It is only a memo. It should be more.
The memo from President Obama requests that the Dept of Health and Human services establish a rule to prevent hospitals from denying visitation by gay and lesbian partners.
Let's not even think about sexual orientation, but just family. Family has a different meaning than it once did. Friends, although not genetically related, may be as close, or closer, than genetic family, both physically and emotionally.
What I like about the suggested change is that:
He pointed out that North Carolina recently amended its Patients' Bill of Rights to give each patient "the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient."