Obama extends hospital rights to same-sex partners


Politico.com April 16, 2010

OBAMA EXTENDS HOSPITAL RIGHTS TO SAME-SEX PARTNERS – POLITICO’s Kendra Marr reports: President Obama called on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Thursday to expand hospital visitation rights to non-family members, a step that would aid same-sex couples who are often barred from their partners’ bedsides. In a presidential memorandum, Obama requested that Sebelius use her rulemaking authority to require all hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid to respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. He wrote that failing to respect patients’ wishes about who may visit them or make medical decisions of their behalf has ‘real consequences.’ … Obama said ‘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’ but are ‘unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.’"