Thursday, April 15, 2010

President Obama orders hospitals to allow same-sex visitations regardless of marital status, blood relationships or sexual orientation

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported today that president Obama has ordered that hospitals (those receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds) allow visitations from life partners without discrimination for sexual orientation, even if the partners are not legally married. The story appears on the American gay blog by Jose Sudbay, link here.

A woman who had raised four children in Florida with a lesbian partner of 17 years told a horror story on CNN of how she was treated by Jackson Memorial Hospital. The case involved Lisa Pond, stricken with a fatal brain aneurysm, and her partner Janice Langbehn held a power of attorney (hopefully a HIPAA POA) but she and her kids were kept by the hospital from seeing her partner for hours.

MSNBC has a story by Michael Shear from the Washington Post here.  From an "equality" perspective, public policy has always tended to give married (or even unmarried) parents the capability to confer responsibilities and unearned privileged on relatives merely by blood relation; hence the "second class status", legally quite troubling in some circumstances of people who do not procreate (who can as adults sometimes be almost forced to become "family slaves" as in the movie "One True Thing" or as viewed from the "measurement" of a global individualistic society).

The New York Times story April 16 is by Sheryl Gay Stholbetg, "Obama Widens Medical Rights for Gay Partners", link here.

B. Daniel Blatt of Gay Patriot has an interesting take on the visitation issue on his blog,   here.

Picture: Jersey City NJ, taken on a trip today (unrelated to story).

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