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Thread: Obama orders same-sex hospital visits

  1. #16
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Wouldn't this conflict with DOMA, then?
    No. They're not saying that they're married.

    The policy change will also affect others:
    The new rules will not apply only to gays. They also will affect widows and widowers who have been unable to receive visits from a friend or companion. And they would allow members of some religious orders to designate someone other than a family member to make medical decisions.

    Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays
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  2. #17
    Elite Member MontanaMama'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?
    I don't think you're right on this Grim. If a person fails to do simple estate planning then the hospital can place any restrictions they want that are not in violation of state law. Most hospitals do the by blood or marriage restriction because it's generally a bright line, which creates an obvious problem between same sex couples. A simple Living Will, Healthcare power of Attorney and/or General Power of Attorney gives the names agent legal and enforceable rights. Most of the early problems with those documents arose in the Catholic Hospital setting, but they lost enough of those cases to honor a properly executed Living Will.

    I simply don't understand why everyone doesn't just execute a Living Will - particularly in the case of same sex couples who are well aware that their basic rights get trampled all the time.
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  3. #18
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    As per the NY Times piece today this does not grant any new rights, but can help with enforcing already existing ones:

    Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton on gay rights issues, said that while the memorandum on its own did not grant any new rights, it did “draw attention to the very real and tragic situations many gays and lesbians face when a partner is hospitalized.”

    Ordering the Department of Health and Human Services to find a better way to handle such situations, Mr. Socarides said, is “the kind of thing the gay community was hoping Obama would do right after he was inaugurated.”

    Several states have tried to put an end to discrimination against same-sex couples, and Mr. Obama said he intended to build on those efforts. He said the new rules would make clear that designated visitors should enjoy visiting privileges that are no more restrictive than those enjoyed by immediate family members.

    The rules will take time to draft and put in place, and so Mr. Obama’s order will have no immediate effect. Even so, gay rights groups called it a major advance for the families of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender individuals

    Obama Widens Medical Rights for Gay Partners - NYTimes.com



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  4. #19
    Elite Member Sundance's Avatar
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    I'm all for ANY advancement. I just wish it wasn't taking so damn long. People having basic human rights shouldn't be this much of a struggle.

  5. #20
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    glad he did it
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  6. #21
    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMama View Post
    I don't think you're right on this Grim. If a person fails to do simple estate planning then the hospital can place any restrictions they want that are not in violation of state law. Most hospitals do the by blood or marriage restriction because it's generally a bright line, which creates an obvious problem between same sex couples. A simple Living Will, Healthcare power of Attorney and/or General Power of Attorney gives the names agent legal and enforceable rights. Most of the early problems with those documents arose in the Catholic Hospital setting, but they lost enough of those cases to honor a properly executed Living Will.

    I simply don't understand why everyone doesn't just execute a Living Will - particularly in the case of same sex couples who are well aware that their basic rights get trampled all the time.
    This is a bit off topic, but since it was mentioned, I'll ask. As I understand it in the event of no will the spouse usually gets the estate. Now what would happen if a same-sex couple were married in a state that allows gay marriage, but one died in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage? Would the spouse still get the estate or would it go to the deceased's family?

  7. #22
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    As per the NY Times piece today this does not grant any new rights, but can help with enforcing already existing ones:
    Right, and this is important because without enforcement, laws are meaningless. For example, blacks had the legal right of citizenship from 1870, but such rights were not enforced until the 1960s, so states and localities could do whatever they wanted.

    This enforcement is an important step forward.
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  8. #23
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L1049 View Post
    This is a bit off topic, but since it was mentioned, I'll ask. As I understand it in the event of no will the spouse usually gets the estate. Now what would happen if a same-sex couple were married in a state that allows gay marriage, but one died in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage? Would the spouse still get the estate or would it go to the deceased's family?
    The estate is handled where one is a resident, so I guess it depends on what you mean by "died in a state."
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  9. #24
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Also of note, a presidential memorandum is only good till the next president gets elected, so... it's not exactly binding
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  10. #25
    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L1049 View Post
    This is a bit off topic, but since it was mentioned, I'll ask. As I understand it in the event of no will the spouse usually gets the estate. Now what would happen if a same-sex couple were married in a state that allows gay marriage, but one died in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage? Would the spouse still get the estate or would it go to the deceased's family?
    The estate is probated in the state where the decedent is domiciled - there's a number of different factors involved in determining domicile. You can look to where a person owns property, holds a driver's license, pays taxes, does business, etc.
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  11. #26
    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    I didn't even know that was denied to gays, wow.

  12. #27
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Pretty much everything straight couples enjoy is denied to gays.
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  13. #28
    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    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.
    I'm having trouble figuring out what special rights are being extended.

  14. #29
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    ^^
    "special rights" is a red herring. Gay people just want the same rights everyone else has.
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  15. #30
    Elite Member Sundance's Avatar
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    ^and SHOULD have without asking or begging.

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