In 2010, President Barack Obama directed all hospitals receiving federal funds to honor the medical decisions of family members for their loved ones in the hospital -- including same-sex couples. Like any other couple, same-sex partners desire to comfort their loved ones during sickness and health. This crucial change of policy came about because one of our nation’s most appalling acts of discrimination when a woman was denied access to her partner’s deathbed in Miami, FL.
However, that directive has not been enough. Just this week, Roger Goley was abruptly taken away from his partner’s room in a Missouri hospital, despite the fact that he has power of attorney for his partner. President Obama said his directive should "guarantee that all patients' advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected," and that designated persons should be able to "make informed decisions regarding patients' care."
This is not the first time that same-sex couples have been denied the dignity to be together with their partners during the most difficult moments of their lives. We ask for the Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, to undertake a full investigation of this incident, to hold the hospital accountable if found guilty, and to put more permanency behind President Obama's directive to ensure that this situation never happens again.