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My sister established medical POA over our mother. Our mother is in an assisted living facility due to dementia. Our mother developed a serious condition that requires immediate surgery. My sister has decided that our mother is to not receive the needed surgery and will die a terrible death from sepsis as soon as antibiotics are withdrawn and she enters hospice treatment without consulting me. Our mother does have dementia but is in otherwise very good health for a 90 year old woman.

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Jasmin you asked what you and other siblings should about the death of your mother which you feel was caused by your sisters inaction.
Once sepsis developed there is a very slim chance of the patient pulling through and surgery on top of that greatly increases the likelyhood of death in the sufferer. without knowing the reason for Mom's need for surgery it is really difficult to begin to offer advice.
The cause of death on the certificate is really of no consequence unless you plan to have sis arrested for murder. As she was in the hospital Drs would not have allowed that to happen. As others have suggested grieve your mothers death and if you feel the need seek counseling.
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Jasmineswt135, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

It is very normal to second guess and to go through the "what ifs" when a parent or another love one dies.

I did that when my Dad had recently passed. Then I had to ask myself, how much time would he have gained if I had jumped on the "what ifs".... gained another day? another week? another month? 

And at what cost to their system, would they have been worse off after any extensive medical treatments? With dementia any type of surgery would hasten the dementia.

Jasmineswt135, I am curious why your Mom didn't have Hospice?

My Mom death certificate also says "dementia" as her cause of death, which in fact it was, even though it was a major head trauma fall that got this all started. Dementia can confuse the brain to a point where the rest of the body cannot function correctly.
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I'm sorry to hear that your Mom has passed. This is an incredibly difficult time for you, but I would urge you to deal with the matter at hand - grieving your mother's passing - and leave the rest to a later time when you'll be more able to deal with it. This is not the time to pursue this.

I should add, in reviewing your posts a 2nd time, that surgery on a septic patient is never a good idea.  You are opening the body and allowing more bacteria in, as well as giving the current infections more areas to colonize. Also, a septic body is usually a very weak body, in terms of immunity and ability to withstand anesthesia and surgery.  *If* surgery was suggested for your mother, it's quite likely that her doctor said no because of the sepsis - she likely would not have survived it, and why put her through all that if the outcome would likely be fatal? It would not be a responsible action on the part of the physician.  Usually, surgery is done on someone with a major infection when cutting out the infected tissue is the only option to stop it spreading - like an infection in a leg or arm. You never let us know what the "serious medical condition" was that your mother had developed that required surgery - only that she had sepsis and would die if she was taken off antibiotics.  

I'm not a doctor and certainly not familiar with your mother's medical situation, but this sounds more like a disagreement between non-communicating siblings - one with full medical info and one without - than a situation where everyone knew all that was going on with Mom.  This is extremely unfortunate, but there's nothing that can be done about it now.  Calling APS, requesting an autopsy, even retaining an attorney to attempt to file a lawsuit - what will those accomplish?  In your attempt to punish your sister for keeping you out of the loop, you will cost yourself needless time, money and grief - more so than you already have.  Anything that could have been done should have been done some time ago, before Mom passed.  I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but you have to face some facts here so that you can move on with your life.  

Right now, in this moment, you need to grieve the loss of your Mom, who had lived a very long life, but was struck down by something that hundreds of us on this site have experienced with a loved one - dementia, Alzheimers and sepsis.  My mother had dementia.  My dad died of an overwhelming septic infection that colonized in almost every major organ in his body, as well as on the plastic in the port being used for dialysis.  This is an incredibly hard time for you, and it will be very easy for your emotions to take over and for you to run with that, taking actions now, in the heat of your emotions, that you will later regret.  

Take time to grieve your mom. I hope you are able to find some peace in the coming days.
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So sorry for your loss.
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Jasmine, I offer my condolences.

End-of-life decisions are extremely difficult for all concerned. I am sorry you are distressed over the decisions in addition to the loss of your mother. I think some counseling may help you find some peace.
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Jasmine...

I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry that your mother passed away in these distressing circumstances, and I'm sorry for the feelings of anger and helplessness that you must have gone through. But your sister is not God Almighty. She could not prevent you from contacting APS at an earlier stage; nor could she prevent you from speaking to your mother's doctors or the ALF staff to express your concerns.

It is sadly too late for anything you do now to benefit your mother. But you can help yourself by talking through your feelings with an experienced bereavement counsellor.
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I'm sorry for your loss.

I'm curious what surgery your mom was offed that was supposedly able to "cure" her septic condition. I'm only familiar with sepsis being curable with antibiotics.

My mom had sepsis.

As a result of fluid build up in her lungs, (she's got congestive heart failure) and an invasive procedure to draw off fluid was performed. This worked for a few weeks. One of her lungs collapsed and when it was reinflated, a pocket of bacteria in the bottom of the lung bloomed and overwhelmed her system.

She was put on two different antibiotics intravenously and on a bipap machine. She pulled through, but due to the week in the hospital, contactures developed in her legs. She has compression fractures in her spine which will never fully heal. She is now wheelchair bound.

Yes she's alive. Is she living? Not really.
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I'm sorry for the loss of your mom.
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Well, my sister managed to complete what she intended. My mom passed away 4/4. She did not have a legal Medical POA as it turned out. Yet it was assumed as such. She blocked all access for me to talk to my mom's doctors or see medical records. I sat by watching my mom die a very painful death and could do nothing to stop it. And to make matters worse, her death certificate states Dementia/Alzheimer's as the cause, but this is not true. Still I'm being refused any access to her records. I requested an autopsy but the coroner will not do it since her death certificate was already signed by her doctor. I would have to pay for a private autopsy, which I cannot afford. To make this even more incomprehensible, my mother knew she was seriously ill and told me she didn't want to die! My sister refused to return her to the hospital for the surgery she needed. Based on my sister's changes in reasons why she did this and locking me out any info and decisions, I am very suspicious of her motives. I have contacted Adult Protective Services to try to access my mom's records. Thanks for your support.
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Not sure how your sister got DPOA if mom has dementia? Someone who is not capable of making decisions for themsleves cannot give DPOA to another. I am sure any judge would consider it invalid. Good luck!
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Talk to your sister and your moms doctors as a group to better understand the decision that has been made. I'm sorry for this time in your life.
Oops just saw that Susan answered basically the same. 
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Do you know the entire situation with your mother's health and this new serious condition that has developed? Sepsis is very serious business for anyone, let alone a 90 year old.

Strongly recommend that you have a sit-down with your sister and all other family members concerned and discuss this calmly and rationally, possibly with her doctor present if at all possible, so everyone receives the same information from the doctor themselves, not 2nd or 3rd hand. It may be that the doctor has recommended no further treatment due to your mother's condition, or that they feel she may not survive the surgery being recommended.

Please come back and let us know the outcome....best wishes to all of you in this difficult situation.
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