[ Tuesday, October 05, 2004 ]


Politically correct idiocy: Speaking of fixing a problem that didn't exist, NY just passed a law requiring hospitals, nursing homes, and other providers to grant visitation rights to same-sex partners of patients who can't give consent. OK, how does a hospital determine whether the proposed visitor is a same-sex partner? NY law does not allow gay couples to marry. Does current law require hospitals and nursing homes to allow visitation by spouses of patients unable to consent, and if so, what if the proposed visitor is the husband who beat his wife into a coma? I have often visited friends, same sex and opposite, who were in the hospital, and I wasn't married to any of them. Nobody prevented me from visiting them, nor would they. I suppose a hospital "could" prevent a same-sex partner from visiting, but I also assume a hospital "could" (and I hope "would") prevent a spouse from visiting, especially if there was a good reason.

Is New York such a gay-unfriendly state that there was a problem here that needed fixing?

UPDATE: the law does state how you could go about proving you are a "domestic partner" (shared insurance or employment benefits, or joint bank accounts). And apparently it does apply to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. But still, the New York State Patients' Bill of Rights gives every adult patient the right to decide who should visit him or her, so it only applies if the patient is unable to exercise the right to decide. And the article has not a single example of a gay partner being refused visitation in such circumstances. This being the New York Times, if there were examples, they'd be in there (along with the gratuitous slur of the President, natch). And what about domestic partners who each have their own insurance and bank accounts but are just as much a "couple" as those who are financially tied together? I guess they could be denied visitation rights (as if that ever actually happened).

Jeff [9:58 AM]

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