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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 2983
Experience:  personal injury and medical malpractice attorney
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My brother had a traumatic brain injury and is under heavy

Customer Question

My brother had a traumatic brain injury and is under heavy sedation in local hospital. I would like him to be administered IV Vitamin C and Vitamin E. What are my rights and how to do I get the hospital to honor my request for natural therapy?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.

Is there a power of attorney in place? If so, has your brother recorded his wishes for this natural type of therapy? Are you the power of attorney?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No power of attorney. He is completely blind an on disability. Lives at home with my elderly mother.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am acting as his spokesperson / primary contact at the hospital - he is unconscious
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How can I request power of attorney on a critical/emergency basis considering he is unconscious?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
If a person is unable to make decisions about personal health care, some other person or people must provide direction in decision making. The general term for such person is surrogate decision maker. If there is no durable power of attorney for health care document in place and no court-appointed guardian with authority to make health care decisions, most states provide for a default surrogate decision maker in their state laws.
In most states, the default surrogate decision maker for adults is normally the next of kin, specified in a priority order by state statute, typically starting with the person’s spouse (or domestic partner in jurisdictions that recognize this status), then an adult child, a parent, a sibling, and then possibly other relatives. A growing number of states also authorize a close friend to act as default surrogate. If more than one person has the same priority (such as several adult children), consensus is preferred, but some states allow health care practitioners to rely on a majority decision or to request that one person be selected to decide for the group. Doctors are more likely to accept the judgment of a person who understands the person’s medical situation and seems to have the best interest of the person in mind. People with no family or close friends who are alone in the hospital are far more likely to receive a court-appointed guardian. If it is not clear who should make decisions, doctors may need to consult with hospital ethics boards or lawyers. In states with no default surrogate laws, health care practitioners still normally rely on the person's close family members to make decisions but practitioners may find they cannot treat the person because of legal uncertainties.
All surrogate decision makers, whether appointed by the person, by the court, or by default, have an obligation to follow the expressed wishes of the adult person and take into account the person’s values if known. Health care practitioners are responsible for honoring these wishes and values as well. If the person’s wishes and values are not known, the surrogate decision maker must always be guided by the best interests of the person. Health care practitioners are not required to provide treatments that are medically inappropriate, such as those that are against generally accepted health care standards. If a particular treatment is against a practitioner’s conscience but is still within generally accepted health care standards, the practitioner should try (and may be legally obligated to try) to transfer a person to another doctor or institution willing to comply.
If you brothers health care wished were unknown then the physician is not bound to go by your wishes if these wishes are considered medically inappropriate. You will simply need to speak to your brother's physician to see if this course of action is possible.
Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. (There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic.)
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
At this point a power of attorney is not possible as your brother has to sign and have capacity in order to approve it. See my previous answer as to your options.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 2 years ago.
I see you viewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer if satisfied.