If a parent won't give you consent to speak with their physician, can you get around the Privacy Act to speak to them?

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Has your parent given you POA? If not, I don't see any reason you can't share your concerns with them. It's just they will not be able to discuss it with you.
I always have a typed list and time of medications and have been known to add my "input" in a BRIGHT color at the top of the Medication list. I understand that the doctor cannot discuss the conditions directly, but has "asked" about some topics I brought up in my little "input" section, as if it were her asking the questions... I just recently got an official "Medical Power of Attorney" form signed... but have used the "input" in many cases with good results and no hurt feelings... Good luck!
Yes and I've even faxed my questions in a few times before my mom saw her neurologist.
Carefully...and possibly broach the subject with the patient in question or go with them to the doctor note your concerns tell them you don't have POA etc, and see what comes of it. You can say things but they are not allowed to even admit the person is a patient so be careful. Do you know why your parent doesn't want you to know their health issues? If you are their main care giver it really is essential that you are in the loop with their providers.
My experience in this situation was that the doc was as frustrated as I was, but bec. of privacy legislation, couldn't talk to me....However, there is no law against the doc LISTENING to YOU, and your parent's physician may be really happy to have your input. We ended up typing (in bullet form) a list of all the issues that my parent was facing, and our hopes for their care, then faxing it to the doc's office. Be prepared for the doc to share this with the patient (but may not, it depends on the sensitivity of the issue). This did really help get things moving in the right direction for us.

So even tho the doc can't share the patient's private info with you, you can go to them with your concerns and if they say the law says they can't even listen to what you are saying, that's not true.

If the MD is not helpful, find the nurse practitioner working on the doc's team. Generally where the MD acts disinterested, the nurse will move in on the issue and figure out a plan of action in the best interests of the patient.
IF your parents rely on you as "Caregiver", you need to sit down, with a POA (Can be printed from any legal site on the web).

IF they refuse to appoint you POA, so you can legally speak with Doctors, etc....Then it's time to be straight forward with them, and stop doing any Caregiving, and suggest they look into private home healthcare or a retirement community.

And you can even have a Social Worker explain to them that a POA is not an invasion by the Caregiver. It's not fair to you, they want you to be Caregiver, you need to be appointed "Power of Attorney".

Or they need to seek different options, sounds harsh...but may wake them up !

Much luck on this, be loving but firm about this situation !
Top Answer
Absolutely ald565! I am POA for my mom however each time I take my mom to her doctor I type up my concerns and bullet points as to what is going on, put it with the receptionist to put with mom's file and then dr. and the nurse read it before we get in the waiting room, addresses the issues with her and I and then - boom - done. Then the doctor becomes the bad guy - not me. Although I still get grief from it all. : )
ABSOLUTELY! I do the same thing! I write a note, slip it to the Receptionist, and she can see it needs to go to the Doctor, the "Doctor then brings up the situation from a Medical angle, and it REALLY can help"!

Try doing that !
Send a list of questions to the doctor ahead of time. Ask him/her to answer the questions in front of your parent. If you do not want the parent to know that you send the list, be sure to tell the doctor that. Then ask the doctor to go over the list as part of the exam.
Also ask the doctor to tell your parent it is for their safety that they sign the consent form.
My mother's neurologist has an answer for anything when she is surprised by any of his questions which actually often are mine, but he can spin those concerns in such a way that it sounds like he spends hours thinking about her and her life. He is concerned about her, but is also has years of experience with people just like her. She adores the man, and he has the people skill of a well trained and seasoned therapist to the point that you almost forget he is the neurologist. Sometimes his nurse will check with me during check in to make sure those concerns that I faxed are current concerns still.

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