Focus on the Family Affirms Patients’ Right to Designate Decision Makers

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Focus on the Family Senior Vice President Tom Minnery released the following statement today in response to the Presidential Memorandum regarding hospital visitation.

"We support the principle laid out in Thursday’s Presidential Memorandum regarding hospital visitation: all people should be able to care for their loved ones, and patients should be able to designate who they would like to have visit them during hospital stays – even if that person is not immediate legal family.

"Because this issue can be addressed via patient-sensitive hospital policies, we question whether it requires a Presidential Memorandum to make this happen. After all, the federal government should encourage, not order, the creation of procedures meant to honor patient wishes.

"It seems the document's third point may shed some light on where this is headed. In this point, geared specifically toward homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals, the President directs Health and Human Services to find even 'more' ways to find rights for same-sex couples. He does so while leaving out other unmarried people who may have needs regarding visitation and medical decision-making that warrant investigation, indicating a political agenda to promote homosexuality. 

"We are troubled by this and previous examples of the Administration’s efforts to undermine marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), such as directing the Census Bureau to count same sex couples and requesting the Secretary of State and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to extend benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

"Although it seems the White House released the this Presidential Memorandum to, at least in part, promote a political agenda, the fact remains the document demonstrates that marriage does not have to be redefined in order for people to see their loved ones in the hospital."

For more information about the event, or to schedule an interview to learn more about some of the latest happenings at Focus on the Family, contact Sara Woodard @ 719-268-4890 or e-mail