Obama orders hospitals to allow visitation rights to gay couples

posted at 9:19 pm on April 15, 2010 by Allahpundit

How can the president “force” American hospitals to alter their discrimination policies? The same way Bush “forced” some medical researchers to avoid embryonic stem cells: By issuing an executive order denying them federal funding if they don’t comply. The One’s order applies only to hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid (which is most hospitals, natch) and amounts to saying, “If you don’t do this, we can’t do business.” So, rest assured, they’ll follow orders.

President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.

The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation. The memo is scheduled to be made public Friday morning, according to an administration official and another source familiar with the White House decision…

“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 says in the memo.

Affected, he said, are “gay and lesbian American 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.”

It’s not just gays who are affected: Essentially, the ruling lets patients designate whoever they want as visitors irrespective of whether they’re family or not. I can’t imagine that this will provoke a huge backlash, even among gay marriage opponents — if compassion for suffering is good enough to justify picking up the tab for uninsured patients, it’s good enough to broaden visitation — but I’m curious why he did it now. Gays aren’t happy about the military’s foot-dragging on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but Gates has already taken measures recently to hurry that along as best he can. If there’s a political angle to this, I’m not sure I see it.

I also don’t see why discrimination policy (or stem-cell policy, for that matter) should be set unilaterally by the president via funding protocols instead of by Congress, especially given The One’s increasing habit of bypassing the legislature to get things done. Granted, they can overrule him by passing a statute, but doing it this way protects Blue Dogs from a vote they may not want to take ahead of the midterms. To which I say: If you can’t handle the tough votes, don’t run.


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Let’s say he wants them to follow certain best practices, or change compensation structure.
What stops him from using Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance in Exchanges from making hospitals do what he wants?
This is a signal to them, I think.

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM

The government already does this.

Aviator on April 15, 2010 at 10:13 PM

So, judging from the comments so far, this is the equivalent of Captain PantLoad issuing an order that states that the sun must be allowed to rise tomorrow???

I know there’s some ‘nuance’ missing here and what ever it is, it’ll all add up to what’s good for Obama, and has nothing to do with caring about people being allowed visit anyone anywhere.

BigWyo on April 15, 2010 at 10:13 PM

Thank God for Obama!

Someone had to put a stop to Doctors cutting off legs just for fun and profit and Hospital bastards draging lovers apart just for grins!

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:13 PM

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 10:12 PM

Give me a clue

bazil9 on April 15, 2010 at 10:14 PM

President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.

I’ve never really understood this. I’ve never been in a hospital that didn’t allow the patient to make the decision as to visitors and anyone can give anyone they want medical POA or any other type of POA for that matter.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 10:14 PM

I was always curious; what is the reason visitation was limited to family in the first place?
Aquateen Hungerforce on April 15, 2010 at 9:50 PM

like everything else, it’s a balancing act. If you’re alert, and want reasonable numbers of family/friends/partners there, ok.

If you’re in an ICU on a vent, do you really want anybody who claims they know you to be able to wander into your room?

Existing law also raises issues. EG, HIPAA severalyears ago raised privacy standards, and fines hospitals if confidentiality is violated.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM

So,like Prisons,when do the ‘Comfort Rooms’ get allocated!!

Jus sayin!!!

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 9:45 PM
============================================================
============================================================
Upon reflection of my post,I believe I was out of line and
apologize for my insensitive remarks to any,and all that
might of been slighted,I’m sorry,my attempt at humour was in
bad taste.

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM

If you are on with others at HA check their friends. I’m the one with the horse.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Is this only for gays/lesbians, or can I have non-family visitors and -most important- as a married woman, will the federal government direct the hospitals to grant medical power of attorney to my secret lover?? ;)

TN Mom on April 15, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Hey, if it makes you happy. But seriously, what if a straight person has no family but has a very close friend or is simply living with someone? Now this discriminates against them.

Deanna on April 15, 2010 at 10:18 PM

Is this really an issue? are there really hospitals that don’t allow people to have whatever visitors they want? I always thought this was a stupid issue because I can’t imagine hospitals keeping out someone that a patient wants. Is this more “symbolic” than real?

ramrants on April 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Praise Emperor Obama! He has commanded the air to let me breath it!

