Obama orders same-sex hospital visits - page 3

by piscesguy 7,011 Views | 50 Comments

"Gay, lesbian couples must be allowed visitors, medical power of attorney. President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients'... Read More


  1. 11
    Edit: Answered my own question.

    Glad to see this legislation passed. Next up: marriage!

    (After that: legalization of marijuana. Then we can all heal, live, love, and chill the **** out with the people we love.)
    SnowShoeRN, DolceVita, netglow, and 8 others like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Should llike to point out that although this rule was designed to benefit gays, it is worded as to apply to *all* patients.

    So if your daughter, son, husband or whatever is in hospital and directs someone else other than yourself to make decisions about their care, and or who gets first dibs on visitation/remaining at bedside, you are now out of luck, and will be chucked out regardless of family or blood relationship. Methinks hospitals aren't going to wish to get caught up in this and risk ticking off the Obama administration, and will follow the rules to the letter. If a patient's family has problems with the rule and how it is applied they will have to turn to the courts or elsewhere for satisfaction.

    For nurses, this is probably going to result in some interesting situations when a wife or husband turns up at hospital and finds themselves not in charge by right, but anyone else from a mistress to a spouse's parents named to be calling the shots.
    Didn't that happen to Gary Coleman? Since his ex-wife was his Medical POA, she got to direct his care, not is parents.

    I support the law, but I also believe in the Law of Unintended Consequences.
  3. 1
    This seems like a complete non-issue to me. Others have mentioned that their hospitals have been allowing same-sex visitors for decades.

    If a hospital has a history of not allowing same-sex visitors, chances are high there are other practices at these hospitals that members of the GLBTQetc population might find offensive. I know there's a little more that goes in to choosing a hospital than choosing where to go for dinner (ie third party payer issues), but it can be done.

    There are plenty of GLBTQetc friendly health care facilities out there. Just because a few have practices/policies that the majority disagrees with is not a reason to make a law. This is not a human rights issue, it is a PR issue for the administration.
    nursel56 likes this.
  4. 6
    Petite:

    Not all hospital visits are planned.

    I know a male couple who were driving from their home in DC to FL. One became very ill on the drive, and they ended up in an ED in South Carolina. This ER would not recognize their relationship (even though they had been a couple for 20 years) and the 'well' one was kept waiting, uninformed in the Waiting Room. They separately told the admin that they had MPOA, but no go. One had to drive back to DC and get the actual MPOA forms from the safely deposit box, and then drive back to SC.

    After that point they 'shrunk' the documents to credit card size, laminated them, and carried in their wallets.
    SnowShoeRN, NRSKarenRN, Moogie, and 3 others like this.
  5. 11
    Quote from UVA Grad Nursing
    Petite:

    Not all hospital visits are planned.

    I know a male couple who were driving from their home in DC to FL. One became very ill on the drive, and they ended up in an ED in South Carolina. This ER would not recognize their relationship (even though they had been a couple for 20 years) and the 'well' one was kept waiting, uninformed in the Waiting Room. They separately told the admin that they had MPOA, but no go. One had to drive back to DC and get the actual MPOA forms from the safely deposit box, and then drive back to SC.

    After that point they 'shrunk' the documents to credit card size, laminated them, and carried in their wallets.
    That is utter ridiculousness, seriously. Gay marriage would solve all these kind of problems. I mean, if a hetero man or woman simply say they are married to ED staff, I don't think they are asked to prove it, right? No need for a MPOA. We still have a long way to go before we become an accepting and benevolent society
    SnowShoeRN, Moogie, nursel56, and 8 others like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from UVA Grad Nursing
    Petite:

    Not all hospital visits are planned.

    I know a male couple who were driving from their home in DC to FL. One became very ill on the drive, and they ended up in an ED in South Carolina. This ER would not recognize their relationship (even though they had been a couple for 20 years) and the 'well' one was kept waiting, uninformed in the Waiting Room. They separately told the admin that they had MPOA, but no go. One had to drive back to DC and get the actual MPOA forms from the safely deposit box, and then drive back to SC.

    After that point they 'shrunk' the documents to credit card size, laminated them, and carried in their wallets.
    It is possible to deal with those cases without putting a law into place.

    When my son was hospitalized, the resident refused to let the consulting physician see his chart, and sited HIPAA when asked, even though she was noted as a consulting physician. When I found out, I requested the attention of the resident and supervisor on duty for the unit and explained that if they refused to keep our child's physician in the loop, we would need to be transferred immediately to a hospital that could accommodate our request. They decided to accommodate us.

    This is totally non confrontational. "Ok, I understand that my request violates your policy. Please bring me the appropriate forms to fill out to be transferred to another facility."

    Yes, it's a hassle, but in some cases I'm sure it is preferable than staying for weeks in a place where 'no same-sex visitors' is probably the tip of the iceberg.

    The other strategy I find effective is calling the local news station for a tear-jerking story on discrimination at the local hospital. That gets policies reversed in a mighty-quick hurry.
    3rdcareerRN likes this.
  7. 11
    Quote from PetiteOpRN
    It is possible to deal with those cases without putting a law into place.

