With the Right to Care card, QC queer couples finally have medical decision-making rights

OCTOBER 27, 2022

With The Right to Care Card, QC queer couples finally have medical decision-making rights

It’s high time we provide all queer families the right to decide for their loved ones’ well-being

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and the city government have been walking the talk when it comes to LGBTQIA+ allyship. On the day of the Pride PH Love Laban sa QC Festival, Belmonte announced the city’s implementation of the country’s first Right to Care card. Here’s what it can provide for our community and, in case it isn’t obvious, why we need it on a national level.

The Right to Care card is a card made operational through a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) that empowers resident queer couples from Quezon City to make medical and health decisions for each other. It was conceived by and done in collaboration with creative communications agency MullenLowe Treyna.

With the Right to Care card, the cardholders have authority on whether to agree, refuse, or withdraw consent for any type of medical care for their partners, including treatment, procedures, tests, and prescriptions. The provisions of the SPA will indicate the privileges authorized by the cardholders such as providing care during hospitalization and choosing a particular physician or health care provider, among other things.

The community has been clamoring for such legislation because hospitals and medical facilities nationwide currently only recognize decisions from legal spouses or next of kin. This excludes same-sex couples, which make them vulnerable especially if they come from homophobic previous households. 

The Quezon City government will initially implement the Right to Care program at city government hospitals such as the Quezon City General Hospital, Novaliches District Hospital, and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital. However, it has plans to conduct orientations and seal partnerships with public or private Quezon City-based hospitals.

QCitizen queer couples can register at the Quezon City Gender and Development (GAD) Council Office where they will be asked to fill out forms, including the SPA contract, which they need to have notarized as well. Upon submission, the Quezon City Legal Department will validate the data provided. Once validated, the QC GAD Office will distribute physical cards with unique QR codes to access the digital copy of their validated SPA contract. Registered individuals will be required to attend seminars that detail all the rights and benefits that come with the card.

Provide all queer families medical decision-making rights. Other cities need to catch up. Who better to trust with your well-being than the people who love you for who you are? 

Art by Ella Lambio

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