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Thread started 04/15/10 8:49pm

xlr8r

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Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

Not sure if this was already posted but didnt see anythng in search

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 16, 2010; A01

President Obama mandated Thursday that hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and allow same-sex couples to share medical power of attorney, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation's health-care institutions.

It is currently common policy in many hospitals that only those related by blood or marriage be allowed to visit patients.

"Discrimination touches every facet of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including at times of crisis and illness, when we need our loved ones with us more than ever," Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in praising the decision.

Obama's actions are the latest attempt by his administration to advance the agenda of a constituency that strongly supported his presidential campaign.

In his first 15 months in office, he has hailed the passage of hate crime legislation and held the first Gay Pride Day celebration at the White House. Last month, Obama's top military and defense officials testified before Congress in favor of repealing of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the armed forces.

But the moves have been too slow for some seeking equal rights for gays, who have urged the president to be more vocal and active in championing their causes. John Aravosis, a prominent gay blogger, wrote last October that Obama's "track record on keeping his gay promises has been fairly abominable."

Other gay rights activists have defended the administration for doing what it can, while at the same time pushing Congress to act on broader issues such as passage of an employment non-discrimination act and an end to the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

"We see this as part of our ongoing effort to encourage the administration to take action where it has the authority to act," said David Smith, a Human Rights Campaign spokesman. "We've been working and pressing the administration on our legislative agenda. That work continues."

Gay activists have argued for years that recognizing same-sex marriage would ease the stress associated with not being able to visit their hospitalized partners.

But opponents of same-sex marriage have called the visitation issue a red herring, arguing that advocates want to provide special rights for gays that other Americans do not have.

Obama's memo to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, made public late Thursday night, orders new rules that would ensure that hospitals "respect the rights of patients to designate visitors."

Obama said hospitals should not be able to deny visitation privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay," Obama wrote in the memo.

Affected, he said, 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 -- unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated."

The new rules do not apply only to gays. They also affect widows and widowers who have found themselves unable to receive visits from a friend or companion. And it would allow members of some religious orders to designate someone other than a family member to make medical decisions.

But it is clear that the document is aimed squarely at gays. A number of areas remain in which federal law requires proof of marriage, including receiving Social Security benefits and in taxes.

"The General Accounting Office has identified 1,138 instances in federal law where marriage is important," said one gay rights activist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House had not formally announced the directive. "We've knocked off one of them."
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Reply #1 posted 04/15/10 9:26pm

2the9s

Where DOES he find the time!

biggrin
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Reply #2 posted 04/15/10 9:43pm

lazycrockett

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kudos.
The Most Important Thing In Life Is Sincerity....Once You Can Fake That, You Can Fake Anything.
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Reply #3 posted 04/16/10 3:47am

JellyBean

I don't care what anyone says, president Obama may go down as the greatest president of all-time. This is great news. Impossible is noting! biggrin
“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.” Brazilian bishop Dom Hélder Câmara
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Reply #4 posted 04/16/10 4:11am

rocknrolldave

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Whilst this is of course great news, I found myself asking:


Whaaaaat?! They didn't already have that right granted to them? For decades already? It's taken until 2010?!

What a sad world we live in that it has taken until now for this wrong to be put right.
This is not an exit
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Reply #5 posted 04/16/10 4:52am

OnlyNDaUsa

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I am glad he did this. But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this. I think what this will do is ALLOW hospitals to allow non-related persons into the rooms. So they will not be able to claim "it is against federal regulations." But I suspect that if a given hospital wants to block someone that is not related to or not the spouse of the patient that the fed will be powerless in making them under this rule change. I further wonder if even with a law that it could be changed. But it is a step in the right (well left) direction.

It seems that the main issue in this is the patients's family. Even with living wills the family can often refuse to allow the partner into the hospital or even the funeral.

At other times the hospital will say "it is against the law" or "It is a liability issue" or "it is a confidentiality issue." (the last 2 or almost always lies. When someone tells me that I call them on it)
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #6 posted 04/16/10 4:58am

OnlyNDaUsa

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rocknrolldave said:

Whilst this is of course great news, I found myself asking:


Whaaaaat?! They didn't already have that right granted to them? For decades already? It's taken until 2010?!

What a sad world we live in that it has taken until now for this wrong to be put right.



it is the 'family/spouses only' rule. Which is usually enforced by the family. I have gone to see many friends in the hospital and I have never been challenged (except in the maternity ward*.)

oh when a friend has a baby or gets sick and you want to help... do not make just take them food, go mow their lawn, clean their house, or take their kids to the park. (those are my plans for the weekend! Neighbor has cancer, will be helping her out.)
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #7 posted 04/16/10 5:05am

2the9s

OnlyNDaUsa said:

I am glad he did this. But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this. I think what this will do is ALLOW hospitals to allow non-related persons into the rooms. So they will not be able to claim "it is against federal regulations." But I suspect that if a given hospital wants to block someone that is not related to or not the spouse of the patient that the fed will be powerless in making them under this rule change. I further wonder if even with a law that it could be changed. But it is a step in the right (well left) direction.

