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Universal Health Services: End discrimination against gay couples in your hospitals
  • Petitioned James M. Caponi, Esq.

This petition was delivered to:

Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer, Universal Health Services, Inc.
James M. Caponi, Esq.
Director of Media Relations, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Brian Cook
Universal Health Services, Inc.

Universal Health Services: End discrimination against gay couples in your hospitals

    1. Terri-Ann Simonelli
    2. Petition by

      Terri-Ann Simonelli

      Henderson, NV

One of the worst days of my life was the day my partner of six years, Brittney, checked into the Spring Valley Hospital with complications in her pregnancy. As her legal domestic partner in the state of Nevada, I was there to support her, and was prepared to make any necessary medical decisions if she suffered unforeseen problems.

But despite being in a legal, state-recognized domestic partnership, we were told that without a power of attorney, I wouldn't be able to make any medical decisions for my family. According to a hospital employee, that was their policy.

In a moment when we were already under severe stress, this discriminatory policy left us feeling helpless.

After the surgery, I found out that Brittney had lost a lot of blood. I still shiver when I think what might have happened if things had taken a turn for the worst and I wasn't able to be part of any of the important medical-related decisions.

The Spring Valley Hospital is one of hundreds of hospitals owned and operated by Universal Health Services -- a Fortune 500 hospital management company. It's time for Universal Health Services to ensure that each and every hospital it owns and operates complies to the new laws recognizing visitation and decision making rights of gay couples.

Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updated their rules for hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The new rules give patients the authority to designate a representative, including a same-sex partner, to make informed care decisions for loved ones who have become incapacitated, without the requirement of providing  a Power of Attorney.

What happened to us proves that there is still a great deal of confusion on the legal rights of same-sex couples in hospitals across the country. It's time for Universal Health Services to ensure that each and every one of its hospitals complies with the new laws recognizing visitation and decision making rights of gay couples.

Because no family should have to go through what we did -- ever again.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 150,000 signatures
    2. No need for Power of Attorney for Domestic Partners at Hospital, per HHS.

      Terri-Ann Simonelli
      Petition Organizer

      We were denied appointing "medical decision making powers" regardless of the fact we were state registered domestic partners. We were told it was "hospital policy" that we provide them with a "POA" before having those rights which is against state laws/federal regulations according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) as of 2011 new rules/regulations in hospitals. NO POWER OF ATTORNEY IS NEEDED OR REQUIRED. We need to make sure Universal Health Services ensures that each and every one of its hospitals fully understands and fully complies with the new laws recognizing visitation and decision making rights (which go hand in hand) of same sex/opposite couples not only here in Nevada but in every state that is currently under the State Registered Domestic Partnership law. The above is the exact reason why we came forward with our story. There there is definitely confusion with everyone on the current laws and regulations.
      http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/09/20110907a.html

    3. 130,000 Signatures Reached! A big thank you!

      Terri-Ann Simonelli
      Petition Organizer

      My partner and myself would like to personally thank you all for your support. I've taken the time to read through some of the personal comments you all have left and I am truly touched by the amount of support you have all shown. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Lets continue the fight. Equality is for everyone! And thank you again for all your kind words.

    4. Reached 100,000 signatures
    5. Please keep sharing our petition. Change is happening!

      Terri-Ann Simonelli
      Petition Organizer

      Things need to change. People need to be educated on the laws and our rights as domestic partners/gay couples. Corporatons and businesses have an obligation to know the laws, teach them to their staff, uphold those laws, and be held accountable if the aren't followed. Thanks to the Review Journal Newspaper and our petition, we have reached some people that can fight on our behalf to make a difference for everyone. Our story has made a bit of a change already and I hope it continues to do so. I do think penalities should be added to the current laws so that businessess and corporation are held accountable for the times they don't comply to those very laws/regulations.

      I'm sure there are others that have been through what we have been through. Whether it was being denied visitation rights, medical decisions, and more but they just didn't come forward. We need to. If we don't then how will change take effect.

    6. Reached 40,000 signatures
    7. 1st Petition Goal of 7,000 suporters met. Please keep passing on the word.

      Terri-Ann Simonelli
      Petition Organizer

      We've just reached 7,000 supporters! Thank you for all your support. Please keep sharing this petition. We CAN make a difference! Our voices can be heard!

      These are just small steps in making a BIG difference in equality for all Domestic Partners-gay couples nationwide. Continue letting Universal Health Services know you support equal treatment to gay couples within our hospitals by ensuring that each and every one of its hospitals complies with the new laws recognizing visitation and decision making rights of gay couples.

    8. Reached 7,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • sarah duncan SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • 3 months ago

      Everyone is equal, no exceptions, no excuses.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Catharine Schreiber POUND RIDGE, NY
      • 3 months ago

      because one day that could be me going through this and that thought scares me

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Victoria Prochaska CRESCO, IA
      • 3 months ago

      Gays (and everyone else,) should be allowed to make decisions for loved ones/bvisit them in hospital

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joseph Crockett WAKEFIELD, MA
      • 4 months ago

      Each an every individual human is entitled to the best healthcare services available.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dani Anderson GRANTS PASS, OR
      • 4 months ago

      Gay people should have the same treatment as straight people!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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