Representative Ed Setzler introduced House Bill 290, The Right to Visit Act, in response to the devastating effect loved ones experienced from being alone in the hospital or in a long-term care facility during the pandemic.
Now is the time for you to contact your State Representative and have him or her to vote in favor of this life sustaining legislation!
- Here is the contact info for House Members: https://www.legis.ga.gov/members/house
- Here is a website where you can find out who your legislators are: https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/See one of the committee hearings.
Many of you have heard stories or experienced the difficulties that occur after loved ones were banned from visiting their family members when the COVID-19 crisis was at its worst. This legislation defines opportunities where a “legal representative” and “essential caregiver” can have access to their family members when they are in hospitals and long-term care facilities.Note some of the following facts about the legislation:
- Protects the established right of patients or residents to designate one “legal representative” to serve as their official legal medical advocate/decision maker and have 1-hour of physical access each day to this legal representative in hospital and long-term care settings.
- Allows residents in long-term care facilities to designate “essential caregivers” from among their adult family or close friends to serve as a “support person” in a compassionate care role in all long-term care settings.
- Guarantees that two essential caregivers be granted not less than 2-hours of physical access each day, subject to Gubernatorial limitations during declared states of emergency.
- A patient’s right to physically access their legal representative only applies to hospital and long-term care stays of longer than 12-hours, which means some emergency room visits and out-patient procedures may not be guaranteed access.This legislation has passed out of the House Human Relations and Aging Committee on March 1. See one of the most recent articles on the bill.
The bill has been placed on the House Calendar for a vote on Crossover Day, which is March 8. Note this quote from Rep. Setzler: “Health care is both health and care, and to say otherwise is to ignore the best we can provide our loved ones.”
Thank you for your prayers and support to get this legislation over the finish line!