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Thread: Obama orders same-sex hospital visits

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    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    Default Obama orders same-sex hospital visits

    Obama orders same-sex hospital visits

    Gay, lesbian couples must be allowed visitors, medical power of attorney
    By Michael D. Shear
    The Washington Post
    updated 8:16 p.m. ET, Thurs., April 15, 2010

    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.

    An official said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding.

    The decision injects the president squarely into the debate over gay marriage by attempting to end the common practice by many hospitals of insisting that only family members by blood or marriage be allowed to visit patients.

    Gay activists have argued for years that recognizing gay marriages would ease the emotional pain associated with not being able to visit their partners during a health crisis.

    Special rights?
    By contrast, opponents of gay marriage have said the visitation issue is a red herring, and have argued that advocates want to provide special rights for gays and lesbians that others do not have.

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

    Obama says the new rules should require that hospitals not 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 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."

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

    In his first 15 months in office, Obama has hailed the passage of hate crime legislation and hosted 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 getting rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military.

    But the moves have been too slow for some in the gay community, who have urged the president to champion their causes head-on. One prominent gay blogger, John Aravosis, wrote last October that Obama's "track record on keeping his gay promises has been fairly abominable."


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    URL: Obama orders same-sex hospital visits - Washington Post- msnbc.com



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The hate crimes legislation was in the works before Obama was elected, he had to do absolutely zero.

    Gay Pride celebration at the white house while his DOJ defended DOMA and DADT in court using right-wing attack points, oh, someone clutch my pearls for me.

    Lastly, so what the military brass said "meh, you could get rid of DADT but we need to study it more", and the study will naturally take longer than the midterms where the Dems will lose 1 or more houses (making any movement after impossible) despite there already being 20 studies over the last damn 20 years, and no actual movement to do anything about it.

    So lots of pretty words, and no political capital expended so far.
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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    The 2nd page of the article on WP's website has this:
    The action has the potential to increase conflicts between family members, same-sex partners and hospital staff over end-of-life decisions.
    A spokesman for the American Hospital Association did not return calls and e-mails. Efforts to reach a spokesman for the Catholic Health Association of the United States were unsuccessful. Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays
    Given that the Catholic Church in DC changed its health care benefits the day before DC approved same-sex marriages, this could prove interesting...
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I think this is long over due. Some of those heartbreaking stories could have been prevented. I hope we never see that again.
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    ^^
    I agree. Good job.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Long overdue for this to happen, but better late than never. Good job, Obama.

    The decision injects the president squarely into the debate over gay marriage by attempting to end the common practice by many hospitals of insisting that only family members by blood or marriage be allowed to visit patients.
    I'm sure he wasn't planning on that. But, oops there it is.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    but it doesn't DO anything.

    The memo only says that when someone designates another person who has the right to visit (or make health decisions), then the hospital has to honor that designation. But most of the problems for gay couples have arisen when there was no prior designation, and the patient was too sick to make a designation.

    And even when there is a prior designation and the hospital refuses to comply, there is no real enforcement mechanism in this PR stunt.

    Moreover, the power of attorney business is largely just feel-good B.S. That is regulated by STATE law ALREADY.

    So... what is this, beyond some unenforceable, feel good PR stunt?
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    but it doesn't DO anything.

    The memo only says that when someone designates another person who has the right to visit (or make health decisions), then the hospital has to honor that designation. But most of the problems for gay couples have arisen when there was no prior designation, and the patient was too sick to make a designation.

    And even when there is a prior designation and the hospital refuses to comply, there is no real enforcement mechanism in this PR stunt.

    Moreover, the power of attorney business is largely just feel-good B.S. That is regulated by STATE law ALREADY.

    So... what is this, beyond some unenforceable, feel good PR stunt?
    Yeah, it's like saying if you are gay you need to go out and hire an estate attorney and have them draw up all this legal paperwork for your relationship, so yay problem solved. Straight married couples do not have to do this, the only reason gay couples have to do this is because there are retarded places that will not recognize same sex marriage.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    but it doesn't DO anything.

    The memo only says that when someone designates another person who has the right to visit (or make health decisions), then the hospital has to honor that designation. But most of the problems for gay couples have arisen when there was no prior designation, and the patient was too sick to make a designation.

    And even when there is a prior designation and the hospital refuses to comply, there is no real enforcement mechanism in this PR stunt.

    Moreover, the power of attorney business is largely just feel-good B.S. That is regulated by STATE law ALREADY.

    So... what is this, beyond some unenforceable, feel good PR stunt?

    There is enforcement. Hospitals that receive medicare/medicaid have built-in punitive mechanisms for not following the rules. No additional enforcement needs to be installed.
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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Obama orders same-sex hospital visits


    This title kinda makes it like he ordered for all patients to have same-sex visitors whether they are gay or not.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    There is enforcement. Hospitals that receive medicare/medicaid have built-in punitive mechanisms for not following the rules. No additional enforcement needs to be installed.
    Erm, but visitation rights are not medical in nature, and fall under the administration of the hospital and probably therefore laws and regulation of the state and not the feds. So this memo really does nothing except try to create some good feelings.

    As an example, Sue is rushed to the hospital, and Pam is refused visitation rights. Pam shows hospital admin the Memo. The hospital looks at it and says it has no force of law know you can't visit. Pam complains to the Federal government she is told it is a state matter, Pam complains to the state, the state says they don't recognize homosexual relationships.
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    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    ^ Not exactly. The federal government can pull federal funding from the hospital if it chooses to do such descriminatory policy. That's the point. Businesses will follow the money that they don't want to lose - Medicare and Medicaid - because they can't afford not to. The hospitals will change their policies.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Erm, but visitation rights are not medical in nature, and fall under the administration of the hospital and probably therefore laws and regulation of the state and not the feds. So this memo really does nothing except try to create some good feelings.

    As an example, Sue is rushed to the hospital, and Pam is refused visitation rights. Pam shows hospital admin the Memo. The hospital looks at it and says it has no force of law know you can't visit. Pam complains to the Federal government she is told it is a state matter, Pam complains to the state, the state says they don't recognize homosexual relationships.

    Well that's where you would be wrong. Admin must comply with Medicare/Medicaid guidelines as well. Will there be immediate resolution for people who want to visit, no? Probably not. However, when faced with having their government funding cut after their next review finds them noncompliant, the hospitals will get their act together. Its not an immediate solution, but I'd guess that most would be compliant within 2 years.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Wouldn't this conflict with DOMA, then?

    Something about it seems fishy.. it's the usual Faggot Friday incremental crumb Obama likes handing out on friday afternoons, the place where news goes to die before a weekend. Pretty much all his gay "friendly" stuff has been on a Faggot Friday.

    It's usually followed by a smack to the face within the next week by him. That's been the usual pattern.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    How the hell would that conflict with DOMA? No one is saying they have to treat patient visitors as if they're married, they just have to allow them to visit.
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