No Visiting Rights for Hospital Trauma Patients

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.

Our Sponsors

September 30, 2009


"A closely watched legal case that focused on whether hospital patients have a right to visitors has ended in disappointment for patient advocates and gay rights groups. A federal judge has dismissed a Florida lawsuit in which a same-sex partner and her children weren’t allowed to visit a dying woman’s bedside, saying a hospital trauma center has no legal obligation to allow visitors.

"...Beth Littrell, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, a gay rights group that represented Ms. Langbehn, said that even though Ms. Pond was in a hospital trauma unit, there was no medical or legitimate reason to deny the family access to her bedside. 'The court’s decision paints a tragically stark picture of how vulnerable same-sex couples and their families are during times of crisis,' Ms. Littrell said.

"Ms. Langbehn said that while she appreciated the judge’s final words about how her family had been mistreated, she was distraught that the case was dismissed. Ms. Langbehn said that because she was denied access to Ms. Pond’s bedside, she would never know if she made the right decisions about her care."