New Hospital Visitation Regulations for LGBT Families Go into Effect Tuesday

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.

Moved by the tragic story of an LGBT family – Janice Langbehn, Lisa Pond and their children – who were kept apart as Lisa lay dying in a Miami hospital, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum in April 2010 directing the Department of Health and Human Services to develop regulations protecting hospital visitation rights.

Visit our Hospital Visitation Guide for information about these regulations and the upcoming changes.

In addition to working with the Obama administration on the hospital visitation issue, our annual Healthcare Equality Index surveys healthcare policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families.  For more information about the HEI, as well as resources for hospitals and LGBT patients, visit to www.hrc.org/hei.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Visitation, ours: ‘Here I brought you this flower, dying spouse’ remains evangelical hot potato

So let’s say, for the sake of argument, that social conservatives like Matt Barber are 100% committed to their convictions against sinners as they usually describe them. Does this mean that they’d deny obstetric services to adulterers? Cut off treatment to an overdosing drug addict? Nix life-saving surgery to an alcoholic victim of a booze-induced car accident? Limit hospital visitation only to those whose lie detector results prove that they’ve borne true witness all year?

Screen Shot 2010-11-19 At 2.54.13 PmOr: Is it only one kind of “sinner” that they care to target? This from the American Family Association’s One News Now:

According to the new rule, which takes effect in 60 days, hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid money have to inform patients of their right to designate a spouse, domestic partner, family member, or a friend. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday the rule grants “full and equal” rights to patients to choose who they want by their bedside. But Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel points out they already have the right to choose visitors.



[Matt] Barber considers the new rules political theater in trying to create the disingenuous idea that people based on their so-called “sexual orientation” are roundly discriminated against. Faith-based hospitals are not exempt from the rule.

“Certainly there are Catholic hospitals and Baptist hospitals that recognize homosexual behavior as sinful behavior,” he points, “and they do not want to take part in affirming homosexual sin under the strong arm of the government.”

Some religious hospitals may have to make a decision as to whether to conform to the rules or not accept Medicare patients. Barber says what the Obama administration is doing is casting liberty of conscience aside and forcing acceptance of homosexuality

Feds to hospitals: Go gay…or go broke [ONN]

Honestly, if you’re at a medical hospital that holds this as the (or even a) focus, then you might wanna go somewhere else anyway. And this goes not only for gays — it goes for anyone among us who’d much rather get the fast cure than cast the first stone!




Good As You

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