Same-sex partners being denied visiting rights

A hospital that denied a woman from visiting her dying partner at a hospital is now at the center of a federal lawsuit.

Tara Parker-Pope details the case, which is sparking outrage. I won’t rehash the discussion, which has been quite vigorous over at her blog. Indeed, the results of the pending lawsuit can have far-ranging effects, including “the way hospitals treat all patients with non-marital relationships, including older people who choose not to marry, unmarried heterosexual couples and single people who rely on the support of close friends rather than relatives.”

Christian Sinclair says situations like these are ideal for a palliative care team, who does a thorough job in “finding out who needs the information and help build trust and open channels of communication with family, patients and medical staff.”

But these legal issues have to be resolved first before palliative care teams can play a more active role.