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My mom is rehabbing in a nursing home. I believe my sister who is apparently acting a DPOA (my other sister and I have not been formally notified by my dad that this is the case and there is a severe lack of communication or willingness to share info about my mothers condiditon). I am aware that there are citations against the facility my mom is currently in, having to do with not keeping accurate records of patients' meds. I know that my mom has suddenly been given morphine due to "pain". My mom indicates to me that she only has minimal pain. I am fearful about the level of competence at this nh and my sister is abusing her power as DPOA to further divide the family. Can she override my moms expressed wishes to access her medical records at the nh?

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summitdancer, morphine is an appropriate medication in end stage COPD, it does help breathing. Add weight loss to this and kidney issues and it sounds like the body is going into shutdown mode. I am so sorry you are out of the loop, but mom's time is very short. Most facilities will only contact ONE family member, who is designated at the time of admission. I'm going to guess that was the DPOA.
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A POA can act when a person is either absent or incompetent - it can be revoked and overridden at any time by the person concerned providing there is competency - mental competency that is. IF your Mum has given consent and it is deemed that she had the capacity to so do then no they cannot stop you seeing the records.

Question I need answering. When Mum drew up her POA they asked if she wanted anyone else to be informed of her decision. She said yes and to let my son know - there are only 3 of involved at all in Mums welfare and only me doing the caring. Do you not have that facility in the states? it is so that if anyone does know of any just cause (I nearly added impediment there from the wedding services) that they can raise them before the POA is registered
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Sunnygirl is thinking the same as I am. If your sister is healthcare proxy, then yes, she can limit access to the health information. From what you describe, your mother has probably been deemed to be unable to handle her own affairs at the present time. If her weight is down so low, I wonder why you feel that seeing a kidney specialist would be beneficial. Do you think she could recover?

My mother has a lot of pain. I know because I am with her all the time and she tells me. She tells her doctor and others that she doesn't have much pain. Sometimes self-reporting by people is not very accurate.

If your sister is healthcare proxy (healthcare POA), then she may have limited access to information if she felt it was hindering what she felt was the best treatment for your mother. You can always visit your mother and discuss things with your sister.
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Who is the healthcare POA?
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Thanks for your response. I feel so alone on this, with not much recourse. I did speak with the doctor in charge (not my mom's regular doctor) after noticing that one night while i was visiting her that she was "wired" and acting extremely agitated. I inquired WHY would morphine be the first course of pain (minimal, as described to me by my mom) and he really had no real reason to offer--he said that if the family were in agreement that he would cut the dosage. My concern does not stop there--it seems that this was a PRN dosage protocol and I was told my mom would be given this when she requested it. Given her condition (COPD) I have been made aware that morphine is a highly contentious medication for such patients. She may also have kidney issues which will not be addressed by a specialists for several more weeks. She has also lost nearly twenty pounds and is down to 83 lbs. After my conversation with the doctor expressing these concerns, both I and my other concerned sister were "taken off the list" of those able to access my mom's medical info. I am very concerned and upset that this nh and doctor as well my sister dismiss my concern and my rights out of hand.
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No, she cannot. Unless your mom has been declared incompetent, her DPOA cannot override her decisions. Bring the Director of Nursing to your mom, and have her give permission for you to access her medical records at the nursing home. Your mom should tell her that her permission is not to be revoked by anyone but her.

If your mom is seen as incompetent by staff? You may have a problem. You SHOULDNT. But you may. In that case, have mom put it in writing. Notarized. Delivered to the Administrator and Director of Nursing by you.

If your mom is being given morphine, that is per doctor's orders. Talk to the doctor. Doctors giving out morphine for no reason? Very difficult to believe.
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