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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Friends mother is in hospital. Healthcare proxy is activated.

Customer Question

Friends mother is in hospital. Healthcare proxy is activated. Hospital discharge planner has told Healthcare proxy she does not have right to refuse placement of patient in a nursing home that family does not approve of. Family wants patient placed close to home so daughter can tend to her needs. Hospital wants to send patient where ever there is a bed. This is in Massachusetts. What rights does patient and healthcare proxy have ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you this afternoon.

To answer your question directly, under the hospital does not have to find a close location for the patient, they can leave that research to the patient and Healthcare proxy. While they can take the proxy's statements under advisement, the hospital is still free to make the best choice they see for the medical needs of the patient so long as the conditions of the proxy are not violated. In essence the patient or the proxy cannot compel the hospital to send them to a specific location, the hospital is permitted to send them where there is space, but nothing stops the proxy herself from contacting local homes, obtaining information on the space, and then informing the hospital on where to send the patient once a space is obtained.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so basically the hospital has the right to send her to any nursing home in the state of Massachusetts? with out regard to how it will affect her personally, psycho socially, economically? As I understood it the hospital has to give patient choices and let them atleast determine if its an acceptable facility? no?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your follow-up, Barbara.

The hospital has the right to pick a reasonable location, but the hospital owes the patient no duty pertaining to their personal, psychological, social, or economic needs--they do have to work with the patient but they aren't caretakers of those obligations, those are the obligations of the guardian and the healthcare proxy who can choose to refuse to be transferred to an unreasonable location. The hospital cannot transfer someone without their consent unless it is for emergency purposes or when the patient cannot consent. The hospital can provide options but if the options are unacceptable to the patient, the patient herself or the proxy would need to research and find more acceptable solutions.

Good luck.

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