House approves bill ensuring in-person clergy visitation in hospitals

House approves bill ensuring in-person clergy visitation in hospitals
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona House of Representatives has approved HB 2575, legislation sponsored by State Representative Quang Nguyen (R-1) requiring that hospital visitation policies facilitate the ability of clergy to visit patients for religious purposes, including during a pandemic.

In an end-of-life situation, hospitals would have to facilitate in-person clergy visitation regardless of the time of day.

“I’ve heard many troubling stories over the past year of people left to die alone in a hospital, unable to receive in-person spiritual care,” said Representative Nguyen. “Pandemic or not, it’s simply wrong to deny patients and their families the spiritual comfort and support they need during such a difficult time.  This legislation makes sure that won’t continue to happen.”

Under HB 2575, clergy members are required to comply with all reasonable health and safety precautions imposed by hospitals when interacting with patients.  The bill also contains an emergency clause, which means it would take effect immediately, if passed and signed into law.

The bill now moves to the State Senate for consideration.

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