Maryland hospital denies spouse visitation rightsAround the Nation Thursday, January 26th, 2012
TAKOMA PARK, Md. – Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md. has come under fire for its policies and practices related to hospital visitation. Nov. 13, 2011, Kathryn Wilderotter was admitted to the hospital following a car accident. When Linda Cole, her legal spouse and partner of 11 years, arrived, she was reportedly not recognized as a family member and denied the right to visit Kathryn. Such a denial would violate federal hospital visitation regulations and Maryland law.
In January of last year, federal regulations regarding patients’ hospital visitation rights went into effect. The regulations require all hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare programs – virtually every hospital in the country – to permit patients to designate visitors of their choosing and prohibit discrimination in visitation based on a number of factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign has criticized the hospital and called on it to review its practices.
“Discrimination during a medical emergency may be one of the worst forms of discrimination LGBT people face,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Recognizing this problem, federal regulations were put in place to end discrimination in healthcare settings and allow all people to be with their loved ones during their most critical moments.”
The couple has filed a complaint about the incident with The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Washington Adventist Hospital was a non-responder to HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey of health care policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients and their families.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=20148