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

This is just another example of states powers being taken away by federal coercion. When the Fed start contributing tax dollars to your state in any way, they will use it to change policy..or in this case..make policy.

Electrongod on April 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

The government already does this.

Not the things I’m asking about, they don’t.

As someone pointed out, Obama isn’t asking the hospitals to do this for Medicare patients, but for all patients if the hospitals want Medicare dollars.

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:20 PM

I’ve never really understood this. I’ve never been in a hospital that didn’t allow the patient to make the decision as to visitors and anyone can give anyone they want medical POA or any other type of POA for that matter.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 10:14 PM

The truth is that most hospitals are so litigation-phobic that they wouldn’t dream of interfering with the patient’s rights.

The whole meme was dreamed up by the organized sodomy lobby to provoke sympathy from the normals. Only in a Terri Schiavo type case could there ever be an issue. We’re talking about a minuscule number of cases, if any.

platypus on April 15, 2010 at 10:21 PM

will the federal government direct the hospitals to grant medical power of attorney to my secret lover?? ;)

TN Mom on April 15, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Blatantblue might just have to sneak in to see you.

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

And they do a DNA test on the spot.
What “pin number” are you talking about? Do you really rhink anyone would give a bank PIN to a hospital? Those who should have it already do.It’s called “being prepared”.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM

Many [all?] hospitals give out “pin numbers” to the authorized so they may find out the patients status by phone.

——-

Like I said, there are many uninformed people commenting on this thread.

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Leave you daemon oppressors, LEAVE.

This hospital is now clear!!

Did anyone notice the spike in foreclosures and unemployment numbers?

jukin on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.

Obama wants to make sure friends, partners, and family are there to “pull the plug” so Obamacare (HHS) doesn’t face the heat. Sneaky. Like a VAT tax….

TN Mom on April 15, 2010 at 10:23 PM

organized sodomy lobby

For Christ’s sake…

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 10:24 PM

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 10:17 PM

alrighty then

bazil9 on April 15, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Do Catholic run hospitals get federal funds? Do they prevent partners from visiting patients? I really don’t know, but I do know a few years ago there was a big stink about abortions at Catholic run hospitals.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:24 PM

Emperor Obama has just issued an executive order commanding asteroids to not hit the Earth. A little late for the dinosaurs but better late than never.

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Well, for Medicare patients they do in a certain sense, such as not paying the hospital for a readmission to the hospital within 30 days for the same diagnosis.

Aviator on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Upon reflection of my post,I believe I was out of line and
apologize for my insensitive remarks to any,and all that
might of been slighted,I’m sorry,my attempt at humour was in
bad taste.

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM

I’m guessing that the Lavender Posse paid you a visit and forced you to post that.

platypus on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Like I said, there are many uninformed people commenting on this thread.

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Look, most of us have had parents and friends in hospitals. Do your condescedning act elsewhere.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

Many [all?] hospitals give out “pin numbers” to the authorized so they may find out the patients status by phone.

I have never had to give a pin number to find out about a patient. Is this something new? Like this year? Because last year was the last time a family member was in the hospital.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

Praise Emperor Obama! He has commanded the air to let me breath it!

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:19 PM

MB4:And,according to Obama,you should be thankful,ahem!!:)

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Well, for Medicare patients they do in a certain sense, such as not paying the hospital for a readmission to the hospital within 30 days for the same diagnosis.

Right. But he’s threatening funding to change behavior (not directly related to treatment) of a hospital toward all patients, not just those who are Medicare/Medicaid patients.

And if he thinks that is an acceptable way to threaten funding, why wouldn’t he use it to make them behave the way he wants them to (but legislation doesn’t force).

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM

“If there’s a political angle to this, I’m not sure I see it.”

It’s a diversion. Watch the other hand.

Yoop on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Like I said, there are many uninformed people commenting on this thread.

