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Colorectal Cancer: Nearing End Of LIfe

If You Have A Partner Instead of A Spouse

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Whether your partner is of the opposite sex or of the same sex, hospitals and other health care facilities which accept Medicare and Medicaid (which is just about all hospitals) are no longer allowed to treat the person differently than a spouse. 

As a general matter, hospitals have a right to determine visitation. Patients do not have a right to be visited. However, if visiting is permitted, the patient is the person who now chooses who can visit. 

NOTE: If a person is having difficulty with the health care facility, appoint him or her as your Healthcare Proxy. He or she could add conditions when asked to make a medical decision. For instance, he or she could use the magic words "informed consent" and say something like: "I can't make an informed consent on behalf of the patient until I see (him)(her)." There can also be an insistence before the decision is made to have visitation rights with the patient on an ongoing basis to be able to make other decisions as the need arises because of "an ongoing duty in the patient's interest." 

If the question becomes enforcing your wishes, read the document noted in "To Learn More."

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