Do Not Resuscitate against my mother’s wishes?

Q: My mother wants to be resuscitated and I am her POA. I informed the hospital where she is now about her wishes. Hospital had an ethics committee meeting and decided that she should be “Do Not Resuscitate”, against my consent. What can be done? Thank you. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A:   Against your consent doesn’t matter, this decision can only be based on what your mother wants. You need to verify more information. Does this POA you reference give you authority to act on her behalf for medical needs? Do you have a separate Medical POA? If you do not have medical powers, the hospital may not be required to release any medical information to you. I think you need to verify if A) your mother signed a hospital DNR card and who has it, B) your mother has a Living Will and who has it (her doctor, the hospital, etc.) C) your mother is competent and if she is not D) does this POA give you authority to make medical decisions. Once you can answer these questions, you should attempt once more to speak with the manager of this facility. If you still get nowhere, hire an elder law attorney versed in nursing home practice to consult with and if necessary retain him or her.

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