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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My mother, a healthy 82 year old with an active life, recently

Customer Question

My mother, a healthy 82 year old with an active life, recently broke her hip and femur. She had her hip replaced and the femur successfully reduced and pinned. 3 days after the operation, she developed a cough -and was diagnosed with pneumonia( described as a hospital acquired infection). and was moved to the icu -She subsequently worsened and developed a fever of 104 for 4 days--despite receiving a broad spectrum antibiotic. She was placed on a ventilator 10 days ago. The doctors changed her antibiotic and it apparently targeted successfully the organism causing the pneumonia . Her temperature has been normal for a week and the doctors are hopeful. As she has been greatly weakened by the pneumonia and pre-existing COPD, the doctors determined that she is still dependent on the ventilator.They suggested a tracheotomy as a next step--in the hopes that with the ventilator assisted benefits--she might be able to be weaned from the ventilator in the weeks to come.

Some time ago, my younger sister was designated as the medical POA. She and my older sister, a nurse, have refused the trach on grounds that my mother "would not want to live this way". My brother and I believe that she might get better with the tracheotomy-- but both sisters refuse to grant permission. Do I have any recourse to override the advance medical directive and try to save my mother?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.



I am truly sorry to hear about your mother. I hope that she pulls through:

My mother, a healthy 82 year old with an active life, recently broke her hip and femur. She had her hip replaced and the femur successfully reduced and pinned. 3 days after the operation, she developed a cough -and was diagnosed with pneumonia( described as a hospital acquired infection). and was moved to the icu -She subsequently worsened and developed a fever of 104 for 4 days--despite receiving a broad spectrum antibiotic. She was placed on a ventilator 10 days ago. The doctors changed her antibiotic and it apparently targeted successfully the organism causing the pneumonia . Her temperature has been normal for a week and the doctors are hopeful. As she has been greatly weakened by the pneumonia and pre-existing COPD, the doctors determined that she is still dependent on the ventilator.They suggested a tracheotomy as a next step--in the hopes that with the ventilator assisted benefits--she might be able to be weaned from the ventilator in the weeks to come.

Some time ago, my younger sister was designated as the medical POA. She and my older sister, a nurse, have refused the trach on grounds that my mother "would not want to live this way". My brother and I believe that she might get better with the tracheotomy-- but both sisters refuse to grant permission. Do I have any recourse to override the advance medical directive and try to save my mother?


Response: Yes, you do. You should get a local Attorney that handles probate issues to file emergency Motion for you against your siblings to force them to consent to the treatment or for a Court Order that would authorize the doctors that do the procedure. You should get notes from her doctors supporting your claim. However, since you are not the medical POA , the doctors may not give you the notes regarding her medical treatment. You may request that the doctors come and testify or you can subpoena them if they refuse to testify voluntarily.

You may in the alternative ask the hospital to file the emergency paperwork with the Court. I am sure that they have done that in more than one occasion. Speak with the Patients/ Families Advocate in the hospital. Ask the nurses to direct you to Patient /Family Relations Department for assistance.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you for your timely and helpful answer, I am very concerned about getting the doctors' co-operation--as my sister, the nurse practitioner, has warned the hospital that my brother and I have no say in her care and we are not able to provide permission for any procedure. She may need other interventions besides the trach== I am concerned that my brother and I would need broader powers (other than just this procedure). Because my mother is on a ventilator tube, she is kept heavily sedated at all times and is unable to speak. Can we petition the court to make my brother and me the new medical POAs?

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

thank you for your timely and helpful answer, I am very concerned about getting the doctors' co-operation--as my sister, the nurse practitioner, has warned the hospital that my brother and I have no say in her care and we are not able to provide permission for any procedure. She may need other interventions besides the trach== I am concerned that my brother and I would need broader powers (other than just this procedure). Because my mother is on a ventilator tube, she is kept heavily sedated at all times and is unable to speak. Can we petition the court to make my brother and me the new medical POAs?


Response: You can petition the Court to be the Guardian and Conservator of your mother to take care of her person and finances. Once appointed, that would supersede the medical POA and financial POA . You may get the forms to file the Petition at the Probate Court in the County where your mother resides in the Clerk's Office. Below is information from Baldwin County on Guardianships and Conservatorships:



http://co.baldwin.al.us/Pageview.asp?edit_id=116

Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13137
Experience: B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
Phillips Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

do you have any contact info for Jefferson County (my mother is a resident of Hoover, Ala near Birmingham)

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

do you have any contact info for Jefferson County (my mother is a resident of Hoover, Ala near Birmingham)


Response: Yes, here it is:



http://jeffconline.jccal.org/probatecourt/Probate/ProbateMain.html





Probate Court - Jefferson County

Room 115

Jefferson County Courthouse

716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd North

Birmingham, AL 35203

Probate Court - Bessemer

Suite 101

1801 3rd Avenue North

Bessemer, AL 35020

Phone Numbers

Birmingham Division

  • CHIEF CLERK - Jackie Rhodes: 325-5203
  • PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR - Mary Roberson: 325-5411
  • JUDICIAL: 325-5420
  • ACCOUNTING - Daniel Nash: 325-542424
  • ADOPTIONS CLERK: 325-5426
  • ELECTIONS SUPERVISOR - Sid Browning: 205-254-7387
  • INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENTS: 325-5428
  • MARRIAGE LICENSE: 325-5182
  • MENTAL HEALTH COORDINATOR - Paul Carter: 325-5426
  • MENTAL HEALTH SOCIAL WORKER - Michele Dooley: 325-5009
  • NOTARIES: 325-5417
  • OFFICE OF JUDGE - Sherri C. Friday: 325-5426
  • OFFICE OF JUDGE - Alan King: 325-5203
  • PROBATE COURT COORDINATOR: 325-5203
  • RECORD ROOM - Benny Dodd: 325-5512

Bessemer Division

  • DEPUTY PROBATE JUDGE - Elizabeth North: 481-4100
  • JUDICIAL - Margaret Payne: 481-4102
  • RECORDING - Karen Wilson: 481-4100
  • RECORD ROOM: 481-3074

Let me know if you need anything else.

Thank you very much for the positive rating.

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