How do I get her to the ER!! HELP!

Q: My mother-in-law is fifty-seven years old and isn’t in good health. My husband and I have seen a rapid regression in her. She doesn’t eat, she sleeps days at a time. She has dizzy spells, vomits, and is in my opinion killing herself right before our eyes. Today we went to see her and my father-in-law and she’s been sleeping for three days, puddle of black puke in a bucket, she’s lost much weight. I’m just in shock. Her husband has tried to take her Med-Express. She won’t go! She won’t seek help. What do we do? She has a six- year-old grandson and my daughter just turned one. Can I call medics and make them take her? Must the husband be a power of attorney? Please advise.

A: Based on what you say, this sounds serious. If you cannot get her to a hospital on her own, the fastest way would be to see if you can have her taken to the hospital under a mental health commitment. An interested party, i.e., family, police, physician, can have someone committed if they are a danger to themselves or others. It sounds like may be a danger to herself. The police would probably take her to a mental health hospital who would then transfer to ER. In the meantime, someone in the family can consult with a lawyer about becoming her guardian. You could also ask Adult Protective Services to do a home visit and assess her based on your concerns.

Who is responsible for forced medical expenses?

Q: I was forced by police an ambulance ride $1200.00. I was forced by doctor’s medical treatment $42,000.00. I was then released from police custody at the hospital. All the while saying I didn’t need any of this. I asked repeatedly if I was under arrest they said yes then released me from custody at the emergency room. Do I need to pay this?

A: Many more facts would be needed to give you an opinion. All the reports would need to be reviewed. Were there any witnesses? Police, emergency medical personnel, etc., have a duty to treat persons that they reasonably believe need medical treatment and that they are immune from civil suit in doing so. As you can understand, the rationale behind this is the fear of not treating someone who may die for lack of prompt treatment. However, this is not to say you do not have a civil defense and a recommend that you speak with a civil lawyer versed in medical consent law.