Pres. Obama Issues Memorandum Widening Rights for Same-Sex Partner Hospital Visits

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mkrishnan, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #1
    Do we really not have a thread on this yet? This is awesome. :)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/16/us/politics/16webhosp.html?hp

    The very thoughtfully worded memorandum is essentially binding on all hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid, which constitutes the vast majority of US hospitals. In addition to making it clear that same-sex partners' visitations are to be permitted, the bill makes other important clarifications including preserving patients' ability to flexibly designate friends or non-immediate family members to make medical decisions on their behalf, and also clarifies that proxies cannot override advance directives. Wonderful work. :)
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    An excellent proposal. However, if the patient has not legally designated the domestic partner as his/her healthcare proxy, unless domestic partnerships are legally recognized, hospitals have to abide by wishes of next-of-kin.

    Everyone should have a will, advanced directive, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions.
     
  3. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    #4
    Oh that is absolutely fantastic news! I remember reading some truly heartbreaking stories (one of many) and I'm relieved to hear maybe this will be the end of this sort of cruelty.



    I recall that even with power of attorney some hospitals were still able to exclude same sex partners.
     
  4. Zaid macrumors 6502

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    #5
    It really is a good move.

    From what I've read though the policy change is worded such that hospitals must allow any person designated by the patient access and potentially power to make medical decisions.

    But what happens in situations where the patient is brought in unconscious. Say for instance a guy is involved in a car accident and is brought in unconscious, can his family exclude his bf or partner from visiting him, since in this case the patient is unable to designate his bf/partner as a person able to come visit him or make medical decisions for him.

    (btw to all those who campaign against gay marriage, problems such as these are the practical manifestation of your bigotry)
     
  5. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    ^^ That's a good question -- I haven't heard anything about it yet. We do actually have issues like this with young adults sometimes, when they are decisionally impaired and we sometimes ask family members to keep SO's away, because the patients are impulsive and they get in dangerous situations with their SO present.

    This is exactly what happened in one of the high-profile Florida cases, IIRC -- a partner was excluded, even when all the legal work was not only done but documentation was duly made available to the hospital.

    The reality is that, most of the time, hospitals were already doing the right thing and letting these people see their partners. This will hopefully put some teeth into dealing with the tiny minority of hospitals that were not, and importantly, create a clear legal basis for the right, rather than having it rely on the charity of hospital staff.
     
  6. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #7
    This is a travesty! Obama and the left is trying to damage the sacred ritual of hospital visitation! My mailbox has been flooded by email from my blood relatives that say they feel that their visits have been damaged now that my partner would be able to visit me as well. Shame on Obama!

    What's next??? Soon pets will be allowed to visit or even make medical decisions for their owners!!
     
  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #8
    And that is what this proposal would eliminate. My point is that if you don't have a POA for healthcare decisions, you are still SOL.
     
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #9
    I don't know if this was sarcastic or simply inane comment.
     
  9. H00513R macrumors 6502a

    H00513R

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    #10
    This is coming from the person who has a frog in a suit for their avatar. :p
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #11
    I'm pretty sure it was sarcastic. Now, if InTheNet posted it, I would think he's dead serious ;)
     
  11. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #12
    Don't get too excited yet. This takes one of the better justifications for same sex marriage off the table.

    SLC
     
  12. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #13
    I thought it would be so over the top that my sarcasm would be clear.

    The illogical rantings of certain posters must have raised the bar at which sarcasm can be clearly delineated herein.
     
  13. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    It doesn't matter. Hospitals still deny visitation and decisions on medical care for partners.

    No it doesn't. This doesn't really do that much at all, from what I see. Making medical decisions and hospital visitation is a tiny piece of it.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Don't get too excited yet, it really does no such thing, as this doesn't address the issue of government intrusion into the private love affairs of citizens.
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    #16
    I don't think so. Posters above have already mentioned the problem with unconscious admittance of a patient. This is a step in the right direction, but it will take fully recognised legal marriage before this problem goes away entirely.
     
  16. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #17
    I know. See my second post from 10:58 AM. I support the measure to not discriminate and hope it becomes law. I care for a lot of gay couples.
     
  17. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #18
    Wishy washy if you ask me.. this has no effect on assets of gay couples when the other dies because they can't get married.
     
  18. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    Agreed. It doesn't do much at all.
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    It beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Although, if Obama can simply order it done, the next POTUS can simply undo it. It really needs the force of law behind it.
     
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #21
    Exactly. It's better than nothing. But when it comes down to it, it's not a lot.
     
  21. Zaid macrumors 6502

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    #22
    I don't think it does anything of the sort.

    What about tax benefits afforded to straight married couples denied to Gay and Lesbian couples.

    What about automatic coverage under spouses employer provided health insurance and access to employer provided pension benefits in the case of death of a spouse? Straight married couples have these automatically, for gay and lesbian couples they're at the mercy of their employers.

    What about automatic coverage of the bilogical children of one partner under their spouces health insurance?

    What about automatic recognition for the purposes of adoption

    What about rights over children? and potential child suport

    Why do straight families deserve these benefits when gay and lesbian families can easily be denied them? What about the children in gay and lesbian families? Why do conservatives hate our children? (Ok it's fun to play the right wing appeal to emotion game :D hehe, but the points raised above are serious ones.)

    In addition all sorts of practical issues such as automatic recognition for the purposes of joint applications for mortgages. etc

    And of course what about the fact that the government has absolutely no business determining which types of adult relationships should be recognised and which shouln't.

    It's the one thing i've never really understood about the right. The government should get out of the economy shouldn't provide xyz etc. Constant campaigns for small governemt and limited interference and with the same breath they want governemnt to deeply intrude upon the most private aspects of peoples lives to satisfy their own prejudices. Yeh score one for complete dumb****ery.
     
  22. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #23
    The president can't just fiat that... You're right, this issue will only really be put to rest when we have consistent gay marriage rights in all states and territories, but this is another small and positive step in that direction. For those (few) people who are actually affected by this issue, it's huge, and it costs us nothing to do.
     
  23. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Because they're only for small government until it's someone they don't like. Then the government can get as big as it wants.
     
  24. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #25
    All very valid points, and I'm not trying to denigrate any of them.

    But this is one of the more common justifications of Homosexual Marriage that I see, "Homosexuals can't make medical decisions for their partners, and they are easily barred from visiting in the hospital by family members", and for me, it's one of the more powerful ones. I think that anyone should be able to designate whoever the heck they want to make medical decisions for them when they are unable, they also should be able to merely say who can and can't visit, even when they are unconscious. Default power should go to family I suppose, but it shouldn't take more than a word to hospital staff for visitation and decision rights to be given to whoever the patient wants.

    What I see Obama has done here is turned that justification into a non-issue. It's just one more thing that is taken from the list of inequalities between Homosexual relationships and Heterosexual Marriage. It's one less leg to stand on is all I'm saying.

    There are still plenty of other inequalities that need addressing, but this isn't one of them for the time being.

    Which brings up another question.

    If all those things you mentioned were given the same treatment, but homosexual marriage was still not governmentally recognized, would people on this board be satisfied? Or does it still become a "separate but equal" situation?

    Genuinely curious!

    SLC
     

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