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Good to know that you’re on hand as the official, Obama-appointed arbiter of what qualifies as “informed”.

malclave on April 15, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Cant find ya Katy. I am friends with Hornet.

bazil9 on April 15, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Did anyone notice the spike in foreclosures and unemployment numbers?

jukin on April 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM

This was because gay lovers had to spend so much of their time waiting out in the cold on the evil hospitals to grant them entry that they lost their jobs and could not pay their mortgages. Thank God that Emperor Obama has seen fit to act. Unemployment and foreclosures will soon be a thing of the past.

MB4 on April 15, 2010 at 10:30 PM

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM
—————————————
I’m guessing that the Lavender Posse paid you a visit and forced you to post that.

platypus on April 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM

platypus: No,on my own,after reading some of the stories
from various commenters of loved one’s in the
hospital,in which,some have passed,it was in bad
taste,my comment that is!!:)

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:34 PM

WTF! I agree with ernesto.

thomasaur on April 15, 2010 at 9:28 PM

Hell has officially frozen over

ernesto on April 15, 2010 at 9:31 PM

WHAT?!? While I’ve been in a coma the Detroit Lions won the Super Bowl?!?

Yoop on April 15, 2010 at 10:34 PM

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I do not disagree with you. I was, however, trying to point out the government already coerces hospitals financially. This is a significant expansion of the concept.

Aviator on April 15, 2010 at 10:35 PM

I think most hospitals already do this, but if they didn’t, then like ernesto said…it’s overdue. People should be allowed to see their loved ones in the hospital, regardless of the nature of that relationship.

Slublog on April 15, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Ditto

Dash on April 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM

I have never had to give a pin number to find out about a patient. Is this something new? Like this year? Because last year was the last time a family member was in the hospital.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

No it’s not new and it’s been quite the standard practice for years.

Good to know that you’re on hand as the official, Obama-appointed arbiter of what qualifies as “informed”.

malclave on April 15, 2010 at 10:30 PM

I’ve been a HA poster longer than you have, and no, I have little use for The One. Thanks for chiming in genius.

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 10:37 PM

Many [all?] hospitals give out “pin numbers” to the authorized so they may find out the patients status by phone.

I have never had to give a pin number to find out about a patient. Is this something new? Like this year? Because last year was the last time a family member was in the hospital.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

I think this is new. As I stated earlier, my brother is in the ICU under observation. The nurse gave me a card with all the ICU information and a numerical code so if I called in I could get information about my brother’s condition. It had nothing to do with me actually visiting in person. So, IMO, the argument of having to have a PIN to have access to a patient is not valid for personal visits.

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 10:39 PM

canopfor on April 15, 2010 at 10:34 PM

Always enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your example this time around. God bless!

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 10:41 PM

This is one of those things where one can be happy with the end result, but not the methods used.

strictnein on April 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM

No it’s not new and it’s been quite the standard practice for years.

Standard practice where? I repeat myself but I have never, ever, ever had to give a pin number at a hospital. Ever.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:47 PM

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 10:39 PM

You’re probably right. They are probably implementing it all over the country in stages and it has just now arrived in Texas. Or at least your part of Texas. In my part, I have never even heard of a pin number for a patient. Until tonight.

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:54 PM

This pure b.s. as you don’t have to be a relative to visit patients now, and anyone can have the power of attorney for another if they have give their consent by signing the appropriate legal documents.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 10:57 PM

I do not disagree with you. I was, however, trying to point out the government already coerces hospitals financially. This is a significant expansion of the concept.

Thanks. Yeah, that’s what concerns me about this. He’s doing for something completely inoffensive now, but he’s setting a precedent for behavior.

This could have been done in the health care bill.
Congress could pass this law.
But no. Executive order.

MayBee on April 15, 2010 at 10:59 PM

I’ve never really understood this. I’ve never been in a hospital that didn’t allow the patient to make the decision as to visitors and anyone can give anyone they want medical POA or any other type of POA for that matter.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 10:14 PM
The truth is that most hospitals are so litigation-phobic that they wouldn’t dream of interfering with the patient’s rights.

The whole meme was dreamed up by the organized sodomy lobby to provoke sympathy from the normals. Only in a Terri Schiavo type case could there ever be an issue. We’re talking about a minuscule number of cases, if any.

platypus on April 15, 2010 at 10:21 PM

–So why was this needed, if that’s the case?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Or maybe they won’t follow orders. A lot of emergency rooms are closing because of Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates.

