For Immediate Release
February 8, 2021
Contact: Brittany Ellison
Family Policy Alliance of Georgia Backs Right to Visit Proposal
Hearing on HB 290 is set for Wednesday, February 10th
ATLANTA – Family Policy Alliance of Georgia announced its strong support for House Bill 290, the “Right to Visit Act.” This bill, authored by State Representative Ed Setzler, would require hospitals and nursing homes to allow patients to visit with family members for a minimum of two hours each day, even during public health emergencies.
“Access to loved ones while struggling and vulnerable is key to mental and physical well-being,” said Deputy Director Brittany Ellison. “No crisis should result in a person being denied the ability to visit family members in what could be their final hours of life, nor should anyone have to choose between vital healthcare and being with family.”
HB 290 has been assigned to the House Human Relations & Aging Committee and is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, February 10 at 2:00 PM. Testimony from both medical professionals and everyday Georgians relating real-life stories of people being separated from their families during times of profound need is expected to overwhelm the available meeting space.
“Requiring dying patients to say goodbye to sobbing family members through the 5-inch screen of an i-Phone is absolutely unacceptable,” said Rep. Setzler (R – Acworth). “In June 2020, the General Assembly provided unprecedented COVID-19 legal protections to all health care providers with the intent they would allow patients to visit their family members. Sadly, many providers accepted the legal protections, but continued to stonewall families from basic visitation, even if they could prove they were COVID-19 negative. We need to be crystal clear that the right to visit, subject to reasonable restrictions, is a basic human right that our non-profit hospitals and long-term care providers must find a way to accommodate.”
Family Policy Alliance of Georgia endorses HB 290 as it fights for a state where “families thrive” and “life is cherished.”