I was chatting today with another blogger (yes, over coffee) about the circumstances under which LGBTQ families are kept apart in hospitals. I mentioned the new federal regulations and realized I had failed to blog about them.
From the Human Rights Campaign website …
On Tuesday, federal regulations regarding patients’ hospital visitation rights will go into effect. These new regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
What good news is this? What I'm curious about is what happens what a patient's ability to designate visitors is impaired?
The HRC has much more detail here.
This is a positive step forward. Remember when UPMC Mercy was owned by the Catholic Church? Do you think they would willingly have let me into ICU if Ledcat were hospitalized? I was recently in the hospital for a few days and no one blinked when I listed my “partner” as my emergency contact. The only awkward moment was when a doctor was asking me if I was a homosexual. I just looked at him and he moved on to another question.
Still … there's no real equality and protection without marriage. Don't forget that. We need to push for the steps and we need to celebrate when they are achieved. We have to be realistic and we have to recognize what is achievable in our individuals states and municipalities. But we have to remember that without true and total equality, none of us will ever have a way to tidy up all the loose ends.