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Hospital visitation is of great concern to the LGBTQ community. Being denied access to a same-sex partner or spouse is one of the community’s greatest fears. This entry provides an overview of the legal issues and general impediments facing LGBTQ individuals and couples when trying to visit each other in a health care setting.

Traditional hospital policies have historically limited visitation to immediate family members and were not inclusive of LGBTQ patients and their families. In 2007, Lisa Marie Pond; her life partner, Janice K. Langbehn; and their four children were scheduled to take a cruise out of Miami, Florida. As they were boarding the ship, Lisa collapsed and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center. The admitting clerk refused to provide Janice with ...

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