To allow the presence of family members at the bedside of their acutely ill relatives represents a challenge for overcrowded emergency departments (EDs). Until last year, families were only exceptionally given permission to stay with their ill relatives in most of the Portuguese EDs. To humanize patients' care, the Portuguese Parliament adopted a law that from July 2010 provides the right for patients to be accompanied by a person of their choice.
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© 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc.