New hospital visitation rules

(NBC) – The White House has issued a new directive involving patients' rights that's being hailed by gay rights advocates.

Under the new rules, hospitals receiving federal subsidies will be required to grant all patients the right to designate who can visit and consult with them during difficult times, including gay and lesbian partners.

The president said he wanted to end the practice where gay and lesbian Americans are barred from the bedsides of their ailing partners.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.