Can I sign my father out? What are my rights as POA?

Q: My father was hospitalized at a local hospital for pneumonia and a urinary tract infection and insomnia. He was taken off his dementia and depression medication and all his meds. They gave him sleeping pills to sleep for 2days. They told us they could not put him back on his dementia meds because they did not have geriatric psychologist on staff so we had to transfer him to another hospital so we did two weeks-ago. All they have done is put him on new medication. Which he was fine. Today I had made arrangements to have him discharged at 3pm, Early this week he had intestinal virus there that I found out 4 other patients had now they think he has another UTI. They tested him for it on Tuesday morning but have not given him any medication for it. They had made plans to orders melds for us. At 1:30 today they called and said they could not release him because they did not have results for UTI. What are my rights to sign him out of there with our Power of Attorney and get his new medication prescriptions? Personally, I think it is a numbers game for this hospital because they lost all their patients this week and only have six patients and many available beds. Please help!

A: If the Power of Attorney authorizes you to admit and discharge him from a hospital, you should have no problem. If it does not, you should ask the hospital if you, with your next of kin status, can do so. My thought is that if you are acting as next of kin, you should be able to do so. You should not have him discharged without a sound medical plan in line such as another hospital or a doctor who can immediately assess him and admit him.

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