Restroom Access Act cards improving patients’ confidence

We've all seen signs that read, “Employee Restrooms Only.” While businesses have the right to turn people away, there's a law that could up the consequences of doing so.

“What this law will do is let them have access to employee-only restroom and a lot of facilities, so if they need to use a restroom they can get there and not have any accidents which sometimes can happen,” said Gastroenterologist Dr. Melissa Morgan of Lancaster Gastroenterology Inc.

It's called the Restroom Access Act or Ally's Law, named after a teenager who suffers from Crohn's disease. She had an accident in a store that would not allow her to use their restroom.

“I think it's very helpful to prevent those embarrassing moments,” said Dr. Morgan.

Anyone with Crohn's disease or a bowel condition can now carry a wallet-sized card that requires a store owner to let them use the restroom.

“It doesn't cost anything, it's just a card that we give out to those patients who need them,” said Dr. Morgan. “Keep it in your wallet and just show it at which ever business facility you are.”

Sixteen states passed Ally's Law, though Pennsylvania is not one of them.

“They probably should have thought of it before, but I think it's great it is coming to the fore front now,” said Dr. Morgan.

She has issued cards and says it has helped her patients become more confident.

“It is making a difference because these patients feel helpless because […] they don't have control over that aspect of their life. This gives them more freedom, and they don't have to be concerned they won't make it to the bathroom in time,” said Dr. Morgan.

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