Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hospitals to be rated on their treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgendered patients

By Diane Silver

This new project may just make the difference between life and death or the difference between anguish and comfort for me, my family and friends and for millions of other Americans.

Following the success of its corporate rating program, the Human Rights Campaign is joining forces with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association to create a new index that rates hospitals.

The first Healthcare Equality Index will be released this coming spring. HRC's Corporate Equality Index rates employers on how they treat LGBT workers.
"We have seen, through our Corporate Equality Index, that these indexes are successful in dramatically moving industries toward a greater understanding and support of policies, standards, and training that insure equal treatment," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"Given the patchwork of federal and state laws, it is our hope that this index will provide our community with the resources to make sound healthcare decisions for their loved ones. Too many times, a gay man has been unable to comfort his partner, a transgender person has been ridiculed instead of treated, or a lesbian mom has been barred from seeing her child at the hospital. We believe this project will create a 'patient's bill of rights' for GLBT Americans so we no longer have to live in fear of these scenarios."
HRC's Corporate Equality Index has been a great success in providing information to prospective employees and in nudging the corporate world to adopt more fair-minded policies. I look forward to seeing what happens with this new rating system. It is long overdue.

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