In fact, I can imagine quite a few hospitals (Catholic ones in particular) saying, “So?”

As for who is considered a legal surrogate, the states are the ones whose laws prevail here.

Obama is looking for a cheap win, but, here too, I suspect he’ll come up short.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:01 PM

–So why was this needed, if that’s the case?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM

It’s them pesky Catholics. Still doddering from the onslaught of the gay pedophiles, the rest of the rainbow community is now allowed to join in.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:02 PM

This pure b.s. as you don’t have to be a relative to visit patients now, and anyone can have the power of attorney for another if they have give their consent by signing the appropriate legal documents.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 10:57 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:54 PM

Sue, it was in Houston at a major hospital. Again though, it was only used if I was away from the hospital and needed to call in for information and couldn’t reach my brother. It had NOTHING to do with personal access to the patient.

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Nothing more than hoopla and razzmatazz. Tomorrow, we’ll be saturated with soppy, sickening puppy licks from the press over this nothing of an edict. Someone, please, name one hospital that would deny access to a patient due to sexual orientation. Never heard of it. Also, never hear about the huge funds provided by Dubya for AIDS treatment and prevention in Africa.

betsyz on April 15, 2010 at 11:04 PM


So why was this needed, if that’s the case?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM
It’s them pesky Catholics. Still doddering from the onslaught of the gay pedophiles, the rest of the rainbow community is now allowed to join in.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:02 PM

–I know you’re being sarcastic, uncle. There have to be situations where hospitals weren’t allowing patients to do as they wanted.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:04 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

I doubt Obama can invalidate state law with an executive order. I have no doubt that Congress can back his action with some Federal law gutting all the state laws indicating who can have power of attorney, but an executive order doesn’t come close to cutting it.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Sue on April 15, 2010 at 10:54 PM
Sue, it was in Houston at a major hospital. Again though, it was only used if I was away from the hospital and needed to call in for information and couldn’t reach my brother. It had NOTHING to do with personal access to the patient.

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

–And that’s probably because of HIPAA and its requirements for privacy of patient medical information.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:05 PM

–I know you’re being sarcastic, uncle. There have to be situations where hospitals weren’t allowing patients to do as they wanted.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:04 PM

I’ll bet there are, and I’m not being sarcastic. Us Catholics are still reeling over the priest thing, and now Obama wants to tell our hospitals what’s morally right.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM


Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM
I doubt Obama can invalidate state law with an executive order. I have no doubt that Congress can back his action with some Federal law gutting all the state laws indicating who can have power of attorney, but an executive order doesn’t come close to cutting it.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:05 PM

—Interesting point. I doubt a federal executive order in this instance can override a state law. Though I wouldn’t want to be the hospital’s lawyer when s/he’s asked “which law do I comply with”.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM

—Interesting point. I doubt a federal executive order in this instance can override a state law. Though I wouldn’t want to be the hospital’s lawyer when s/he’s asked “which law do I comply with”.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM

In the end, what will prevail is the hospital’s bottom line, coupled with the hospital’s morality. For Catholic hospitals, that may mean refusing medicare/medicaid.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:08 PM

I

know you’re being sarcastic, uncle. There have to be situations where hospitals weren’t allowing patients to do as they wanted.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:04 PM
I’ll bet there are, and I’m not being sarcastic. Us Catholics are still reeling over the priest thing, and now Obama wants to tell our hospitals what’s morally right.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM

–It’s not just Catholic hospitals who had these restrictions. I know at least one sectarian hospital in Illinois that had severe restictions on who could visit ICU patients.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:09 PM

—Interesting point. I doubt a federal executive order in this instance can override a state law. Though I wouldn’t want to be the hospital’s lawyer when s/he’s asked “which law do I comply with”.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:07 PM
In the end, what will prevail is the hospital’s bottom line, coupled with the hospital’s morality. For Catholic hospitals, that may mean refusing medicare/medicaid.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:08 PM

–I’d have a hard time defending (as a religious hospital) a policy of allowing a gay significant other to visit someone in the hospital. To me, it’s tough to say that somehow “legitimizes” homosexual behavior and relationships. But maybe I’m jaded…….

