Can a Health Care Proxy/Power of Attorney prevent me from visiting my dying Mother in Law? - AgingCare.com

Can a Health Care Proxy/Power of Attorney prevent me from visiting my dying Mother in Law?

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My mother in law is dying. Her only child, my husband, does not have the Health Care Proxy nor Power of Attorney. (She set it up when he was 15, and she never changed it.)

Her HCP/POA does not like me. She is prohibiting me from visiting her in Hospice and from attending the (eventual) funeral. (She has had her feeding tube removed and is on "comfort measures only.")

I just want to be able to say, "Good Bye." My husband has tried to reason with her and has gotten no where. Is there anything I can do? If I show up, can she prevent me from visiting? Legally ...

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POA and/or Health Care Surrogacy does NOT give the holder the power to prevent visitation. You and your husband need simply visit with the administrator of the facility. I am sure he/she will help arrange visitation for you.
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This is a clear Violation of the most basic of Human Rights. The right to Visit
I have heard story after story where a Power of Attorney makes a short phone call to the nursing home and say’s “I don’t want so&so (in most cases it’s a blood relative of the patient) to have any more visits or communication with the patient”
With no questions asked the nursing home will then follow the instructions. I’ve even heard of a case where the power of attorney instructed staff to remove the patents personal phone from their room with further instructions not to allow the patient to receive any phone calls through the house phone without first getting the OK from the power of Attorney.

The thing that pisses me off the most is when I read thing like the Power of Attorney don’t (Generally) have this kind of authority. Or some just come out and say, taking away a basic human right visitations can only be done through a court order, period.
Why then does every nursing home comply no questions asked?

Doesn't a power of attorney have to accountable to anyone. Or at least be required to give good cause in front of a judge before being allow to sever family relationships with no more than a quick phone call.
I'm going to start blogging about this.
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That's a really good question. I assumed that, as having POA, that I could prevent someone who has been getting my mother extremely aggitated, from seeing my mother until their conduct changes. But, I was thinking that it would only be my personal wishes that the hospital/nursing home/etc staff would be honoring. I don't know if it could be legally enforced or not, but I think that, if the nursing personal consider the relative/friend is causing too aggitation to the patient,endangering the patient, that the nursing staff could call security or the police and escort them out or prevent them from coming into the patient's room. I'm guessing that it can be legally enforced, but I'm not sure. Good question. In your case, Sarah789, I didn't see any mention that the POA thought you were aggitating, abusing, or causing the patient to be endangered. If it's a personal and selfish wish to prevent you from seeing your relative, I don't think the POA can stop you. If this were brought to the attention of the authorities, I think the POA would have to provide a solid reason for preventing you from seeing your relative.
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Unless she has a restraining order on you, I don't believe that she can prohibit you from seeing your mother in law or going to her funeral. Is she planning on keeping your husband out too? I would think the two of you could visit together and would go to the funeral together. What a mess, I hope things work out.
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This is a classical example of why there should be a clause for abusive POAs to prevent you from seeing your mother, father, mother in law or whomever, to see a person, without having specific reasons,( with examples, or actual witnesses to substantiate their claim) legally presented to a judge, saying why a relative needs to be stopped from seeing them. They should actually have documentation of what the dying person wants! The laws of POAs can sometime be incomplete, and leading to these abuses...There are so many people out there who abuse their POA, usually people who are mean, vindictive or just plain nasty, to prevent someone dying from seeing someone they probable WOULD like to see!! hope you can get this resolved.
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As DPOA for my mother, the nursing home has granted my request to bar my cousin from ever seeing or being in contact with my mom. Sound drastic? On the surface, your answer would be, "Yes." However, the cousin kidnapped my mother from a different nursing home, had my DPOA revoked, and then left my mother in an apartment without supervision or medical care. My mom ended up in a psych ward for 30 days, and because she had been taken across state line, I was literally powerless to resume caring for my mother after the cousin abandoned her. These circumstances were extreme, and I will do everything possible to prevent the kidnapping cousin from ever being in contact with my mother again. So, hopefully your circumstances are not so dramatic. Talking to the nursing home administrator sounds like a great first step. The less drama, the better, for you, your mother-in-law and her caregiver. Good luck. Persistence is everything.
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Without a restraining order from a judge there is no way for the POA to prevent you from seeing your MIL. That POA can be changed with just a notarized signature from the MIL, so it's too bad she didn't change it to your husband, back when she was able to do so. Your husband should have a talk with his mother and the POA if necessary, to make sure her wishes are being honored. A POA does not mean 'dictator;.
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A POA has only as much power as granted by the patient. You refer to the document as a healthcare proxy, so the individual can make medical decisions only. The POA person has removed a feeding tube and that is under their control. Social decisions are not under the purview of the POA for health care. Visitation will have no medical impact and can not be regulated by a POA for health care. This person can not regulate who attends a funeral - again, this is not a medical decision and not covered by a POA for health care. If you have a lawyer, get her/him to interpret the POA document for the NH staff and hand them the letter. They are being intimidated by the POA's power-trip, but they will back off when your lawyer weighs in on their legal responsibilities.
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On a personal note. I was in the same situation and ended up hiring a Family Attorney. First I gave him a copy of the document my Dad had prepared so he could read through it.
He then wrote a strongly worded letter to the hospital and the POA saying there was nothing within the scope of power giving the POA the power to control visitations and to uphold the request to bar your visitations was illegal.
He demanded an immediate cease and desist or further legal action will be taken notice.
That did the trick. They laid down like sack of potatoes.
It cost me about 600.00 but it was worth every penny.
Most people don’t the POA’s because they just don’t know the scope of their power. It’s not uncommon for them to over step the limits of their power and it’s really is a problem
Read this article about visitation rights, it's really an eye opener.
legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary/Visitation+Rights
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Also download this PDF File its got all the facts about this issue.
canhr/reports/VisitationRightsGuide.pdf
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