Monday, March 31, 2008


Does your state have an advance health care directive registry? You may not know. I spoke about my book in Tucson, Arizona last week and told my audiences that the Arizona registry should be a model for other states. But almost no one in my audience knew that Arizona had such a registry! It's free; it's easy; and it provides anyone who registers a directive with a wallet card that you can carry with your driver's license. In an emergency, the hospital types the numbers on your wallet card into a database and retrieves your directive. Then all the medical personnel know your own wishes and whom you have selected to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. Same-sex couples rightly fear being shut out of medical decision-making if one of them has a medical emergency. But the solution to this problem isn't marriage; it's guaranteeing that EVERYONE, gay and straight, partnered and not, has the person they want making their health care decisions. We can and should solve this problem for all LGBT people, and we can do it now by getting more states to follow the example of Arizona. (Idaho is another good one; their wallet cards have bar codes.)

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