Monday, October 22, 2012

Hospital Visitation for US LGBT People is a ‘Benefit’ Not a Right

Recently I read an article which frustrated me on so MANY levels. 

In January of 2011 a federal requirement went into effect which among other things allowed hospital visitation rights to same sex couples in the United States and the option to decide who can make medical decisions on their behalf in case of incapacitation. 

The enforcement of this requirement has finally given same sex couples the legal rights which opposite sex couples have taken for granted all along. 

"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."
- President Barack Obama

The article which frustrated me so completely reported that U.S. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's camp is now asserting that hospital visitation of a loved one is a "benefit" and not a right. A benefit which he would happily erase or allow individual states to withdraw if his bid for the White House is successful. 

Romney has once again displayed a lack of basic human empathy by asserting that if he were to win the office he would rescind the few basic human rights which gays and lesbians have managed to obtain in the last few years. Plus he has offered to legislate hate into the US Constitution by pledging to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “propose and promote” a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the U.S. if he were to become President.

Romney's own wife has had a horrific medical history. In the late 90's she was diagnosed with MS and more recently survived a battle with breast cancer. I wonder how Mitt "I didn't know you had families" Romney would feel if a nurse who is "only enforcing the rules" would forbid him to be in the room while his wife or child was lying prone and vulnerable in a hospital bed, needing the comfort of their chosen support system?

What kind of appaling society would require a hospital to withhold the care and devotion of a loved one? How could someone actually rationalise the invalidation of such a basic human need? To be allowed to die with dignity with the ones their loved ones should not even be questioned.

This for me is not a rebublican versus democrat thing... this is a basic human right thing, a human decency thing. On top of all this, I for one am sick and tired of my life being used as a political talking point.
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