Covid-19 ushered in a new era of stupid protocols such as plexiglass at the grocery store checkout and taped-off bathroom stalls. Some of the most egregious restrictions widely implemented, however, were in hospitals that barred visitors from being with their loved ones in their time of need.
During this time, women were forced to give birth alone and many patients passed away in isolated rooms. Chaplains, who can provide hope and comfort for suffering patients, were also banned from granting the spiritual care some patients required in-person and forced to pray and counsel the ill over the phone.
Now two years into the pandemic and while most of middle America has moved on from tyrannical Covid-19 restrictions, some hospitals are still barring family members from visiting severely ill patients for no justifiable reason. These healthcare facilities are keeping foot traffic to the bare minimum with little to no accommodation for family members and advocates to be physically present in the room with the ill, using the same excuses that health bureaucrats lorded over the public for two years.
MedStar Health, which oversees 10 hospitals in Maryland and Washington D.C., is one of the many hospitals that still prevents certain visitors from seeing certain patients. According to the healthcare network’s general guidance, no visitors should be permitted in surgical, emergency, or inpatient facilities. Certain accommodations are made for “end of life” situations, which are defined by MedStar as when “death is anticipated within hours to days,” but patients who quickly spiral without previous indication of death don’t have the same privileges.
Any visitation exceptions for Covid-19 patients who don’t meet the standards for “end of life,” however, must be run by and approved by high-ranking hospital officials. Even if approved, visitors are expected to mask up, stay six feet apart, and wear other PPE.
MedStar claims that the cruel and family-separating limitations, “based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, according to state and county public health data,” are designed to “continue prioritizing the safety of our patients, associates, physicians, and communities.” Plenty of healthcare facilities, however, reversed their no-visitor policies after recognizing the need for patients to be with loved ones. Instead of banning visitors completely, these hospitals have provided family members and friends of contagious patients Covid-19 screening and PPE that allowed them to be in the room with infected or sick loved ones, and loosened restrictions for visitation in surgical recovery wings.
Hospitals that keep visitor bans are not only stifling family members from comforting their suffering loved ones but also preventing them from advocating for priority treatment.
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration used similar practices to bar people such as Fox News’ Janice Dean from visiting their dying relatives. As a result, thousands of nursing home residents died from Covid-19 without anyone there to stop it. Cuomo and his team effectively cut off concerned family members and caregivers from patients which completely prevented them from advocating in favor of better, life-saving policies.
As healthcare systems increasingly look to race and Covid-19 jab status to award treatment, families deserve the opportunity to fight for their loved ones’ care in person.
Large healthcare conglomerates across the U.S., stocked with progressive administrators, have happily adopted risk calculation and scoring practices that consider patients’ race when determining who gets which treatments.
New York City announced earlier this year that its Department of Health is demanding healthcare facilities should consider that “longstanding systemic health and social inequities may contribute to an increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.” After conservative pushback, some health firms and states backed down but the threat of withheld treatment still exists.
In addition to using race as a discriminator to determine which patients will receive top care, especially when it comes to Covid, some hospitals are factoring vaccination status into their decision on whether to treat a struggling patient. Now hospitals that already lobby against affordable treatment options for Americans, which got worse under Obamacare, are choosing who gets what vital organs based on whether a person has a shot that doesn’t even stop him from getting the virus.
Just this week, a veteran in North Carolina was denied a kidney transplant because he refused to get the Covid-19 shot. Vital organ transplant centers across the U.S. have also turned away multiple people in need of new organs in the last year just because they wouldn’t get the jab.
Plenty of people were wronged by bureaucratic decisions made by power-hungry, unelected officials during the pandemic. Now, two years in, hospitals’ ongoing no-visitor policies are harming the public even more. By banning the in-person care and advocacy that family members, guardians, close friends, and others can provide, hospitals are leaving the ill people they claim to treat emotionally, spiritually, and physically vulnerable.