According to the White House, this order will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding – in other words, just about every hospital in the U.S.
“There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean -- a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them…uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans 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.”
It goes on to issue the instructions for “compassionate care and equal treatment” in hospitals.
Here at PFLAG, we all applaud the president’s principled stand and the power that he’s putting behind it to ensure that our gay and lesbian loved ones are granted the equal rights that they deserve. This is a tremendous step for the government and a landmark day for equality.
(By the way…if you’re interested in how you can learn more about making sure that your healthcare providers understand why this is so important, check out our new Straight for Equality in Healthcare resources and pass them on!)