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I would like to talk to my mother's doctors about testing etc. but they always tell me they need to speak with her first. My mother has vascular dementia and my father is the main caregiver. He also gets tired and confused about test results. I would like to help out and do this for my parents. Must I do something legal to allow me to do this for my parents?

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Jeanne, you are right it was several years ago when I went to the docs office with my father. Glad there's some clarification. I guess I read Lucy's post wrong. I thought she wanted to help her dad have a say in her mom's treatment. Thanks for keeping me in check!
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Yogibear, the HIPPA law restricts doctors from giving out information WITHOUT THE PATIENT'S CONSENT. If your father wanted you in the room, obviously he was giving consent, and that doctor was out of line. But when the law was first passed there was a lot of confusion and many places were erring on the side of extra caution. If that happened years ago perhaps that was the case.

Health care power of attorney (or proxy) gives one authority to make medical decisions. I don't think that is what is called for here. HIPPA waiver papers are enough to allow the medical staff to talk to the designated person, without that person having the authority to make decisions. For example, a daughter could here that her mother is scheduled for radiation therapy but could not say, "No, I'm not allowing my mother to have radiation."
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I went to the doctors with my father years ago and I was not allowed to go in to see the doctor with him. Even though my father SAID he wanted me in with him. I was told it was in regards to the HIPPA Law. I guess each praticing doc office is different.
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You don't need health care power of attorney to talk to doctors -- your father probably has that. Only one person should have it (with a backup), but several people can talk to the doctors. You simply need your mother's permission for the doctor to talk to you. The clinic or office should have forms for that purpose.
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Yogibear: Thanks so much I'll check right now!
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Get a Health Care Power of Attorney. I was able to get one off of the attorney general website for my state. Then you will be able to get all medical info regarding your mom as long as she is able to sign the form.
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