Prevent Hospitals from Seeking Guardianship As Means 2 Override Patient Rights
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I used to think all the talk about "murder boards" in hospitals was a fallacy. However based on recent family events sadly they are true.
Currently there is not a law that prevents hospitals from seeking guardianship as a means to override a patients rights to dispute discharge or treatment decisions. While there are specific instances where taking guardianship of a patient is not only advisable but is absolutely necessary when life is threatened, such as in the case of minors who need a life saving treatment but the parents refuse to allow it due to personal values or religious beliefs; however even those instances should be few and far between.
Instances like those that have happened to our family the last few weeks, where a parent, family member who holds a legally executed power of attorney and stands 'in loco parentis' for an incapacitated family member can have their powers summarily and arbitrarily suspended or terminated because they disagree with a hospitals decision not to treat a condition because a doctor perceives the patient has no quality of life because they suffer from a brain injury and feels the person "would not want to live that way" should never happen! Quality of life is something that cannot possibly be known or measured with the limited and superficial contact that occurs in a hospital setting and is something best left to the patient and those closest to them.
To have strangers come in and forcibly tear you from your loved ones, to abduct your person, because that is exactly what this is - an abduction - is terrifying for a person with a brain injury and other such patients. It is terrifying for an incapacitated person who has relied heavily on and whose life, happiness and well-being has depended on a family member that it is so inextricably intertwined it is impossible to separate one existence from the other without creating great psychological and emotional harm and trauma.
I can say this because I have had to watch my sister whimper and cry out in fear since guardianship of her was awarded to Inova Fairfax Hospital appointed guardians. I have had to watch the expression of fear on her face while being told lawyers would now be her guardians and that I no longer had control over where she lived, who would be caring for her, what medications she could or could not be given, or treatments she would or would receive. I did not and could not tell her these same two lawyers also had the authority to place her in clinical trials, and had the authority to dispose of her remains how they saw fit.
When Inova Fairfax Hospital appointed guardians removed her from the hospital without notifying a single family member I had to watch the expression on sadness and bewilderment at seemingly having been abandoned when I walked in six hours later because it took our Virgnia State Delegate making calls to locate her because Inova had ordered their nursing staff to not give me any health information, just as they chosen to ignore my power of attorney before we went to court.
I have had to watch her being over medicated and suffering while her guardians were missing in action because they signed papers to have her sent to a substandard nursing facility and then went out of town for several days. I have had to physically clamp off my sisters feeding tube to prevent her from being given three sedating medications directly after giving her morphine because a nurse said she could not give my sister her regular medications when she would normally get them because their “protocol” only allowed them to give her medication at 9:00am, 1:00pm, and 5:00pm. Which means she was receiving a massive dose of 600mg of Neurontin, 2mg of Klonopin, and 10mg of Ambien on top of morphine in an 8 hour period! Now maybe it’s just me, but you do not administer those medications, at those doses to a 5’2” 108lb female unless you are trying to put her into a coma or kill her.
Stand with our family if you believe this is egregious and sign our petition to not only stop Inova Fairfax Hospital from killing or intentionally putting our sister in danger and to STEP ASIDE and let Anastasia's family care for her as they always have done; but to have legislation put in place to prevent this from every happening to anyone else's child or loved one every again!!
Here is is a link to the meeting with Kelly Armstrong, PhD and the Inova Fairfax Casemanagement team. https://youtu.be/VxMFP-o-p6U
- Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia
Mark R. Herr
Please pass legislation to prevent hospitals like Inova Fairfax from Seeking Guardianship As Means to Override Patient Rights. Stand up for Anastasia and assist in her return to her family's care.
Ours is not an isolated incident. There are other instances, cases where a patient already had a court appointed guardian and because the guardian disagreed with Inova's proposed treatment of their son, Inova had the guardianship set aside to give sole authority for medical decisions to their designated guardians.
What has happened to Anastasia and our family is a travesty, a miscarriage of justice, a blatant violation of her and our constitutionally protected rights. However this is an issue that affects us all, young and old, as it is said "you are an adult once and a child twice". We will all grow old, God willing, and will require some assistance.
At the rate hospitals and healthcare are going we will be a society of middle aged, healthy able bodied, individuals, because hospitals and their death panels will have locked away and killed off the elderly and disabled. As Pope Francis once said "A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has not future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise." This is where we as a society are headed.
Legislation is sorely and desperately needed now to protect the disabled and elderly, to protect individuals like my sister, to protect the most vulnerable of us. Prevent what has happened to Anastasia and her family from happening to anyone else.
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