Visitation rights bill deserves students’ support

There is currently a patients’ visitation rights bill in the Health and Welfare Committee in the state legislature. House Bill 33 would allow any patient over the age of 18 to designate an individual who is not related by blood or marriage to essentially be considered an immediate family member with all the visitation rights and privileges.

This is an important bill that has the potential to affect a lot of UK students in a positive way. I am a single female working and attending school at UK, and my nearest immediate family members are seven hours away.

I would feel safer and more secure knowing that I had the ability to designate my boyfriend or my long-time roommate as a member of my “family” in case I were to ever fall seriously ill. These people are my support network and my home away from home; I would feel extreme distress were they not able to be at my side in an emergency situation.

As a legal adult, I feel it is my right to be able to designate whom I want to be able to visit me when I’m ill, and whom I want to handle my affairs in an emergency situation.

A lot of college students at UK are in a similar position — living and attending school a long way from home. It is important to be aware of our rights as Kentuckians, and it is also important to support this bill.

Caitlin Powell

Psychology graduate student