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM

–I’d have a hard time defending (as a religious hospital) a policy of allowing a gay significant other to visit someone in the hospital. To me, it’s tough to say that somehow “legitimizes” homosexual behavior and relationships. But maybe I’m jaded…….

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM

–Oops. Meant to write: –I’d have a hard time defending (as a religious hospital) a policy of NOT allowing a gay significant other to visit someone in the hospital. To me, it’s tough to say that somehow “legitimizes” homosexual behavior and relationships. But maybe I’m jaded…….

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:12 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Name some, jimbo3. I’ve been a hospital volunteer (and a patient too often) and I’ve never seen these visitation restrictions you mentioned although they could happen in critically sick cases I suppose. As far as power of attorney is concern, that is a strictly a legal question well out of a hospital jurisdiction and as I posted earlier, anyone can designate anyone else to fill that role.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 11:13 PM

I, for one, am always reeling from the daily orders from headquarters I’ll say this; the guy can come up with some mighty, head-spinning commandments. Mother, may I?

betsyz on April 15, 2010 at 11:13 PM

Cant find ya Katy. I am friends with Hornet.

bazil9 on April 15, 2010 at 10:30 PM

Hornet has me. Pic with the horse.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 11:17 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives

to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM
Name some, jimbo3. I’ve been a hospital volunteer (and a patient too often) and I’ve never seen these visitation restrictions you mentioned although they could happen in critically sick cases I suppose. As far as power of attorney is concern, that is a strictly a legal question well out of a hospital jurisdiction and as I posted earlier, anyone can designate anyone else to fill that role.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 11:13 PM

–My understanding is that some hospitals in the Good Shepherd system in the Chicago area have these restrictions on ICU patients. (This was as of 10+ years ago).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Understood — but it all depends on how militantly the significant other tries to be in asserting his/her position in O’s executive order. Given the Prop 8 pushback by the gay community, I can imagine quite a bit of militancy by some.

He issued this thing for some reason — but I can’t for the life of me figure it out. There wasn’t a “Jim couldn’t kiss Joe even though he wouldn’t disconnect any lines by doing so” kind of statement personalizing the order, as is often the case.

unclesmrgol on April 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

You cannot overide a medical power of attorney based on a whim. Anti gay marriage has zip to do with it.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM

–Some hospitals’ visitation policies only allow relatives to see certain patients. And some of the anti-gay marriage laws are broad enough to be read to invalidate powers of attorney given to same-sex partners (because they invalidate anything that could be the functional equivalent of any aspect of marriage).
Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM

I’ve worked in hospitals in several states, and never heard of any laws “invalidating” healthcare PoAs.

Unless you’ve got some kind of proof, I call BS on your claim.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM

I wonder if he can order them to let more than two people in a room in CCU. And what about those visiting hours? Save us from the evil hospitals Barack!

MikeA on April 15, 2010 at 11:21 PM

I’ve worked in hospitals in several states, and never heard of any laws “invalidating” healthcare PoAs.

Unless you’ve got some kind of proof, I call BS on your claim.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:20 PM

This was as of 2004:

The amendments in Mississippi, Montana and Oregon refer only to marrriage, specifying that it should be limited to unions of one man and one woman. The measures in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah call for a ban on civil unions or other partnership benefits as well.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:23 PM

–My understanding is that some hospitals in the Good Shepherd system in the Chicago area have these restrictions on ICU patients. (This was as of 10+ years ago).

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:18 PM

ALL visitation is sharply restricted in ICU. Typically there are only only one or two times a day that visits are allowed. The doors to the ICU units are locked and one needs a key pass to open them. A close relative may get entry at other times but only upon request.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 11:26 PM

The amendments in Mississippi, Montana and Oregon refer only to marrriage, specifying that it should be limited to unions of one man and one woman. The measures in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah call for a ban on civil unions or other partnership benefits as well.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:23 PM

Amedical power of attorney is not a partnership benefit. Hell, even crr6 knows that.

