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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37705
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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My mother is 100 yrs old. I am her daughter, only surviving

Customer Question

My mother is 100 yrs old. I am her daughter, only surviving child, and her legal health care surrogate. Mom is my best friend.She has a wonderful caretaker.
I have serious reservations about vaccines for many reasons, not the least of which are the adjuvants which are used in them, which are known to cause narcolepsy and worse.
I told the caretaker I did not want mom to get the flu vaccine, and I gave her resources to read about why I felt that way.
In all fairness, she did ask me to speak with mom's dr., which I did not have a chance to do, as we were on a death watch for my father-in-law, who subsequently died. The funeral is Saturday. I intended that I would follow up on the subject after the funeral..next week.
I received an email yesterday that the caretaker had taken mom to the doctor and mom had a flu shot, because the dr. said that she should have it....which is what they tell everyone. "They don't want her to get double pneumonia again." Funny,..she got double pneumonia AFTER she had a flu shot, not because she did not have one.
My question to use is this: Who has the legal authority to make this decision? I have been under the distinct impression that that would be ME. I do not feel that the caretaker honored my request to read what I asked her to, and made the arbitrary decision to defer to the doctor, against my expressed wish. Please help me sort this out. The doctor has no legal power over my mom in this situation, and neither does the caretaker. Is that correct? Thank you for your help. Dee
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 3 years ago.

Ray :

Hi and welcome to JA. My name is Ray and I am the expert that will be assisting you today.

Ray :

I agree with you here that you have the legal powers as her health care surrogate to make such decisions.The way to prevent this again is to present this to her doctor and have them copy it for their records.They would then be obligated to follow your wishes.You have a problem with the caretaker here about who makes medical decisions for your mother.A caretaker should notify you when there are such decisions to be made.Here you dealt with this in advance and she ignored you.

Ray :

Honestly you have to resolve this to avoid future problems.It is your judgment after talking with her about whether to keep her employed or consider a different one.This is basically intentional subordination on her part to ignore you.I cannot blame the doctor until you put the health care surrogate document on file with him.At that point if he ignores you you have a medical board complaint and he has liability.

Ray :

Dee I am so sorry that you had to have this happen.You did the proper thing here, your caregiver should have involved you in this matter.Certainly you advised her of your medical decision acting as her surrogate.You have to resolve this with the caregiver.You may decide to put her on notice that if she violates your instructions again you would have to consider terminating her services.

Ray :

I know good caretakers are hard to find so some delicacy is required but you have valid reason to be frustrated and angry and take steps to make sure this doesn't happen again.I can only imagine how you would feel if something bad happened to your mother.