Posted by Brad @ 12:13 pm on November 22nd 2010

Hospital Visitation Rights

Flying under the radar last week: President Obama has signed an executive order advising the nation’s hospitals to allow all visitors approved by a patients – not just legal family members or guardians as defined by state laws – equal visitation rights. While not a law per se, the executive order also appends this standard to Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation – meaning any health care providers who do not adopt and apply this new standard may be ineligible for federal health care money. So, effectively this executive “opinion” will likely enjoy universal implementation.

A pretty weaselly way to do it, but in practice the situation this law is meant to rectify are gay men and women being challenged or barred from visiting their hospitalized partners. And, in addition to being a weaselly way of passing what is in essence a federal law trumping state definitions, it also provides the Obama administration with a data point to throw around with the gay community – and, I’m sure they hope, a diffusing mitigator when it comes to the White House wanting nothing to do with a federal gay marriage or equal protection fight.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.