A Critical Issue: Hospital Visitation Rights

Jeff Krehely argues in the Baltimore Sun that hospital visitation rights are an important step on the path to full marriage rights for all Americans.

“He collapsed.”

“Get to the emergency room immediately.”

“He’s receiving IV and oxygen.”

These three fragments keep playing on a loop in my head. They were part of a longer phone conversation I had with a medical attendant earlier this month at a marathon in Frederick. I’m sure the attendant said other things to me, but those three sentences are what have stuck.

My husband, Trevor, was running in the marathon. It was his first, and he had trained hard since the previous November for this day. Unfortunately, he trained in this year’s cold and snowy winter, so his body was simply not ready for the 90 degree temperatures, strong sun and high humidity that hung over the 26.2 mile course.

The medical attendant had very little information for me, so I assumed the worst. But as I raced to the ER, I was not just worried about Trevor’s well-being — although that was my paramount concern. In the back of my head, I was distracted by another worry: how the hospital staff would treat us, since we’re a same-sex married couple.

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Jeff Krehely

Former Former Senior Vice President, Domestic Policy