Does my grandmother's POA have the right to refuse Hospice if she is still able to vocalize her own wishes? - AgingCare.com

Does my grandmother's POA have the right to refuse Hospice if she is still able to vocalize her own wishes?

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Her doctor suggests that she be put in hospice, but her son (POA) is refusing. She is able to say the words, "I want to die." How is he able to make the final decision when she is capable of expressing what she wants. I'm so frustrated.

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It's possible that the POA doesn't understand hospice so perhaps the doctor could have at talk with him? Doctors can't force hospice care but most know when the time is right. Hospice give the person who is already starting on the death journey a way to die with dignity and without pain. Hospice is a type of care that is offered to people in their own home home, a nursing home care or in some cases hospice care home. I would think that your grandmother's wishes should be respected by all of the care people including the POA. We wish you well. Please update us on how you are doing.
Carol
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As for the legal side, giving someone a POA does not take away your own rights and powers. For that to occur, a judge must determine you are incapacitated, in a guardianship hearing. At that point, the guardian--and not the patient--would have the legal right to make such decisions.

However, the holder of the POA does not have the power to override the person who gave them the POA.

One other point: A POA that is not specifically a HEALTH CARE/MEDICAL POA does not cover such types of decisions. It is normally limited to financial-type transactions, not personal decisions such as you are now faced with.
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I think the doc is between a rock and a hard place. Does the son think his mom is competent? Does the doctor think she is competent? Lots of greys there. And doctors really want the POA on board. Just because gram can speak doesn't mean she has much say, unfortunately. Did she have a living will? Does her son have her healthcare power of attorney? Usually that document discusses the wishes of the person signing it. You might ask to see it.

Some people are cowards. Is there a peer who could discuss his feelings with him? Could YOU discuss his feelings with him? He may be making the decision alone and in a vacuum and really only wants to do the right thing. Perhaps you or someone else could help him sort it out.

Doctors don't suggest hospice lightly. It's probably PAST time for that option. I wish you well.
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Major hospitals should have an ethics committee available to offer guidance in this kind of situation. In my opinion the doctor is not acting ethically by refusing the verbal request of his patient unless she has been deemed mentally incompetent. Even then, the POA would benefit from some advice about the nature of hospice and the ethics of extending life at the cost of added pain and suffering.
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You don't tell us where she is living and who is caring for her. You don't have to be "put" in hospice. Hospice agencies are kind folks who come to your house. You don't have adhere to a statement "want to die" from a person with dementia just as you don't listen to them when they want to go to see their parents. Chill out granddaughter. Get someone not related to you to visit grandma with you. Try to see the whole picture and also try to see your uncle's point of view. Then I agree with the advice to seek information about palliative care and hospice.
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Dave, this granddaughter is clearly distraught and asks a poignant question regarding life or death, and you post with alleged information qualified by a disclaimer, especially one that has all the markings of being copied. "Products and services..." Give me a break, and have some compassion for the woman posting to seek assistance.

And stop advertising your so-called "knowledge network". You're just scavenging alleged information.
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I disagree. If she has expressed her wishes, I would think the person is morally responsible to follow her wishes. Of course she wants to die. When nature tells you it's time, the older person wants that. She wants to go on to the great beyond! If she were scared she would tell you that too. My mother wanted to die, but her body wasn't ready yet. She had to decline and go through hell because she did not have cancer, 25 years ago. Back then you had to have cancer to get hospice. How sad for her. She could have had pain management for those last 6 months that she lived and not have had to suffer like she did. Watching her go through those last six months was just pitiful and so difficult for her. Please follow the patient's wishes. Put her in hospice where they will be merciful.
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If grandma is not suffering from dementia and she can clearly state her wishes then they must be followed. Perhaps waiting a day and approching it with her again would be good. Talk to the doctor and ask to speak with her caseworker, every patient in hospital has a caseworker, they can be of great help. If you can give us a bit more info like where she lives, home or hosp, does she have dementia etc we may be able to give you some more advice. But remember these things will work out so take a deep breath and spend some time with gram while you can. Keep in touch. Ruth Anne
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In Alabama a POA does not cover medical decisions. Here we have to have a medical directive that names the person with that responsibility. However, because he is her child doctors would listen to him...at least in Alabama. When my Mom passed I made her decisions and was able to legally do so because I am her daughter even though I did not have the paperwork naming me as such. I want to bring this up too. Is it possible her son is not allowing hospice because that is a clear indicator Mom is dying and he hasn't faced the fact and doesn't want to let her go? He may not be being cruel, just upset and not wanting to face her imminent death. As was already stated, maybe the doc should have a talk with him, or get him some counseling or grief support or something.
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K. Gabriel is correct. When I was made POA for my friends, one form was for legal matters, a second and more complex form was the Health Care/Medical POA that Minnesota uses. That one went into end of life issues as well and their wishes about extraordinary life-saving steps to follow or not as conditions warranted.
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