For example, say Alice and Barbara legally married in some country where same-sex marriage is allowed. They then go to a country where same-sex marriage is not allowed. While there, Alice is run down by a car, rendered unconscious, and hospitalized. Barbara, being the next of kin, would "usually" get to decide what medical procedures Alice should undergo. But they are in a country where same-sex marriage is not recognized. Does Barbara still get to decide what medical procedures Alice undergoes?

I imagine this must have happened before, but I'm unable to find results for this with a Google search (e.g. there doesn't appear to be anything relevant in this link), hence I'm asking this question.

If this varies between jurisdictions, I'm interested in all of them. If there is enough variation that the question becomes too broad, assume the UAE.

  • What's the difference if Alice and Barbara were just in the Philippines for the whole of their lives?
    – BCLC
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 8:00
  • @BCLC the Philippines does not recognize same-sex marriage. If Alice & Barbara are always in the Philippines, then they could not have legally married, and Barbara is not Alice's next-of-kin.
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 8:02
  • There have been many cases where marriages are not performed in country A, but marriages that were performed elsewhere are accepted. "Performing" and "accepting" same sex marriage are different things.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


The authorities ignore Barbara


Before the recognition of same sex relationships in , but after decriminalisation of homosexuality, people who were in that position were simply ignored. “You say you’re the next of kin? No, you aren’t. F#@k off.”

Before decriminalisation, you kept your mouth shut because you didn’t want to a) go to jail, or b) get bashed by the cops. The latter remained a risk for many years after decriminalisation. Note that this is still the situation in many countries today.

  • Just curious: before decriminalization, if Barbara is the one who calls 999 , how does she answer the question "who are you?"
    – Allure
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 11:29
  • She can say "I am a good friend". "I am her neighbour". She can even lie "I am her sister". 999 is there to help people in need, they are not the police. Even if they were, 999 is not allowed to refuse help to criminals.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 12:18
  • In the U.S., I'm the Roommate was a common one. It was used in an episode of "All In The Family" Episode "Cousin Liz" which dealt with the death of Edith's titular cousin and her still living life partner, who wasn't legally entitled to inherit a family heirloom from Liz that had attached sentimental value to her because of their relationship.
    – hszmv
    Commented Nov 30, 2022 at 14:26

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