Bil Browning

Lesbian Partner Denied Hospital Visitation

Filed By Bil Browning | December 20, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay discrimination, lesbian partner, Rolling Hills Hospital, Tennessee, visitation rights

Looks like Rolling Hills Hospital staff in Franklin, Tennessee didn't get the memo from the Obama administration that Thumbnail image for hospital-patient.jpgthey can't deny partners of LGBT patients visitation rights.

Rolling Hills Hospital in Franklin denied multiple requests by Val Burke to visit her partner, who is currently a patient in the hospital's residential facility. Staff members excluded her from the room since she was not a legal spouse or family member.

"I went to visit her at the appropriate visiting time and was turned away," she says. "We have been living together for three years now, but that didn't matter to them either. The rest of her family is out of town, so she didn't have any one visit her."
...
Hospital administration were made aware of the incident and addressed this policy with staff on Monday, according to Chris Sanders, chair of [Tennessee Equality Project]'s Nashville committee.

"(This) is a very troubling report and it reminds us of the importance of this rule change that recently went into effect," he says. "When we are at our most vulnerable, we need to be able to choose who visits us in the hospital."

While the administration instructed the department of Health and Human Services to "ensure" that hospital who participate in Medicaid and Medicare conform to the new policy (Rolling Hills does), the question now becomes this: Does the new regulation have any teeth? Will this hospital have to make recompense?


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