Introduced Version




Citations Affected: IC 16-21-10.

Synopsis: Hospital visitation rights for domestic partners. Allows an individual with a domestic partnership to have hospital visitation rights.

Effective: July 1, 2009.


    January 8, 2009, read first time and referred to Committee on Health and Provider Services.


First Regular Session 116th General Assembly (2009)

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    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning health.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

     Chapter 10. Hospital Visitation Rights for Domestic Partners
    Sec. 1. As used in this chapter, "domestic partnership" means a relationship between two (2) individuals who:
        (1) are at least eighteen (18) years of age;
        (2) are not related to each other by blood or marriage within four (4) degrees of consanguinity under civil law;
        (3) are not married or in a civil union or domestic partnership with another individual; and
        (4) agree to be in a relationship of mutual interdependence in which each individual contributes to the maintenance and support of the other individual and the relationship.
    Sec. 2. An individual who asserts a domestic partnership under this chapter may be required to provide proof of the relationship. Proof may include the following:
        (1) An affidavit signed by each individual, stating that the individuals have an established domestic partnership.
        (2) Documents providing proof of any two (2) of the following:
            (A) Joint liability of the two (2) individuals for a mortgage, lease, or loan.
            (B) The designation of one (1) of the individuals as the primary beneficiary on the:
                (i) life insurance policy on the life;
                (ii) retirement plan; or
                (iii) will and testament;
             of the other individual.
             (C) A durable power of attorney for health care or financial management by one (1) of the individuals to the other individual.
             (D) Joint ownership or lease of a motor vehicle by the individuals.
            (E) A joint checking account, investment account, or credit account held by the two (2) individuals.
            (F) A joint renter or homeowner insurance policy held by the two (2) individuals.
            (G) Coverage of one (1) of the individuals on the other individual's health insurance policy.
            (H) Joint responsibility for child care, including guardianship on school documents.
            (I) A cohabitation or relationship contract.
    Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a hospital licensed under this article shall allow:
        (1) an individual who has a domestic partnership with a patient;
        (2) a child of an individual described in subdivision (1); or
        (3) the domestic partner of a patient's parent or child;
to visit the patient.
    (b) A hospital may deny visitation to an individual described in subsection (a) under any of the following circumstances:
        (1) No visitors are allowed at the time of the visitation request.
        (2) The hospital determines that the presence of the visitor would endanger the health or safety of the patient or a member of the hospital's staff.
        (3) The patient or the patient's legal guardian informs the hospital staff that the patient does not want to see the visitor.
    (c) This section does not prohibit a hospital from establishing reasonable restrictions on visitation, including restrictions on the

number of hours of visitation or the number of visitors allowed to see a patient at one (1) time.
    Sec. 4. (a) This section applies to a medical emergency in which one (1) adult in good faith tells an emergency medical provider or hospital staff that the individual and the injured or ill adult are in a domestic partnership.
    (b) An emergency medical provider may allow an adult described in subsection (a) to accompany an ill or injured adult being transported to a hospital in an emergency vehicle.
    (c) A hospital may allow an adult described in subsection (a) to visit the ill or injured adult who was admitted to the hospital on an emergency basis in the same manner as visitation is allowed for a member of the ill or injured adult's immediate family.
    Sec. 5. If an individual with a domestic partnership has appointed a health care representative under IC 16-36-1-7, the health care representative retains the authority to make health care decisions for the individual.