Presidential Memorandum: Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies

This Presidential Memorandum was issued by President Barack Obama on April 15, 2010, directing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to implement a policy ensuring nondiscrimination in respecting the rights of hospital patients, particularly for patients and family members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.  President Obama also requested recommendations from Secretary Sebelius on actions that the federal government could take to better address the health care needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients and families.  An HHS coordinating committee, co-chaired by Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee and Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families David Hansell, is preparing the recommendations for Secretary Sebelius and President Obama.

UPDATE: On November 19, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final regulations requiring nondiscrimination in hospital visitation policies.

Link to Original Source

The Department of Health and Human Services proposed regulation implementing the Presidential Memorandum was issued on June 28, 2010.  Comments were due on August 27.  

Link to Original Source

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