New COVID-19 law forces TN hospitals to allow family visits to dying patients – Community News
Covid-19

New COVID-19 law forces TN hospitals to allow family visits to dying patients

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WKRN) – Should dying covid patients receive face-to-face visits?

Under a new state law passed with a slew of other COVID-19 restrictions, COVID-19 end-of-life visits would be allowed in Tennessee hospitals, forcing them to change visitor guidelines.

The safety risk, however, is that the family member is directly exposed to a COVID-positive patient, and in the worst case scenario, the visitor could end up in a hospital bed themselves.

The new changes are coming to Tennessee thanks to a far-reaching omnibus law for COVID restrictions.

“We have real problems here in Tennessee, we are at the bottom when it comes to funding our public schools. We have a health crisis that needs attention. For example, we could expand Medicaid to combat medical bankruptcies and hospital closures, but instead of addressing those kinds of real-world issues, they’re coming together to play politics with COVID,” said Dr. Jason Martin and ICU physician.

dr. Martin, who has been on the front lines of the pandemic and often acts as a communication buffer with an iPad between families and dying COVID patients, says the separation is taking its toll on families.

“End of life care in an ICU with COVID is terrible, patients are often isolated from their families and it is a life-changing experience to observe that kind of death,” said Dr. Martin.

Despite some initial concerns, Governor Bill Lee signed into law the bill that would force hospitals to allow families to side with COVID patients in a tailspin.

Some Tennesseeers say they recognize the potential danger it could pose.

“I think if it was me — I wish someone from my family was with me — I would really, really really do,” said Emma Craig.

But many say that if it were safe to do so, patients should have their families by their side.

“I believe that if you are vaccinated, and you have your mask and those who are not vaccinated have your mask, they follow protocols because that’s still your loved one vaccinated or unvaccinated,” Gala Freeland said.

dr. Martin, who is running in the Democratic primary for governor, says the goal is for everyone to avoid possible hospitalizations from COVID-19 and for politicians not to get in the way of public health

“It’s political in nature, it’s not related to medical data — it’s not really public health, they’re just trying to score political points with their base,” he said.

dr. Martin says the goal should be to avoid the hospital altogether.

“This is a largely vaccine-preventable disease at the moment, not to say it’s not breakthrough cases, but when breakthrough cases do occur, they’re less severe and you’re much less likely to develop a life-threatening disease,” says Martin . said.

The pandemic is not over yet. Experts warn of another possible rise in the coming weeks.

As of Monday, Tennessee currently has more than 600 positive cases of COVID-19 in hospitals with more than 200 in the ICU.

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