Thank You, Mr. President

Given that last year I wrote about the inhuman treatment meted out to Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond by a Miami hospital, it is most definitely appropriate that I also note that President Obama has taken steps to try to ensure that this sort of thing never happens again.

Of course he can’t eliminate prejudice overnight, but this should at least make hospitals think twice before discriminating against LGBT patients, and also provide for legal redress if they do.

I note also that the WaPo article includes the following clause:

respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them

This is key for trans people, because it means that they should be able to object to “concerned” family members ordering hospital staff to cut off their medication or even reverse their transitions. Sadly trans people are often at much more risk from close family than anyone else, and allowing them to choose who has the right to make health care decisions for them is absolutely crucial to their well-being.

6 thoughts on “Thank You, Mr. President

  1. It seems like Obama’s order doesn’t do a whole lot. From what I’ve read, it very explicitly doesn’t mandate new rights. So when the patient’s total incapacitated/can’t communicate, I’m skeptical it’ll help. If the patient can communicate–well, hospital staff usually do what the patient says, first, anyway.

    (Perhaps that’s not the case for someone in transition, but in most cases the patient trumps relatives.)

    So maybe I’m just pessimistic, but his order seems kinda toothless from where I sit. Hopefully I’m wrong!

    1. hospital staff usually do what the patient says, first, anyway

      The impression I have is that is clearly not the case. It certainly wasn’t in the Miami incident.

      More generally the order doesn’t mandate rights because it isn’t a law, it is just a presidential instruction. Congress is busy with ENDA right now.

      And quite frankly I’m beginning to wonder what the fuck poor Obama has to do in order to please the LGBT community in the US. One of the few benefits of not being allowed back into the US is that I have to spend less time with left-wing people from that country, many of whom I am coming to despise.

      1. Not just the LGBT community .. ‘ And quite frankly I’m beginning to wonder what the fuck poor Obama has to do in order to please the LGBT community in the US.’

        It may well be that I have a poor grasp of what the Liberal/Progressive /Left Wing political opinion in the US of A Expect/Demand from Obama but it seems to me that it is of the order of Magic Pixie Dust that WILL give all that we desire ..and that nothing short of that will do.

        What DO WE Want ? MAGIC! When Do WE want IT? NOW!!! Or we WILL be Ever So Disappointed in YOU!

        He’s already achieved Bloody Remarkable Things and I suppose that the pressure must be maintained to drive Obama and his minions to do much more but really this chorus of disappointed childish wingeing is .. saddening? Certainly it makes me fell rather sad.

        What does the poor sod have to do ? Walk on Water and then Die For Our Sins?

      2. It’s not a question of him ‘fucking pleasing’ us. I’m simply pointing out that his ‘order’ seems to have no teeth. It seems mostly symbolic. That’s a Fine Thing, but I’m skeptical it’ll actually make a difference. That’s all I’m saying; I’m not attacking Obama, and unlike some on the right and left, I understand that he’s President–not dictator–and thus, can’t do a whole lot without Congress.

        Mind you, I’m not overwhelmed by what he’s done for GLBT folk so far, but in general I think he’s doing a good job as president. As is the case with most politicians, rhetoric outstrips action. (shrug) But again–he can’t do a lot without Congress, and they’re kinda stuck in a loop of unaggressive dems and road-blocking repubs. Ugh.

        Anyway, if his order actually helps in a situation like the one you linked to, great; me, I’m skeptical…but I had over looked a detail–it sounds like she wasn’t totally out of commission? I’m a bit unclear on her state or whether she had said “let xyz in” or was so out of it/dying that her wishes weren’t actually known. (I’d thought they weren’t.)

        BTW here’s a somewhat different, but similar, situation from California. ;-(

  2. P.S. I mean “in most cases the patient’s direct order trumps a relative’s request.” Sorry, hope that’s clearer.

  3. Personally, I rejoice daily in what is happening in the US. Tears of joy spring to my eyes on a daily basis as I read the WashPost and the Times. And I’m not kidding.

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