I hope.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

ALL visitation is sharply restricted in ICU. Typically there are only only one or two times a day that visits are allowed. The doors to the ICU units are locked and one needs a key pass to open them. A close relative may get entry at other times but only upon request.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 11:26 PM

–So why shouldn’t patients have the right to determine who can visit them, rather than having a rule that restricts this to close relatives?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

I think this is new. As I stated earlier, my brother is in the ICU under observation. The nurse gave me a card with all the ICU information and a numerical code so if I called in I could get information about my brother’s condition. It had nothing to do with me actually visiting in person. So, IMO, the argument of having to have a PIN to have access to a patient is not valid for personal visits.

truetexan on April 15, 2010 at 10:39 PM

numerical code

Why are you pulling my chain? You’re doing shtick for some reason, no?

toliver on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

The amendments in Mississippi, Montana and Oregon refer only to marrriage, specifying that it should be limited to unions of one man and one woman. The measures in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah call for a ban on civil unions or other partnership benefits as well.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:23 PM
Amedical power of attorney is not a partnership benefit. Hell, even crr6 knows that.

I hope.

katy the mean old lady on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

–The difficulty, katy, is that a law that says unmarried couples can’t have benefits “identical or similar to those of married couples” isn’t real precise.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:30 PM

What ever happened to the proper term homosexual? Distort the language to win the debate?

Rick9911 on April 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Jumbo, you haven’t shown the POA is invalidated.

It isn’t necessarily a “partnership” thing. You can appoint a spouse, relative or friend. Heck, I’ve heard of patients appointing their Catholic priest they had a long friendship with.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM

Jumbo, you haven’t shown the POA is invalidated.

It isn’t necessarily a “partnership” thing. You can appoint a spouse, relative or friend. Heck, I’ve heard of patients appointing their Catholic priest they had a long friendship with.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM

–The difficulty is that the laws invalidaing civil unions (or something similar or identical to marriage for unmarried couples) aren’t real precise. It’s a sentence in the statute, and it’s then up to courts to interpret the statue.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:35 PM

–So why shouldn’t patients have the right to determine who can visit them, rather than having a rule that restricts this to close relatives?
Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

may have something to do with the fact that ICU patients often aren’t in a position to decide/communicate much of anything.

Pretty hard to tell the nurse if Susie can come in when you’re sedated, with an ET tube connecting you to a ventilator.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:36 PM

So why shouldn’t patients have the right to determine who can visit them, rather than having a rule that restricts this to close relatives?
Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

may have something to do with the fact that ICU patients often aren’t in a position to decide/communicate much of anything.

Pretty hard to tell the nurse if Susie can come in when you’re sedated, with an ET tube connecting you to a ventilator.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:36 PM

–But what stops them from making the decision (in most cases) before they get to the ICU? Many of the ICU patients are post-op.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:40 PM

The difficulty, katy, is that a law that says unmarried couples can’t have benefits “identical or similar to those of married couples” isn’t real precise.

Having a health care power of attorney isn’t identical or similar to the entire suite of benefits that married couples possess. Furthermore, a married person may grant individuals other than their spouse their medical power of attorney, which designates clearly that a medical power of attorney is not in any way exclusive to or distinctive of marriage.

This is why, despite the scare tactics of the gay liberals, you don’t see health care powers of attorney being struck down by these laws.

northdallasthirty on April 15, 2010 at 11:41 PM

–So why shouldn’t patients have the right to determine who can visit them, rather than having a rule that restricts this to close relatives?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM

Have you ever been in an ICU? Most of the patients in there are in life critical situations so determining who can visit them is probably not too important to them as they fight merely to survive. In many cases, the patient is not lucid enough to even consider who can visit them.

docdave on April 15, 2010 at 11:41 PM

Jumbo, I’ve helped folks fill out advance directives in 2010.

If they want to appoint an uncle, gay lover, or friend from their high school it’s up to them who to pick. I’ve read forms from MI, NV, and IN.

If you’ve got a court case listed, or a reputable source saying “Johnny’s POA was thrown out because he’s gay,” I’d be interested to see it.

I’m convinced you are wrong about this, and am in a place professionally where I know the POA process.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:43 PM

–So why was this needed, if that’s the case?

