Same sex visitation and Region 8 hospitals - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Same sex visitation and Region 8 hospitals

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It's been two weeks since President Barack Obama passed his same sex hospital visitation directive. Since then it has faced little opposition across the nation, but how will the President's new directive affect two major hospitals in Region 8? 

Same-sex partners being granted full visitation rights while in the hospital is just one of President Barack Obama's campaign trail promises coming to fruition.                                 

But how will the nation-wide directive affect local hospitals?

Susan Greenwood the St. Bernard's VP for quality, safety and risk management says the new directive will not be changing the way they do business. However, she believes the directive is needed.

"The latest issue we knew about when Obama released his statement happened in Florida," says Greenwood.

Greenwood is referring to what happened inside the walls of a Miami hospital where an ill woman was forced to die alone after officials refused to allow her partner or their children to visit with her.

Greenwood says it was a needless tragedy, but it's not one you'll find in her hospital.

"We can just tell you that will never happen here," says Greenwood.

The NEA Baptist Memorial CEO says it's a non-issue for his hospital too."Our visitation hours are the only thing that regulates who visits patients in our hospital or not," says Paul Betz

We wanted to know what you thought so we hit the streets of Region 8 and we were hard pressed to find anyone who disagreed with Obama's new directive.

"I think everybody should have who they want in the hospital with them. I think that is a good choice," says Vicki Hansen. 

The two week old directive is facing little criticism from the right or from hospital officials, but if hospital officials don't comply with the directive Obama says they risk losing Medicaid and Medicare money.     

Officials say it could take several months before the directive is officially enforced nation-wide.

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