If someone has a POA for a patient’s heathcare shouldn’t they be notified before a hospital honors a DNR?

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If someone has a POA for a patient’s heathcare shouldn’t they be notified before a hospital honors a DNR?

My mom passed away. However, prior to her death I was given power of attorney for her health care. The hospital went to check on her and she was bluish. It said that she signed a DR a few days prior. I did not want this; I wanted to keep her alive. They had started to resuscitate her and someone came into the room with this DNR. But Ihad given them copies of the POA, so why wasn’t I notified? My mom had bad lungs from her many years of smoking and was on oxygen. She was onheavy pain meds and I’m not sure that she was coherent enough to make this decision.

Asked on August 22, 2010 under Malpractice Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You had a healthcare proxy for your Mother?  But she signed an DNR herself?  Her mental state when signing the DNR and her mental capacity does appear to be at issue in the way you have described what happened.  But these are very delicate matters and if she appeared to be lucid and had the capacity to sgn the DNR then it may have invalidated the health proxy.  The proxy would have been looked at as being revoked.   You should speak with the hospital administrator to discuss the matter in depth and to get some more information that may put your mind at rest.  If you Mother was of sound mind then it was her choice and it is obviously what she wanted, even though it is a very difficult thing to overcome as a child - at any age.  Good luck.


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