Who's in charge of someone first when someone is in a coma, the son or the sister?

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My boyfriends dad is currently in a coma and he wants to be in charge of any and all medical and legal matters pertaining to his dad. But his dads sister has stepped in and trying to control everything. By California law, who has the right to make the decisions for any health and or other decisions? His dad is not married and there are no other siblings, just his son. Does his dads sister have the right to over ride any of his sons decisions? please let me know any information as soon as possible. Thank you

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The sister has no rights at all, unless she is POA.
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Son should look through Dad's papers and try to find a POA. Hospital should have a proxy on file, or Dad's primary MD should have a proxy on file. If there is nothing signed by Dad, then the Son comes before the Sister.
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You really need advice from a California lawyer for this question.

No mention is made of any powers of attorney, medical or legal, that your BF's father has executed, so I'm assuming that there are none and that California statutory law would prevail, absent such a lack of designation by the patient.

Here are a couple of ways to get some quick legal advice on this issue:

1. Contact yours and your BF's senior center in your community to see if they have weekly free legal consultations. In Michigan, many communities offer this service for people to get some quick and general legal advice for free. Various attorneys in different practice areas participate.

2. Call either the California State Bar Association or the local county bar association in your county to get names of elder law attorneys. Sometimes you can get a telephone conversation (but it won't be cheap) without having to go in for a person-to-person consultation.

3. This is a more complicated route, but if you know how to do a basic legal search, you can check California summaries of laws. Google "Findlaw California Probate Code". I got a lot of hits for searching the statutes.

I found this for you, but be cautioned that this is just based on a quick legal search. And I'm not an attorney, just a paralegal, so my search isn't necessarily definitive. It's just an indication of a more circuituous and complex route, which is why a direct consultation with an attorney is the best and most reliable way to go.

California Code, Division 4.7, Health Care Decisions:

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PROB/1/d4.7

I did some quick searches and didn't find the answers I was seeking, but did find this section which addresses the hospital's role in an emergency situation.

http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/cacode/PROB/1/d4.7/2/3/s4717.

Note the emphasis on what the hospital "reasonably believes".

Again, contact a California elder law attorney ASAP. And good luck!
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I would speak with the hospital's social worker. I would think that they have come across this situation more then once.
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Adult child trumps person's sister.
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In Ohio, if a patient does not have a living will, in the event such patient is declared by a physician to be in a terminal condition or has been permanently unconscious for the preceding twelve (12) months, a “representative” of the patient may execute a written consent to withdraw life-sustaining treatment after a consultation with the attending physician. The “representatives” are selected based on the following priority of family members: (i) the patient’s guardians (if the patient is a minor); (ii) spouse; (iii) adult children; (iv) parents; (v) siblings, or (vi) the nearest blood relative available within a reasonable time. If one of these representatives is not able to be located within a reasonable time, then an attending physician may determine whether life sustaining treatment should be continued.

Contact a local lawyer to be sure of the laws in your state.
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