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Gays Get Hospital Visitation Rights

Addressing an important rights issue, President Barack Obama has written a memo ordering hospitals in the U.S. to grant to gay and lesbian partners the same visitation privileges already enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.

One caveat of the order is that those hospitals required to allow visitation must explicitly receive Medicare and Medicaid money. Private hospitals without government support are still free to be as homophobic as they want.

The memo also requires that all documents for power of attorney and health care proxies be accepted and honored, regardless of the patient’s sexual orientation. –JCL

Los Angeles Times:

President Obama late Thursday ordered most hospitals in the country to grant the same visitation rights to gay and lesbian partners that they do to married heterosexual couples.

In a memo to his Health and Human Services agency, Obama ordered the secretary to ensure that all hospitals getting Medicare and Medicaid money honor all patients’ advance directives, including those designating who gets family visitation privileges.

The order also requires that documents granting power of attorney and healthcare proxies be honored, regardless of sexual orientation. The language could apply to unmarried heterosexual couples too.

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