Senate Passes “No Patient Left Alone Act”

Measure permits one hospital visitor so no patient left to die alone

Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Senate today passed the No Patient Left Alone Act, which allows hospitalized patients to designate one visitor who would be permitted access to their room in accordance with a hospital’s visitation rules and limitations.

The measure is in response to heartbreaking stories of loved ones being left to die alone in a hospital room as their spouses and family members are denied entry to the building. The bill stipulates, “One immediate family member or designated health care agent shall have the opportunity to visit an adult patient” in a hospital, and also applies to minors and persons with developmental disabilities.

Senator Warren Daniel, who sponsored the bill, said, “I’ve heard devastating stories of patients young and old who, in the final hours of their lives, have not been able to say goodbye to the people they love, or to feel the loving comfort of their lifelong partner. Every patient deserves the right to spend their last days in this world with a family member by their side. We have to prevent this tragedy from happening again in our North Carolina hospitals.”

The bill passed the Senate by a 40–4 margin.