Navigation Links
Project 515 Proposes Legislation to Ensure Equality During Times of Illness and Death
Date:1/22/2009

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Project 515 is proposing legislation to ensure equal and fair treatment for all Minnesota families that are experiencing severe health issues and the death of a loved one.

Project 515's legislative proposal, discussed at a Capitol news conference today, will provide committed same-sex couples the same right as married couples to:

    -- Honor the final wishes of their partners
    -- Preserve their homes for their families
    -- Seek justice after a wrongful death

"Most Minnesotans from across the state expect our laws to treat people equally, yet 515 of our laws fall short," said Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL, Duluth), who will author a Final Wishes Bill in the Minnesota Senate. "Changes to current state law are necessary to ensure equal and fair treatment for all Minnesota families."

Representative Erin Murphy (DFL, St. Paul), who will author a Final Wishes Bill in the Minnesota House of Representatives, said, "This proposed legislation focuses on real issues that affect Minnesota families every day. Particularly at a time when all families are struggling, our laws should not unduly add stress, financial hardship or even homelessness to the problems families face."

The Final Wishes proposal will provide Minnesotans equal opportunities to honor the final wishes of their partners. Under current law, committed, same-sex partners do not have the automatic right that married couples have to control the remains of their partner after death. This means surviving partners may not be able to carry out their loved one's wishes for cremation or burial. Costly legal documents may fail to guarantee this right and are sometimes ignored. The legislative proposal will change the law's language to include same-sex partners, eliminating the need for costly and ineffective legal documents to ensure the right to honor a partner's final wishes.

Tim Reardon knows the pain and difficulty of discrimination first-hand. He and his long-time partner Eric had developed health care directives and other legal documents to protect their relationship and their daughter. Eric was later diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. It was only after Eric's death that gaps in the documents became painfully apparent. Though documents showed Tim as Eric's next of kin, the medical examiner and cremation society could not recognize Tim as such, due to an error on the forms.

"This was the most vulnerable time of my family's life. Yet my partner's wishes meant nothing," Reardon said. "I felt so betrayed and angry that our relationship would not be acknowledged."

Project 515 also highlighted two other legislative proposals today:

-- Preserving one's home -- During times of extreme illness, the state may step in to help a patient pay for needed medical care once the patient's own resources are exhausted. In return, the state may place a lien on the patient's home to recoup expenses. State law prohibits the enforcement of the lien until after the patient's surviving spouse also dies. However, a surviving same-sex partner does not have an equal right. Project 515's proposal will allow same-sex partners and their families to stay in their homes following the death of a loved one.

-- Seeking justice after a wrongful death -- If a spouse is wrongfully killed, such as in a car accident, the surviving spouse may sue the person responsible to recover medical or funeral expenses. Same-sex partners do not have the same right and instead must cover expenses on their own. Project 515 proposes changing the law's language to provide same-sex couples the same right to recover the costs of a wrongful death.

A statewide survey conducted by Decision Resources, a leading Minnesota polling firm, found that Minnesotans value fairness and equality. Eight out of 10 Minnesotans believe the government should not treat people differently because of their sexual orientation, the survey reported. Nearly 70 percent believe "gays and lesbians should have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else."

Yet, a Project 515 study of all Minnesota statutes shows at least 515 current Minnesota laws discriminate against same-sex couples and their families.

"As we've traveled across the state, we've heard Minnesotans from both sides of the political aisle say that fairness and equality under the law are critical," said Laura Smidzik, executive director of Project 515. "Minnesota families need to know that our laws will treat them fairly, especially during times of sadness and mourning. Pursuing revisions to some of the 515 laws that discriminate will help us build stronger families and households in our state."

About Project 515: Project 515 is a Minnesota non-profit organization working to ensure that same-sex couples and their families have equal rights and considerations under Minnesota law. There are at least 515 current state laws that discriminate against same-sex couples and their families. For more information, visit http://www.project515.org.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Project 515
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Cogdell Spencer Breaks Ground on Projects in Tennessee and North Carolina
2. Tampa is Latest Recipient of Project Lifesaver Grant Funds Through The National Autism Association
3. Baxter and Northwestern University partner to target new life sciences projects
4. Special Olympics Minnesota Launches Project UNIFY to Energize Youth
5. IMRIS announces first IMRISneuro project in Australia
6. StoryCorps, the National Oral History Project, Partners With San Francisco Institute on Aging
7. The Web Project visits The House of Good Health in Malawi
8. No pain after the operation: The QUIPS Project
9. Supply of board-certified emergency physicians unlikely to meet projected needs
10. Sandias microencapsulation project gives local entrepreneur warm glow
11. Birthing Project USA Unites to Reduce the African-American Infant Mortality Rate: Pilgrimage to Babyland
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) has named the nine winners ... year, are among the most prestigious in radiology marketing because a panel of radiology ... recognize achievements in both large budget (over $5,000) and small budget (under $5,000) campaigns. ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... MI (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... assistance, financial planning, and related services to families and business owners across eastern ... aimed at feeding regional families struggling with financial difficulties. , The Oxford/Orion FISH ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... announce that they are now offering treatments for sleep apnea and TMJ at ... offices. Sleep apnea , specifically the obstructive type, is increasingly being treated ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Inc. ( http://www.hygieacare.com ) announced their partnership to prep patients for colonoscopy at ... Endoscopy Centers in 87th Ave., Miami, FL. , The HyGIeaCare® ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “End Time GPS”: a dauntless and ... “End Time GPS” is the creation of published author, Wesley Gerboth, a World ... military munitions and space-vehicle projects. Now, at age ninety-one, he shares the Wisdom God ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... Pain Management in the U.S.: Consumer ... pain, emphasizing consumer survey analysis, including trends over time. The ... have selected illnesses/conditions strongly associated with physical pain and pain ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary  ... According to new ... market research, the legal cannabis market is projected to continue ... conflicting signals from the current presidential administration. The report created ... biggest drivers of growth in this industry are the passage ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 A ReportsnReports.com report says, ... growing rapidly as the global sales of Adcetris and Kadcyla have ... the antibody drug conjugates market is driven by large number of ... wider therapeutic window offered by ADCs. ... Browse 3 Tables and 94 Figures, 10 Major ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: