sex partners to have the same rights as immediate family members.

President Obama's decision was influenced by the tragic situation that Lisa Pond and Janice Langbehn faced when Lisa became ill and was hospitalized in Florida. Even with all the proper paperwork, Janice was denied access to Lisa and she died alone.

The memorandum also directs Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a larger study of the barriers LGBT people and their families face in accessing health care and to help hospitals implement the new requirements.


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April 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm
(1) Becky says:

Hi Kathy,
It’s great to have someone checking on our politicians to see what is going on quietly behind the scenes. I wouldn’t have even noticed the signing of this very important memorandum if you hadn’t posted its existence in your blog. Anyone who doubts how important this is should watch “If These Walls Could Talk, II”.
BTW, Marina (Western Caribbean Olivia Cruise) says hello!
Thanks for all you do! Becky

April 20, 2010 at 12:03 am
(2) donna says:

This is A BIG NOTHING. All of us in long-term relationships have been handling this by contract for years.. We have our advance directives, HIPA, ETC ETC. OBAMA is not doing a thing that we have not already done. What a schmuck.

He HAS NOT done a thing for Federal worker’s same sex partner benefits…Social Security Benefits ..etc.


April 20, 2010 at 12:42 am
(3) kimshot92 says:

This is for Donna, President Obama has done more for us than any other president.

Look at what he did for the guys and girls in Washington DC.

No, other president ever considered doing that. We have to give President Obama some credit for what he has do and will continue to do. He’s a good president.

April 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm
(4) Kathy says:

Have you seen the latest reports about the couple from California who were separated and all their things auctioned off. It is so sickening. It makes me want to cry!

April 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm
(5) northernurse says:

I am a fan of Obama, he is ma man. BUT I have to agree that the Memorandum Does not change much of anything. The tragedy in Florida was because of some simple-simon nurse who cares more about hospital policy than advocating for her/his patient and failing to abide by their Nursing code of ethics!
Let us not forget Florida is the reason we endured 8 years of Bush as pres.
I’m just blowing steam here. My sister, who happens to be a lesbian as well, lives in Florida.
And I, as an RN, was embarrassed for our profession!

sincerely disappointed,

April 28, 2010 at 8:51 am
(6) Andie says:

I understand that many people in our community has been through a lot. But, President Obama is doing great. Being gay is one part of who I am. He has helped me as an unemployed student. I am grateful that he even payed attention to an LGBT issue. Bush’s dumb ass would have had the gay community lit on fire if it were up to him. We have to remember how far we’ve come. The battle has just begun.

May 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm
(7) surgicalgirl says:

President Obama’s doing a very good job! I’m pleased with is efforts to support the LGBT community.

We can expect more support from him in the future. I think becuase of President Obama, every LGBT community in every city, now has a future.

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