Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A smartphone App for Queer Families

This piece from the New York Times "The New Old Age" blog caught my eye.  It describes the My Health Care Wishes app developed by the American Bar Association.  It lets you upload your advance directives that can then be accessed through your smartphone.  I'm intrigued.  This solution sounds much better than our current pile-of-papers-buried-in-the-closet system or the carry-your-docs-on-a-flashdrive option recommended by lawyerly types.

Many of us queer families are now of the married/2nd parent adoption/birth certificate level of official recognition.  But history has shown that it just takes that one hater in hospital intake to block access to a sick or dying loved one.  Of course you can demand access to hospital council, lie, or plead your case, but being a hospital patient or loved one of a patient is such a vulnerable position and you may have little time to work through official channels.  And, the comments on the blog post are filled with cases where paperwork was explicitly ignored.  Despite all that, having easy access to the documents we so carefully collected, when we most need them seems like a very good thing.

If I actually get it together to try this, I will report back.


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