On Monday, Governor Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2449, a bill sponsored by State Representative Quang Nguyen that requires the accommodation of in-person spiritual care visitations for residents of long-term care facilities.
HB 2449 safeguards health and safety policies set by facilities, requiring visiting clergy to comply with all reasonable precautions.
Nguyen’s bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in both legislative chambers before heading to Governor Ducey.
“For many patients and their families, the spiritual care provided by visiting clergy is as important as health care,” said Nguyen. “Unfortunately, these visits are not always accommodated in long-term care facilities. Restrictive visitation policies put in place by facilities during the coronavirus pandemic resulted in separating patients from their families, clergy, and others for long periods. The new law protects the religious liberty of long-term care residents in Arizona, ensuring they are able to get the spiritual comfort and support they seek as they near the end of life.”
A similar law requiring hospitals to facilitate clergy visits for end-of-life patients, also sponsored by Representative Nguyen, was passed and signed in 2021.