Q: I’m in Pittsburgh, my brother is in Nashville. My brother had end stage cirrhosis of the liver and had to have emergency surgery that left him with a permanent ileostomy. He detoxed at the hospital, but he is a chronic alcoholic. His mind is confused, and he is in denial about his entire situation. He has discharged himself several times against doctor’s orders and is in very grave health. He needs to be admitted to the hospital and stay there for medical care. The hospital told me they do not do any type of psychiatric evaluations. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: You need a lawyer who practices in Davidson County, Tennessee. An attorney who does hospital visits would be great. If you brother is competent and willing, the attorney can prepare a POA for your brother to sign. If your brother is not competent to sign documents, the attorney can advise you on the next step which would either using the mental health system to have your brother committed if he is a danger to himself or others, or if necessary, filing a petition in court for you to become his guardian. You really do need an attorney in that location. You can call the county Bar Association to see if they have a lawyer referral program. Good luck with your situation.