Hospital denies lesbian visit with partner

Hospital denies lesbian visit with partner

The chief executive officer of Rolling Hills Hospital in Franklin, TN, plans to apologize to a lesbian woman who was denied visitation rights with her partner.

Val Burke was not allowed to see her partner who is in the psychiatric hospital’s residential unit — a violation of new federal anti-discrimination guidelines.

Under recent federal regulations, patients at most hospitals across the country are allowed to choose who has visitation rights. These rules apply to all hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

“It was human error,” said Richard “Rick” Bangert, chief executive officer of Rolling Hills. “They made a mistake. When I learned of it, I immediately met with my staff on Monday. We immediately made the change in terms of making sure that our policy was very clear.”

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, called on hospitals to review their visitation policies to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

“Discrimination in a personal medical setting may be one of the worst forms of discrimination LGBT people face,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Federal regulations were put in place for precisely this reason, to stamp discrimination out of the healthcare process and allow all people to be by their loved ones during their most vulnerable moments.”

Read more at the Tennessean