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Good question.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 11:45 PM

The difficulty, katy, is that a law that says unmarried couples can’t have benefits “identical or similar to those of married couples” isn’t real precise.
Having a health care power of attorney isn’t identical or similar to the entire suite of benefits that married couples possess. Furthermore, a married person may grant individuals other than their spouse their medical power of attorney, which designates clearly that a medical power of attorney is not in any way exclusive to or distinctive of marriage.

This is why, despite the scare tactics of the gay liberals, you don’t see health care powers of attorney being struck down by these laws.

northdallasthirty on April 15, 2010 at 11:41 PM

–Northdallasthirty, as a fellow Texan/Dallas person, I wouldn’t be so comfortable that someone in Texas couldn’t successfully bring a lawsuit under Texas’ broad anti-civil union law. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:47 PM

I had medical power of attorney for a friend who died. We were unrelated. Our relationship was never questioned. Because I had medical POA.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Jumbo, I’ve helped folks fill out advance directives in 2010.

If they want to appoint an uncle, gay lover, or friend from their high school it’s up to them who to pick. I’ve read forms from MI, NV, and IN.

If you’ve got a court case listed, or a reputable source saying “Johnny’s POA was thrown out because he’s gay,” I’d be interested to see it.

I’m convinced you are wrong about this, and am in a place professionally where I know the POA process.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:43 PM

–Forms are only words. It’s up to courts (in the worst case) to decide if those words are enforcable. Let me look for cases, though.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 PM

–But what stops them from making the decision (in most cases) before they get to the ICU? Many of the ICU patients are post-op.
Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:40 PM

nothing stops them from stating beforehand who can visit/make medical decisions. A PoA form can be part of that process.

Though usually, if you’re sick enough to head to ICU, visitors aren’t that high on your list at the moment.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 PM

I had medical power of attorney for a friend who died. We were unrelated. Our relationship was never questioned. Because I had medical POA.

Connie on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 PM

–Did you have an immediate family member of the friend who wanted a different course of treatment? That’s when the difficulty starts.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:50 PM

Correct and it does not help if the patient is unstable, unconcious and might crash at any given moment. Most ICUs are like what docdave stated, ours is open to families or partners within reason. It all depends with each hospital on how they set up their ICU protocol regarding visitors. Some will very strict, some might be less so, most somewhere in between. Same goes to all specialized hospital units.

From my perspective as a nurse, this is just pandering because all hospitals have been doing what Obama ordered long before he became senator much less Presdient.

DinobotPrime on April 15, 2010 at 11:50 PM

People should have the right to have whomever they want see them in a friggin hospital.

Though I don’t agree with “gay marriage” (let them figure out their own thing), legally they should have at least the same status as common law heterosexual couples.

I think to do otherwise is unconstitutional. You can’t allow some to have rights while denying those same rights to others.

Marriage is not a constitutional right in my book. It’s a religious/social ceremony. It would be like a Catholic boy demanding a synagogue to have a Bar Mitzvah for him.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 15, 2010 at 11:57 PM

Jumbo, I’ve helped folks fill out advance directives in 2010.

If they want to appoint an uncle, gay lover, or friend from their high school it’s up to them who to pick. I’ve read forms from MI, NV, and IN.

If you’ve got a court case listed, or a reputable source saying “Johnny’s POA was thrown out because he’s gay,” I’d be interested to see it.

I’m convinced you are wrong about this, and am in a place professionally where I know the POA process.

cs89 on April 15, 2010 at 11:43 PM
–Forms are only words. It’s up to courts (in the worst case) to decide if those words are enforcable. Let me look for cases, though.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:48 PM

–Can’t find one tonight. I’ll look more late tomorrow afternoon.

Jimbo3 on April 15, 2010 at 11:58 PM

OH yeah, Jimbo3, I had seen family members having shouting matches over the phone regarding the patient’s care. I had seen children fighting with their mother or father, children fighting among themselves in regards to the care of their love ones. Heck, I have seen several DNRs rendered invalid because the stronger family members who btw are out of state, had managed convinced their weaker siblings that they need to fight on even though additional medical care is/was proven futile and will not change the outcome. Hell, I had received phone calls from three different family members demanding conflicting course of actions. Usually, we end up having an Ethics team to meet the family members and with the doctor, social worker, chaplain present and discuss with them the medical reality of the situation. been there, done that and had already refused the T shirt.

