Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
Demian, director   ||   206-935-1206   ||   demian@buddybuddy.com   ||   Seattle, WA

Table of Contents

Notable Events Legal Marriage Essays Legal Marriage Data Ceremonial Marriage Domestic Partnership
Legal Necessities Relationship Tips Immigration Couples Chronicles Parenting
Inspiration Orientation Basics Surveys Resource Lists Citation Information
Welcome (About) Your Host Copyright Policy Link Policies Search Site

Medical Emergency Cards
© 2003, Demian


No matter how long or how committed you and your partner are, you can be (and often are) treated as legal strangers. Should your partner or you be rendered unconscious in an emergency, you would be legally barred from making any medical decisions for each other. You could also be barred from the hospital or even being informed of the patient’s conditions.
Print this page, cut out this “Medical Alert” form for your wallet.

Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
Medical Alert for _____________________
In Emergency Call ____________________
Phone# _____________________________
Phone# _____________________________
Medical Conditions ____________________
____________________________________
Allergies _____________________________
_____________________ Blood Type _____
For six, pre-printed Medical Emergency Cards — which you can fill out —
send Partners a self-addressed, first-class-stamped envelope.

How you can prepare for emergencies.

We recommend that gay men and lesbians in committed relationships prepare for emergencies by carrying a card that identifies their partner. Medical emergency teams typically search trauma patients for information on emergency contacts, and same-sex couples need to make explicit their partner’s role in handling an emergency.

Attorneys widely recommend that partners also assign each other durable powers of attorney for health care. Using this type of legal document, you can grant your partner the right to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Without it, your partner would likely play no role in important medical decisions, and might even be prevented from visiting you in the hospital.

A medical emergency card doesn’t replace the power of attorney. Rather, it directs health care workers to alert your partner (or another individual), who can then invoke the authority to act on your behalf.

It is a sensible precaution to carry reduced-size photocopies of the durable power of attorney form in your wallet or car. Only a signed original has the power of law, so be sure the photocopies are signed and notarized. Protect them from damage, e.g. by keeping them in a sealed sandwich baggie.

All states recognize powers of attorney, though laws differ in details. In some states, you can also use the document to stipulate the type of care you will permit if you become incapacitated. You will need to use a state-specific legal form if you live in California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin.

In any event, we recommend that you consult a gay/lesbian-friendly family law attorney for specific information and counsel. We can only provide general information, which should not be regarded as legal advice. An attorney also can advise you on other legal precautions, such as wills and relationship agreements.



Return to: Partners: Table of Contents