How do I deal with or question my mother's doctor when she doesn't want me in the room? - AgingCare.com

How do I deal with or question my mother's doctor when she doesn't want me in the room?

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I'm having concerns over the care my mom is receiving. She has been on a number of pain medications for many many years. She takes them all before she is due for refills, & her doctor has no problem with prescribing more in between that she then pays full price out-of-pocket for. According to her they have never discussed long term pain management options. I just can't see this as being healthy or moral. Is there any way I could force her to allow me into an appointment or speak with him on my own, without having to declare her incompetent?

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The best thing, of course, is to ask her to sign HIPAA forms to allow you to go with her and help with her medical questions. If she won't, then you could try writing the doctor and voicing your concerns.
However, I see red flags with this doctor. Most doctors will not just fill pain prescriptions whenever the patient asks. The doctor may be just too "busy" to deal with her so goes with her requests, but I'd say, in that case, another doctor is in order.
This could be a problem for you, as she may be addicted to the medications and may not cooperate, knowing another doctor won't follow her requests.
Privacy laws are in place for good reason, but they can't have unintended consequences in cases like yours. Having her declared incompetent could, in the end, be your only recourse. I'd try other alternatives first, like asking a good friend of hers to recommend another doctor, or asking her to go to counseling with you.
I wish you luck with this - it's a sticky issue.
Carol
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