    When my son was hospitalized, the resident refused to let the consulting physician see his chart, and sited HIPAA when asked, even though she was noted as a consulting physician. When I found out, I requested the attention of the resident and supervisor on duty for the unit and explained that if they refused to keep our child's physician in the loop, we would need to be transferred immediately to a hospital that could accommodate our request. They decided to accommodate us.

    This is totally non confrontational. "Ok, I understand that my request violates your policy. Please bring me the appropriate forms to fill out to be transferred to another facility."

    Yes, it's a hassle, but in some cases I'm sure it is preferable than staying for weeks in a place where 'no same-sex visitors' is probably the tip of the iceberg.

    The other strategy I find effective is calling the local news station for a tear-jerking story on discrimination at the local hospital. That gets policies reversed in a mighty-quick hurry.
    On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should need to go through all those machinations at a high stress time in their lives when simply using the regulatory power of the government can take care of it for everyone. Not everyone is equally capable of standing up for themselves, not everyone is equally smart about developing a strategy to get their rights respected, but everyone is entitled to equal respect for their rights and for their basic humanity. And I'm also in the camp that says let's just get to marriage equality sooner rather than later and settle it the easy way. The age group poll results tell us the ultimate result of that fight is already settled, it's just a matter of time, so it's time have the government treat everyone's relationships equally and move on.
    SnowShoeRN, NRSKarenRN, Moogie, and 8 others like this.
  8. 0
    "simply using the regulatory power of the government can take care of it for everyone"

    Really? That is the cure to society's ills? Please take a moment to consider the quality of life in some of history's more regulated nations.

    ...

    Now, back to the issue at hand:

    Hospitals all over the country are forced to cut staff and expenses as budgets shrink. Religious institutions have provided charity in various capacities for centuries. Is now really the best time to alienate them?

    Do you think the Catholic hospital that is forced by law to permit same-sex couples to have the same visitation rights as married couples is going to be able to maintain its affiliation with the Catholic Church? And where will that hospital be when it looses the financial support of the Church?

    What about private donors who disagree with the policy? They can pull their funding at any time.

    I'm not a bigot. I don't care who lives with whom. And I also don't care who you choose to discriminate against. If a law really is a good idea, chances are it really isn't needed. Furthermore, there are ALWAYS unintended consequences that outweigh any potential benefits.
  9. 0
    Quote from PetiteOpRN
    "simply using the regulatory power of the government can take care of it for everyone"

    Really? That is the cure to society's ills? Please take a moment to consider the quality of life in some of history's more regulated nations.

    ...

    Now, back to the issue at hand:

    Hospitals all over the country are forced to cut staff and expenses as budgets shrink. Religious institutions have provided charity in various capacities for centuries. Is now really the best time to alienate them?

    Do you think the Catholic hospital that is forced by law to permit same-sex couples to have the same visitation rights as married couples is going to be able to maintain its affiliation with the Catholic Church? And where will that hospital be when it looses the financial support of the Church?

    What about private donors who disagree with the policy? They can pull their funding at any time.

    I'm not a bigot. I don't care who lives with whom. And I also don't care who you choose to discriminate against. If a law really is a good idea, chances are it really isn't needed. Furthermore, there are ALWAYS unintended consequences that outweigh any potential benefits.
    One could make the exact arguments that you make against the laws that have been passed to ban race and gender discrimination. Do you actually believe those laws should not have been passed? That problem was not going to fix itself without them. Without those laws, we would still have Black people in the back of the bus and women effectively barred from many professions. I'm old enough to remember those days and have no interest in going back.
    As a matter of fact, the Catholic hospitals, for the most part, do just fine on these issues and continue to serve the public quite nicely. Even on the issue of the right of the patient to refuse treatment, the Catholic hospitals mostly ignore the bishops' position and deliver appropriate care as chosen by the patient. And a donor might, just barely conceivably pull funding from a hospital that decided not to discriminate on its own, but I can hardly imagine a donor doing so because the hospital complied with a federal regulation.
    For that matter, taking your statements literally and following your argument to its logical conclusion, all of the laws that we have to protect things like health and safety are completely unneeded, starting with the laws licensing medical professionals.
    Sounds to me like you would identify yourself as a libertarian. The pure libertarian approach would be that anyone should be free to call himself "doctor" or "nurse" and that the only recourse needed is the ability of the patient to sue when injured. And, by your argument we would say the same for pure food laws, food labeling laws and so on. Read Upton Sinclair and see how well things worked before those laws.
  10. 0
    I prefer the term "anarchist." (anarcho-capitalist and austro-libertarian are also acceptable)

    You are correct, in order to be logically consistent, I have to believe that there are no valid positive rights (ie a right to food). My beliefs are logically consistent. And, yes, I think licensing agencies do more harm than good.

    I certainly cannot predict what the negative ramifications of any given law will be. But I can't think of a law that didn't have negative ramifications, so it's a safe bet that things will not be kittens and rainbows now.

    You brought up Upton Sinclair. Your statement seems to imply that you believe that legislation like the Pure Food and Drug act benefited people. This seemingly benign legislation set the precedent for the FDA, Prohibition, the DEA, and the Drug War, which have cause vast amounts of human suffering. Furthermore, Upton Sinclair advocated a political system that came up with terror famines and gulags.


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