Friday, April 16, 2010

A Small Measure of Justice for Millions of American Families...

Yeasterday,  a small measure of justice was achieved  thanks  to one couple's horrific treatment by a hospital in Miami Florida.  In 2007  at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Where despite having medical power of attorney Janice Langbehm was denied the right to see her partner Lisa Pond as she lay dying from a stroke.  

Administrators refused to let Langbehm into the Pond's hospital room. A social worker told them they were in an "anti-gay city and state." And the hospital refused to recognize her and the children as Pond's family, even after a power of attorney was faxed to the hospital within an hour of their arrival.   Pond, 39, was pronounced dead of a brain aneurysm about 18 hours after being admitted to Jackson's Ryder Trauma Center. Langbehn said she was allowed in to see her partner only for about five minutes, as a priest gave Pond the last rites.

It's hard to not want to find out who that "hospital social worker"  was and go make their life as miserable as possible.  The first rule in health care is  always  "do no harm".  Whoever that  sad pathetic hateful failure of a human being was,  they failed to obey that basic and critical  rule in every concieveable way.

Conservative nutjobs are always saying that same sex marriage is not needed to protect the rights of Gay and Lesbian couples since they can "have medical powers of attorney". Clearly this is not the case,  when even cities like Miami, backwards knuckle dragging hate filled idiots can still have their bigotry trump the legal rights of millions of American Families..

For the record, Jackson Memorial Hospital never apoligized to  Langbehm or her family for  the  barbaric treatment they suffered at their hands.  Yet is comforting to know  that  should the bigots there at  JMH or at another hospital, ever try to harm anyone else the way they did the family of Lisa Pond,  the hospital might  lose  its ability to bill back to Medicare, and could as a result, be forced to close.   (Very few hospitals in the United States who take  Medicare Paitents  could  continue to operate if  they were excluded from the program.)

President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered his health secretary to issue new rules aimed at granting hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners, and making it easier for gay men and lesbians to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners.

The White House announced the rule changes in a memorandum released on Thursday night. In it, the president said the new rules would affect any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid, the government programs to cover the elderly and the poor.

"Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindness and caring of a loved one at their sides," Obama said in the memorandum, adding that the rules could also help widows and widowers who rely on friends and members of religious orders who care for one another. But he says gay men and lesbians are "uniquely affected" because they are often barred from visiting partners with whom they have spent decades.

Several states have tried to put an end to discrimination against same-sex couples, and Obama said he intended to build on those efforts. He said the new rules will make clear that designated visitors should enjoy visiting privileges that are no more restrictive than those enjoyed by immediate family members.

The full memo can be read below...

Hospital visitation memo

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