It seems that the main issue in this is the patients's family. Even with living wills the family can often refuse to allow the partner into the hospital or even the funeral.

At other times the hospital will say "it is against the law" or "It is a liability issue" or "it is a confidentiality issue." (the last 2 or almost always lies. When someone tells me that I call them on it)


I agree. This is a step towards tyranny. Your grandma might be forced to be visited by a gay.
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Reply #8 posted 04/16/10 6:29am

2elijah

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It is appalling that they didn't have the rights in the first place. I applaud President Obama for making it possible. Still shocked that they did not have visitation rights before this, where is the humanity? eek
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Reply #9 posted 04/16/10 6:31am

2elijah

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

I am glad he did this. But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this. I think what this will do is ALLOW hospitals to allow non-related persons into the rooms. So they will not be able to claim "it is against federal regulations." But I suspect that if a given hospital wants to block someone that is not related to or not the spouse of the patient that the fed will be powerless in making them under this rule change. I further wonder if even with a law that it could be changed. But it is a step in the right (well left) direction.

It seems that the main issue in this is the patients's family. Even with living wills the family can often refuse to allow the partner into the hospital or even the funeral.

At other times the hospital will say "it is against the law" or "It is a liability issue" or "it is a confidentiality issue." (the last 2 or almost always lies. When someone tells me that I call them on it)


Really? It was a "human" decision to be hones. There are times when some folks forget what being a human is all about. Sometimes others have to step in and remind them of that. Imagine a loved one gravely ill and you're not allowed to visit them in the hospital, especially if you're that person's partner. How would you feel? Kudos for President Obama for making this possible. It is a step in the "human" direction, which has nothing to do with which political party you support.

If the inpatient confirms the individual is their partner or closest relative, that can have the power of attorney over them, and the patient gives them permission, then I see no problem with this.
[Edited 4/16/10 6:45am]
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Reply #10 posted 04/16/10 6:36am

Heiress

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I might be naive, but I didn't realize that you couldn't have anyone you wanted come and visit you in the hospital... seems reasonable if this were stipulated in advance.

Or let's say you don't have a romantic relationship, or family nearby... then what? A good friend couldn't come and look after you?
I know it's not aurora borealis... that makes the sky this way.
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Reply #11 posted 04/16/10 7:07am

OnlyNDaUsa

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support letting partners visit each other in the hospital.

2elijah said:



Really? It was a "human" decision to be hones. There are times when some folks forget what being a human is all about. Sometimes others have to step in and remind them of that. Imagine a loved one gravely ill and you're not allowed to visit them in the hospital, especially if you're that person's partner. How would you feel? Kudos for President Obama for making this possible. It is a step in the "human" direction, which has nothing to do with which political party you support.


Okay? I have NO idea how that relates to what I posted? Unless you are trying to say that the President and the Federal government can ignore the constitutional limits if it is a nice 'human' thing to do? What I was saying is that if the hospital wants to enforce 'spouses or relatives only' I do not see how the FED could make them change that policy.

I have LONG supported same sex marriage or laws giving partners equal protection WITH equal responsibility.

I will assume it is an awkwardly worded way of agreeing with me that is it a good thing do even if it really has no authority to enforce it.

If the inpatient confirms the individual is their partner or closest relative, that can have the power of attorney over them, and the patient gives them permission, then I see no problem with this.


I think what happens is the FAMILY blocks the partner from coming in to visit. Other than where the keep the babies I have never been challenged when visiting someone in the hospital.

It (as I said) will allow a hospital to allow partners to visit.
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #12 posted 04/16/10 7:07am

OnlyNDaUsa

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2the9s said:



I agree. This is a step towards tyranny. Your grandma might be forced to be visited by a gay.



huh...what?
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #13 posted 04/16/10 7:41am

Dauphin

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This is a great gesture. However, is this just a band-aid to get people on the side of Democrats during the next election?

DADT hasn't been repealed.

Civil Unions haven't been officially given equal status to Marriage including during the process of Adoption.

I give this a big thumbs up, as it's something that he can do immediately and without going through the Congressional blender. Muchos Kudos.
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Still it's nice to know, when our bodies wear out, we can get another

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Reply #14 posted 04/16/10 7:46am

Dauphin

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Heiress said:

I might be naive, but I didn't realize that you couldn't have anyone you wanted come and visit you in the hospital... seems reasonable if this were stipulated in advance.

