Hospitalized LGBT people now have the right to designate their own visitors, according to a Lambda Legal statement. New regulations that went into effect on January 18 require hospitals participating in Medicaid and Medicare to have written policies regarding patient visitation rights and must inform patients of the patient’s right to visitors of their own choosing. Hospitals also cannot discriminate against visitors due to race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Lambda Legal represented an LGBT family who was discriminated against under the old policy (hospital staff kept Janice Langbehn and her children apart from her partner Lisa Pond, as she slipped into a coma and died). Their story is credited with persuading the Obama administration to make this change.

To read the Lambda Legal statement, click here.