With COVID-19 once again on the rise, along with stories like this one, we want to make sure you have the information you need to protect your rights.
Our friends at the Southeast ADA Center put together some language around the difference between "Designated Support Person" and "visitor" in hospital settings:
"In our April 20 letter, we requested language regarding a “Visitation” Policy, which should more appropriately be called a “Designated Support Person” Policy. That is the term used in the Connecticut Executive Order, which arose from the resolution of another OCR complaint. The point of our request is to differentiate between a visitor and a support person. A visitor is someone who is present to spend time with or provide emotional comfort to the patient. In contrast, a support person provides services necessary to ensure the individual has equal access to medical treatment, effective communication, and the ability to make informed decisions and provide consent. A visitor may be limited or prohibited under hospital policy; a support person is a reasonable accommodation whose access to the patient is necessary to their equal access to care."
We hope you never need this information, but it is much better to have access to it in a situation where you might need to advocate yourself. Please stay safe and know your rights!
In an Oregon hospital, a disabled woman fought for her life as her friends and advocates pleaded for proper care. Her case raises the question: Are disabled lives equally valued during a pandemic?