Or let's say you don't have a romantic relationship, or family nearby... then what? A good friend couldn't come and look after you?


If you've been in a serious injury where you cannot make requests for yourself, or you have to be sedated for long periods of time, it falls to your next of kin to speak on your behalf. If your parent doesn't like your partner, and your partner comes to visit, your parent can tell the hospital to keep your partner away, even if your parent is not in the hospital at all just by saying only family is allowed to visit. This allows a partner (and yes, this includes heterosexuals too!) to have visitation rights.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Still it's nice to know, when our bodies wear out, we can get another

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Reply #15 posted 04/16/10 8:31am

2elijah

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

support letting partners visit each other in the hospital.

2elijah said:



Really? It was a "human" decision to be hones. There are times when some folks forget what being a human is all about. Sometimes others have to step in and remind them of that. Imagine a loved one gravely ill and you're not allowed to visit them in the hospital, especially if you're that person's partner. How would you feel? Kudos for President Obama for making this possible. It is a step in the "human" direction, which has nothing to do with which political party you support.


Okay? I have NO idea how that relates to what I posted? Unless you are trying to say that the President and the Federal government can ignore the constitutional limits if it is a nice 'human' thing to do? What I was saying is that if the hospital wants to enforce 'spouses or relatives only' I do not see how the FED could make them change that policy.

I have LONG supported same sex marriage or laws giving partners equal protection WITH equal responsibility.

I will assume it is an awkwardly worded way of agreeing with me that is it a good thing do even if it really has no authority to enforce it.

If the inpatient confirms the individual is their partner or closest relative, that can have the power of attorney over them, and the patient gives them permission, then I see no problem with this.


I think what happens is the FAMILY blocks the partner from coming in to visit. Other than where the keep the babies I have never been challenged when visiting someone in the hospital.

It (as I said) will allow a hospital to allow partners to visit.


I'm not surprised that you would respond in that fashion, typical response at this point. My opinion, is that it should be the patient's right and their partner's right to visit, if that is what they wish. If they are under the legal adult age, well then that may become an issue with family involved. But the fact that President Obama made it legally possible for them to visit, at least they have those rights available to them and can challenge family members and the medical facility, if any issues arises trying to block them from visits.
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Reply #16 posted 04/16/10 8:40am

2the9s

Does this mean that Obama can personally come into my hospital room and take my Jello?

No thanks!
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Reply #17 posted 04/16/10 9:08am

NoVideo

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Dauphin said:

This is a great gesture. However, is this just a band-aid to get people on the side of Democrats during the next election?

DADT hasn't been repealed.

Civil Unions haven't been officially given equal status to Marriage including during the process of Adoption.

I give this a big thumbs up, as it's something that he can do immediately and without going through the Congressional blender. Muchos Kudos.



I would love to see DADT repealed, and more progress on all gay rights issues. But this is more than a "gesture" or "band-aid". There are real people who have suffered, unable to spend their final moments with their life partners, because this has not been addressed before.

http://www.nytimes.com/20....html?_r=1

This is an important step and I applaud Mr. Obama for taking it.
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Reply #18 posted 04/16/10 9:11am

NoVideo

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this.


Yes they do - those that receive medicare or medicaid funding will be required to follow these guidelines. If they choose to stop receiving government funding, then of course they can disregard them.

"Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation's health-care institutions."

http://www.washingtonpost...id=topnews
* * *

Prince's Classic Finally Expanded
The Deluxe 'Purple Rain' Reissue

http://www.popmatters.com...n-reissue/
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Reply #19 posted 04/16/10 9:20am

2elijah

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NoVideo said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this.


Yes they do - those that receive medicare or medicaid funding will be required to follow these guidelines. If they choose to stop receiving government funding, then of course they can disregard them.


"Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation's health-care institutions."

http://www.washingtonpost...id=topnews


Excellent point NoVideo, and the way so many hospitals are suffering right now, and the recent closing of many, there is no way they will chance losing money, many of these facilities so badly need these days.
[Edited 4/16/10 9:22am]
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Reply #20 posted 04/16/10 10:03am

OnlyNDaUsa

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NoVideo said:

OnlyNDaUsa said:

But I want to say I do not think that he has the authority (nor does the DOHHS) to make hospitals do this.


Yes they do - those that receive medicare or medicaid funding will be required to follow these guidelines. If they choose to stop receiving government funding, then of course they can disregard them.


