How widespread is restricted hospital visitation? People don't always live near relatives. Sometimes a friend, neighbor, or a co-worker is the only caring person the patient has. I find it difficult to believe that a hospital would prevent a medical power of attorney from seeing the hospitalized trustee.
Limiting hospital visits to family members doesn't make sense.
Obama Widens Medical Rights for Gay Partners
President Obama on Thursday ordered his health secretary to issue new rules aimed at granting hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners.
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.
In some instances in the past, hospitals have barred bedside visits by the person who held the medical power of attorney for a patient.
Gay rights advocates said the rules change was inspired by one of those cases involving a same-sex couple, Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond, who were profiled in New York Times last year.
After Ms. Pond was stricken with a fatal brain aneurysm Ms. Langbehn was denied visiting rights in 2007 by a Florida hospital. Although Ms. Langbehn had power of attorney and she and Ms. Pond were parents to four children they had adopted, the hospital refused for eight hours to allow her and the children to see Ms. Pond, her partner for 18 years. Ms. Pond died as Ms. Langbehn tried in vain to get to her side.