DinobotPrime on April 16, 2010 at 12:00 AM

The issue came to the forefront during the height of the AIDs crisis when the parents of the patients refused to allow the partners in to the room and sometimes authorized treatment against the patients wishes. The parents had the right to do so and there was no recourse (this was before the popularity of POA’s).

They often haven’t spoken for years and may be estranged.

My Uncle was not allowed in to visit his partner as he died because his partners parents never accepted their son’s relationship.

However I think these situations have been resolved in most places/hospitals today. With the electronic medical documents you can let your physician know and it follows the e-file with you to the hospital. I don’t know if parents can then override that wish.

LifeTrek on April 16, 2010 at 12:02 AM

“If you can’t handle the tough votes,don’t run”.How true.Unfortunately,our illustrious leaders didn’t run to do the WORK,they ran to get the JOB.No one has ever told them that the WORK is the JOB. Like the Chosen One,who inherited a bunch of problems from Booosh.Sorry,Bambi,you didn’t inherit anything,you asked for a JOB and the WORK involved is beyond your abilities.
Time to send them all home,and next time do it again.
TWO CYCLES-NO INCUMBENTS

DDT on April 16, 2010 at 12:07 AM

One word-No but there are exceptions to the rule especially if the patient is underage or if the patient did not change his contact information.

DinobotPrime on April 16, 2010 at 12:10 AM

Northdallasthirty, as a fellow Texan/Dallas person, I wouldn’t be so comfortable that someone in Texas couldn’t successfully bring a lawsuit under Texas’ broad anti-civil union law. The fact that it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

The Texas amendment says two things:

(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.

(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage

If that truly applied to health care powers of attorney, then every single one of them in the state would be invalidated.

Ain’t happened, and ain’t gonna happen.

northdallasthirty on April 16, 2010 at 12:13 AM

OH yeah, Jimbo3, I had seen family members having shouting matches over the phone regarding the patient’s care. I had seen children fighting with their mother or father, children fighting among themselves in regards to the care of their love ones. Heck, I have seen several DNRs rendered invalid because the stronger family members who btw are out of state, had managed convinced their weaker siblings that they need to fight on even though additional medical care is/was proven futile and will not change the outcome. Hell, I had received phone calls from three different family members demanding conflicting course of actions. Usually, we end up having an Ethics team to meet the family members and with the doctor, social worker, chaplain present and discuss with them the medical reality of the situation. been there, done that and had already refused the T shirt.

DinobotPrime on April 16, 2010 at 12:00 AM

–My wife’s a nurse and saw the same sort of thing. At that point, everyone is trying to find a way to do what they want. And that includes trying to invalidate powers of attorney.

Jimbo3 on April 16, 2010 at 12:14 AM

Bush’s stem cell action was pretty much like the Stupak Amendment for the health care bill: Promises that no federal funds would be used for study on human embryos.

So two very different scenarios, IMHO.

eforhan on April 16, 2010 at 12:14 AM

b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage

–My point. It’s broad enough to cover the ability to receive property under wills, or visitation rights in hospitals or powers of attorney or employer health care benefits provided to same sex partners. And the law is written poorly. It should say “this state…may not create or recognize any OTHER legal status identical to or similar to marriage.” The way it’s written, it could invalidate marriages.

Jimbo3 on April 16, 2010 at 12:18 AM

Is this just for people in critical care? I don’t believe anyone has ever stopped me or asked who I was when I went to the hospital to visit someone. If this is common practice, it’s a pretty silly one, but nonetheless, what business is it of Barry’s? This guy is so freaking power mad.

NoLeftTurn on April 16, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Unless there is a restraining order against you or the family or patient had a written authorization to bar you from visiting the patient. You can come to the hospital and visit someone. And oh yeah, I agree, the President is an idiot in the first degree. Hospital staffs nationwide regardless of sexual orientation will be extremely insulted about this. A rank Amateur telling hospitals what to do when there are already policies in all hospitals in regards to gay/lesbian partners. And they tell us that he is highly intelligent.

DinobotPrime on April 16, 2010 at 12:30 AM

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