I know that, but that is not the same as making them. But do not forget I am FOR this idea. My history on this issue is well established. My issues with the authority is an aside.
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #21 posted 04/16/10 10:06am

OnlyNDaUsa

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2elijah said:



Excellent point NoVideo, and the way so many hospitals are suffering right now, and the recent closing of many, there is no way they will chance losing money, many of these facilities so badly need these days.


I susspect more hospitals will start dropping medicare as its payment schedule is too low and about to go down again. Leaving the slack up to the states which is part of the dishonesty of the health care reform law. It touts savings that do not exist.
No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #22 posted 04/16/10 10:22am

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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rocknrolldave said:

Whilst this is of course great news, I found myself asking:


Whaaaaat?! They didn't already have that right granted to them? For decades already? It's taken until 2010?!

What a sad world we live in that it has taken until now for this wrong to be put right.

Not only that but in 2010 we still face legilsatures in this country that want to revoke what rights we have, turning back the clock to cavedays for gays.
2010: Healing the Wounds of the Past.... http://prince.org/msg/8/325740
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Reply #23 posted 04/16/10 10:23am

2elijah

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OnlyNDaUsa said:

2elijah said:



Excellent point NoVideo, and the way so many hospitals are suffering right now, and the recent closing of many, there is no way they will chance losing money, many of these facilities so badly need these days.


I susspect more hospitals will start dropping medicare as its payment schedule is too low and about to go down again. Leaving the slack up to the states which is part of the dishonesty of the health care reform law. It touts savings that do not exist.


The way the economy is going, any money is better than no money;better than laying hospital workers off. I doubt many will drop medicare/medicaid. At one time the facility I work for didn't accept patients on Medicaid, but because of increased competition, they had no choice but to start accepting patients on Medicaid.
[Edited 4/16/10 10:25am]
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Reply #24 posted 04/16/10 11:50am

Heiress

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Dauphin said:

Heiress said:

I might be naive, but I didn't realize that you couldn't have anyone you wanted come and visit you in the hospital... seems reasonable if this were stipulated in advance.

Or let's say you don't have a romantic relationship, or family nearby... then what? A good friend couldn't come and look after you?


If you've been in a serious injury where you cannot make requests for yourself, or you have to be sedated for long periods of time, it falls to your next of kin to speak on your behalf. If your parent doesn't like your partner, and your partner comes to visit, your parent can tell the hospital to keep your partner away, even if your parent is not in the hospital at all just by saying only family is allowed to visit. This allows a partner (and yes, this includes heterosexuals too!) to have visitation rights.


So I suppose it's good to have some sort of power-of-attorney written up in advance for this sort of circumstance, right?
I know it's not aurora borealis... that makes the sky this way.
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Reply #25 posted 04/16/10 12:05pm

Mirabelle

rocknrolldave said:

Whilst this is of course great news, I found myself asking:


Whaaaaat?! They didn't already have that right granted to them? For decades already? It's taken until 2010?!

What a sad world we live in that it has taken until now for this wrong to be put right.



Exactly what I was thinking too.
I love Prince and chocolate - in that order
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Reply #26 posted 04/16/10 12:33pm

meow85

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Shameful that it took so long, but awesome that it finally did. Kudos to Obama for making it happen. clapping
[Edited 4/16/10 12:34pm]
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Reply #27 posted 04/16/10 12:40pm

Dauphin

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Heiress said:

Dauphin said:



If you've been in a serious injury where you cannot make requests for yourself, or you have to be sedated for long periods of time, it falls to your next of kin to speak on your behalf. If your parent doesn't like your partner, and your partner comes to visit, your parent can tell the hospital to keep your partner away, even if your parent is not in the hospital at all just by saying only family is allowed to visit. This allows a partner (and yes, this includes heterosexuals too!) to have visitation rights.


So I suppose it's good to have some sort of power-of-attorney written up in advance for this sort of circumstance, right?


Power of Attorney gives access far above letting a person visit you in the hospital! smile I wouldn't do it!
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Still it's nice to know, when our bodies wear out, we can get another

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Reply #28 posted 04/16/10 2:30pm

vainandy

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This is great news but if gay people aren't allowed to get married, how is the hospital supposed to know that the person is really the patient's partner? Queens are some evil whores and I know several that would say they were my partner and tell the hospital to pull the plug on my ass. lol
Andy is a four letter word.
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Reply #29 posted 04/16/10 3:05pm

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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vainandy said:

This is great news but if gay people aren't allowed to get married, how is the hospital supposed to know that the person is really the patient's partner? Queens are some evil whores and I know several that would say they were my partner and tell the hospital to pull the plug on my ass. lol

Next time give better head lol
2010: Healing the Wounds of the Past.... http://prince.org/msg/8/325740
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