Can I make medical decisions for mom since she can't decide?

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She has choice between operation with ventilator for a day or three. Or hospice and can't decide. Tells nurse she can't make decision yet. But can't wait too long. I want hospice. She is in right mind but rigid.


Barbara

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It is one thing to decline surgery and go into hospice because you know that would have been your mother's choice if she were competent to make it, it is something else again to do it because you are burned out and just want the end to come sooner. Thankfully the choice was taken out of your hands. If it has really come to that then I suggest you go no contact, or at least severely limit contact.
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Mom finally decided. She is going to have the operation. The doctor thinks she is compatent so she can decide. I was hoping for hospice. It doesnt seem like she is ever going to die. Cancer, broke her hip, blood sugar so low she almost fainted but was at therapist office. Therapist took her to hospital. Other things. I have to learn to set better boundaries. No let myself get emotionally at all her problems,etc. Im already emotionally drained. Can't take much more.

Barbara
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You want to call the hodpital and rewuest a psychiatric workup because youre not sure that she's capable of understanding in a clearheaded what her choices are and what the ramifications of those choices ate. She doesn't seem to grap that the vent will be a temporary meadure, and like what your dad had at the end of his life
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That sounds possible. Maybe I can request a psychiatrist talk to her. Brother said he doesnt know what to do. I said I think its time for hospice. He didnt object. Have to wait till doctor sees her. Then social worker will call me. Hope its before 5 ockock. Thats when social worker goes home.

Barbara
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Barbara, im sorry youre in this situation. I just want to point out your mom's pattern of making it impossible for anyone to help her. She wants the operation that will save her life, but puts impossible conditions on that. She's not flexible enough to see that not all vents are the same. You dad had one when dying. She would have one to help her get better. Ask for a psychiatrist to visit her in the hospital to explain her options in a way that a person with her mental illness can understand.
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I dont know if the social worker can be a go between. Dont care what brother wants. He has made moms life miserable for many years. Of course with her permission. I do feel guilty about incouraging her to choose hospice. And I dint feel that she will agree. She wants the operation. She just doesn't want the breathing tube even for a few days. Dont know till after operation if she would need it that long. Father was in pain on breathing tube. Im sure doctor told mom that he would keep her from pain if possible.
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What you can do is make the decision WITH her rather than for her, but you have to be willing to put your personal opinions aside. Discuss the pros and cons of each, the possible outcomes of the surgery and what the future may hold without it. Given your history I'm not sure you really want to be in this position, is there someone else who could play this role? Or is their a SW or health care provider that could act as a third party in this discussion and help herreach a conclusion?
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If you do not have Medical POA, and she is still competent to refuse, you cannot make decision for her. What you want is trumped by what SHE wants. If she has advanced directive it could be presented as support for a medical decision. We do not always agree with another person's decisions, but medical profession has to respect them. You wouldn't want others making decisions counter to your desires while you were able to make them. You can refuse to use your own money. You can refuse to provide hands on care. What do siblings say?
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