Can my sister have my Mother declared incompetent to make her own medical decisions?

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Mother (age 85) has decided to have her 2nd hip replacement surgery in just under 1 year. The first hip was bone-on-bone, so having that done was very essential to her quality of life. She had a terrible time afterwards, didn't want to go to the rehab facility, moved facilities twice, refused PT, fought with all us kids (5 living sibs) and basically had a truly h*llish 8 months as she worked her way back from the surgery. It was hard on all of us who were trying to care for her....she FINALLY is now back to a kind of "new norm". She didn't need a walker pre-surgery, now she can't get around w/o one. Post surgery she fell many, many times, setting off her alert button and making life stressful for all of us. Even during all this, she was also seeing drs trying to get back surgery. Luckily, she was refused by every dr she saw, and she shopped around plenty.
Recently she saw the dr who did her knees and first hip. He approved her for surgery. We were all appalled, as A: he told us less than a year ago she wouldn't live long enough to need it done and B: the first one was so awful! 4/5 of the sibs are in agreement that this is a bad idea, given the last surgery, and though we are all on the same page as far as making sure she knows she HAS to stay in a rehab center until the doc lets her go and that she promises to be more compliant this time--my youngest sis is going to call the drs office on Monday and let them know she is going to fight them on this and try to stop it.
Mother is NOT incompetent, IMHO. She can take care of herself, manage her own bills and (sort of) take care of her apt. She's alert and aware of her surroundings, she gets out as much as possible. She lives in an apt attached to my brother's home, so there is always someone around to check on her.
I am not thrilled with the idea of her having another surgery, esp as her recent one was such a difficult and stressful process, and she will not be able to walk ever again w/o a walker, but she is relatively pain free and her dr is now allowing her pain pills for "palliative care"...so the pain isn't the issue. She just loves surgeries and all the hoopla that goes along with them. (She's had nearly 100 since she was about 30 years old).
My question is: can my sister have her declared incompetent to make her own medical decisions? I queried her as to why she's doing this (the sister) and she said she was afraid Mother would die from this surgery. Well, Mother does want to die and she has often said pre-surgery that she'd love it if she just didn't wake up. I don't think my sis has a chance in the world of stopping this surgery and she should just make peace with the fact mother is still in charge. None of the rest of us sibs are worried that Mother will die--we're actually shocked she made it through the past year. Sis is the youngest (50) and quite attached emotionally to Mother, also Mother slips her money as sis asks for it.( She is actually not even in Mother's will at this time, as she has taken well over $100,000 from Mother as "loans".) Speaking for the 4 sibs who think her surgery is a terrible idea, we still support her in it. Sis thinks if she stops this dr Mother will be OK. Not so--she will shop around until she finds a way to get what she wants. I want the sibs to all be one cohesive unit and not split into factions like we were about the last surgery--not the actual surgery but the post-surgical care.
Mother's basic health is atrocious, we're all shocked the dr okayed this. BUT, she's not unable to make decisions. Good ones? Probably not, but I feel that legally taking her autonomy away will just cause her to cut this sibling out of the family and cause more grief.
Any ideas?

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Thanks, Sandwich42--
I did ask my son (who is an attorney, but not in our state) about this and he basically said the same thing. Sis has no money to "waste" and actually, no support from the rest of the sibs on this. I am GLAD that it's that hard to have someone declared incompetent. I am not that many years away from this scenario myself! I know sis is just very upset that Mother is doing this against all of our "wills" so to speak. But, Mother is not incompetent, and no court nor dr would find her so. Wacky? Surgery crazy? Attention seeking? Yes to all 3, but not incompetent. Our hope is that she gets this done, behaves herself for the weeks following and is at least able to be as mobile as she is now, not worse off. She knows if she becomes wheelchair bound, she will have to go into assisted living. None of us has a home set up for that dynamic. Deb--yea, If she picks out her own rehab center maybe she will do better. She picked the "bad" one last year, based on a photo of one lovely private room that didn't even exist in the facility and was furious when she got there and was stuck with a semi-private room. This time she will tour a bunch of them and make a decision. Gives her and her BFF something to do, I guess.

