Category: hospital visitation rights

Has President Obama Ever Heard of Legal Power of Attorney?

I normally don’t write about politics on this blog, and I’m not a very political person. I typically lean to the left, but not too far (smile). But this just hit too close to home and I had to blog about it. Recently, President Obama issued a statement saying that he wants hospital visitation rights granted to gays and lesbians. He told The Department of Health and Human Services that he wants them to establish a rule that says gays and lesbians cannot be denied visitation rights. Here’s the link.

And while this is all well and good, let’s get real here, Mr. President. As an openly gay man I already have legal power of attorney for several friends who don’t want their families involved. As most who read this blog know, I’ve been helping out a friend with HIV/AIDS get his disability insurance reinstated (post to come about this). I’ve even used my legal power of attorney during times of crisis in hospitals and there was no way they could deny me visitation rights…or any other rights…thanks to my legal power of attorney papers. Getting legal power of attorney isn’t expensive and it isn’t difficult. You get the papers, have them signed by witnesses, and then have them notarized. Any gay couple who doesn’t have these papers needs to know how important they are. And it’s not just about visitation rights either. Though visitation rights are important, it’s more about being in control and making important decisions when families step in and try to take over. This hospital visitation rule doesn’t look like it’s going to do anything more than allow gays and lesbians to enter the hospital and visit. They still won’t have the rights married couples have with their spouses as next of kin unless they have legal power of attorney.

So here’s the deal, President Obama. We need legalized gay marriage in this country, and we need the same equal rights everyone else has. And throwing us a bone about hospital visitation rights, when most of us already have legal power of attorney, just falls under the category of insult. We supported you during your election, with a campaign that was based on hope and promise and well executed political speeches. Even though you didn’t have half the experience other democratic candidates had, we gave you millions of dollars to get elected, and we’ve been supporting you ever since, from healthcare to the war in Iraq. Now it’s time for you to give us a little support, stop playing politics, and stop insulting us with matters we’ve already learned how to take care of on our own.