She signed all the parts of the directive that were concerning a living will but refused to appoint a health care proxy.She simply struck through this and would not appoint anyone. I had a discussion with her this morning concerning the need for the health care proxy. My brother should have this, since he lives close and is the only one she trusts. She seems to think because she was able to take care of Dad's medical business when he was sick, my brother and I will be able to do the same. I explained to her we are her children, not her spouse.

Can someone give me a "for instance" scenario where you would have had your hands tied if you had not had a health care proxy? I am getting no where with mom. I appealed to her to do this for my brother, who is very busy and has to work at least 6 more years.

She is very difficult and no, she does not have dementia. Thanks

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A couple years ago my cousin died of complications of diabetes. He was being kept alive in the hospital, past the point of any possible recovery. His adult children begged to have the machines turned off, knowing that is what their father would want. But since there was no health care directive, the hospital had to follow its own rules, and the dying process was prolonged for many days beyond what would have happened naturally and what my cousin would have wanted.

If your mother wants any control over her health care if/when she loses the capacity to speak for herself, she really needs to have something official, in writing. It is good that she at least has the rest of the directive filled out, but there are always details that crop up that aren't exactly covered in the directive. Then what?

If she can't make decisions, somebody has to. Would she rather it be someone who knows her and loves her, or the strangers who wrote the hospital's policy on such matters?

Thank you. This has been like pushing a rope up hill. I appreciate your comments and example.

Well, you could tell her that if she does not have a health care proxy and something happens to her and she can't speak for herself, etc. - the hospital will not give anyone information if this document is not in place - it is vital.

Based on many years of experience and taking care of 4 family members - it makes all the difference in the world to have this in order to expedite care - we had a cousin to take care of after a TBI and he had no POA or health care proxy. Fortunately, he made a remarkable recovery and was declared mentally competent to sign a POA. We had to arrange for his lawyer to come to the hospital with the document for him to sign so that we could expedite the process. He still had a long road ahead of him with rehab, etc. for which we had to make decisions. Without this document, we would have had to go to court and file for guardianship - would have been a mess.

It is so stressful dealing with the difficult and stubborn parent - been that route too. Good luck and hope she changes her mind for her sake and you and your brother.

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