Ironically, the sister who is kicking up the fuss is the youngest of the bunch and the least attentive to mother by far. My brother does the lion's share, I pick up the slack and the 3 other sibs show up every once in a while, when they think about it.
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well, maybe if she picks out one she likes better, she'll do better this year
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So, uh, no your sister can't have your mother declared legally incompetent without going through the medical & legal process. I also forgot to say the court will send out an attorney it picks to interview her for the court's information. Becoming someone's guardian *should* be very difficult to do because of the powers involved.
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First of all, you have to go to court with a TRUCKLOAD of medical documentation to have someone declared incompetent. It takes about $2-3 thousand to do, if it's uncontested. It also takes a period of weeks to complete. If there is a status of incapacitation, the court will appoint a guardian. Nobody incompetent (legally) walks away from this without a guardian/conservator. To become the guardian/conserv, you have to be background checked, credit checked, and designated by the court. You can't just "decide" to be in this role on your own.
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I have no idea what the criteria are for total hip replacement. I'm sure it's not as easy as just wanting it done. After talking to my older sister today, she said Mother is afraid that this one is going to get bad and she wants to "jump the gun" so to speak. I'M POSITIVE her dr would never do it just to keep her happy, he HAS to justify it to her ins co and to Medicare.
As a family, we have decided to simply support her in this and let the chips fall where they may. Last year was absolutely horrible with her 1st replacement. I expect no difference this year, except maybe all of us kids are on the same page and she won't play us off one another as she did last year.
Deb-don't take the blame, sounds like you had no choice. It's really hard caregiving to our parents, we often second and third guess what we could or should have done differently. As long as they are calling the shots, we have to be respectful, but we don't have to LIKE what they choose.
Last year, on the day of her first hip replacement, her dr told me and my sis that she would not live long enough to need the other hip replaced. I'm sure she hasn't walked 150 miles in the past year, she's so sedentary. No way that hip is as worn out as the first. But it must be bad enough that the dr will do it. SIs told me that Mother is spending some time this week with her friend scoping out rehab places. She hated the one she was placed in last year, so she's making sure she loves the next one. It's all quite depressing to me.
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was wondering why the doc was going along with it; somewhat understand but, still, if it's not in as bad a shape, just wondered how he was actually justifying it; mom's hip was bone-on-bone as well and it wasn't until she fractured it that she was allowed to be cleared medically to have the surgery but it was just the one, no way would they have had any reason, as far as I know, for her to have the other one done; on the other hand she was already scheduled for a cornea transplant when this happened so after our 6 weeks, we went ahead with it and that was a fiasco but we also somewhat found out what happened there but still think/wonder if the doc who did it shouldn't have realized it; she did never recover from that but, like your mom, she wanted to have it done, even with having been told that most likely would happen, although I guess I can take the blame for it, since I'd gotten her down here where it just conveniently worked out to be able to get her into a doctor who would do it; not sure how far she would have gone otherwise, but is your mother having trouble with her other hip?
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Jessie Belle--
Well, thanks for your input. Did you read my whole first post? Mother has had nearly 100 surgeries--so obviously talking to her about NOT having a procedure isn't the way to go with her.
She lives with one brother. He does benefit somewhat financially from having her live there as she pays some of his bills. As she should! He takes her to drs appts now she can no longer drive. He is the one who gets ALL the "crap" thrown at him--so for him to have her away for 6 weeks will mean a lovely summer for him and his family.
I live a mile away. I go over as often as I can. I clean, shop and do what she asks me to do. Other brother, and 2 other sisters call once in a while or drop a card in the mail. Easy peasy. SO for my youngest sis to be so frantic about this upcoming surgery is a mystery to me. She literally does nothing for mother. But, she's her favorite kid, now my oldest brother has passed--and she knows it. Talked to my brother who does have POA and he was upset with her, but after we talked for a little bit, he agreed that if he did anything to stop the surgery, Mother would be furious with him. And he is a huge "Mr. no-shot" meaning he NEVER stirs the pot. Mom will have this surgery, no matter what we think or do, only if her dr changed his mind. Dr is out of the country until 2 days before mother's surgical date. It's going to happen.
Yep, if she winds up in a wheelchair, then she moves into assisted living. If she doesn't wake up from the surgery, then she gets her "wish".
I do not mean to sound callous, but I am nearly 60 years old. I have dealt with mother and her emotional manipulations for my whole life. I'm not going to be held captive to fear that she might die-she's wanted to for 40 years.
Oh, her first surgery was a success, actually. She did wind up walking with a walker and will use one for the rest of her life, but the surgery itself did away with the pain. I think she pursued THIS surgery as her 6 month attempt to have another back surgery didn't pan out. This is def. a woman with a plan. I personally am going to support her, but be firm about her compliance with the drs and rehab facility.
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Yes, it is the other hip. Talked to my brother (who has POA) and he is frustrated and upset with mother over this decision--he too would like to talk her out of it, but after we spoke for a while, agreed that she'd find a way to get this done and we while we will take our concerns to her dr, in the end, she will have the surgery and hopefully we as siblings won't have the never-endingly stressful summer we did last year when she had her 1st hip done.
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this is the other hip, right? not a 2nd surgery on the same one?
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I'm a bit surprised that none of the other siblings are trying to talk her out of the surgery, since the last one went so bad and not much is expected from this one. I must be missing something somewhere. I agree that if she chooses to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair or die during surgery, it is her choice. And maybe something good will come out of it. But I have to admit that I would never jump on the surgery-support bandwagon without some better outlook. Will the surgery help her? If not, it is a waste of time and money and will cause emotional distress to at least one of the children. It may be her choice, but I would distance myself from supporting it if there didn't seem a point to it beyond she likes to have surgery.
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