Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

President Barack Obama has instructed the Health and Human Services department to develop new rules for hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding.

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."

Cue conservatives to start whining about "special rights for homosexuals," as if there is something extraordinary about visiting a loved one in the hospital or granting your life partner power of medical attorney. I'm glad the president took a stand on this issue.

I'm curious to see how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacts to this executive order. I don't know whether Catholic hospitals are more likely to have rules in place preventing visitation by gay or lesbian partners, but I would expect religious conservatives to complain about the government nullifying such rules. I wonder whether there is even grounds to challenge Obama's order in court, if hospitals could demonstrate that their visitation bans are grounded in religious principles.

Tags: Barack Obama, LGBT, visitation rights, Discrimination, Hospitals (all tags)

Comments

8 Comments

RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

cue conservatives to start whining about "special rights for homosexuls" and cue Blog Birchers whining about "keeping DADT and DOMA."

by spirowasright 2010-04-15 10:50PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

Blog Birchers? That is pretty low. No one twisted Obama's arm and forced him to promise to repeal DADT and DOMA.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-16 12:31AM | 1 recs
RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

Sorry about the rough nme. It's just that sometimes on these sites, people come up with some strange ideas that to me sound like a hybrid of liberal philosophy and right wing extremism, hence terms like "Blog Birchers", "Little old lefties in tennis shoes""Socialist freepers" etc.

by spirowasright 2010-04-16 01:54AM | 0 recs
Really?

No one twisted Obama's arm and forced him to promise to repeal DADT and DOMA.

Well, gee, and some would like us to believe that if they didn't make a stink, he never would've promised those things, oh and that he promised to do them immediately!

by ND22 2010-04-17 11:48PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

Actually if you read the order they cannot make the special rights case. This covers everybody not just gays.

by jsfox 2010-04-16 04:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

This is what people were asking for the entire past year while they were derided for wanting Obama to wave a magic wand.

by bay of arizona 2010-04-16 10:56PM | 0 recs
RE: Obama orders end to discrimination by hospitals

No what people were asking for was a wave of the pen to undo DADT. Which he cannot do. Next, this is not an executive order.

by jsfox 2010-04-16 11:08PM | 1 recs
No doubt...

J.D. Hayworth will make some outrageous claim that this will also allow your horse to be at your bedside too.  

by Chuckie Corra 2010-04-16 03:51AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads