Medical Power of Attorney

Have you appointed your Healthcare Medical Power of Attorney yet?

Do it ASAP!

Whoever you choose may be able to help save your life. If your loved ones have not done so, too, PLEASE encourage them to do so. ASAP!!!!

I recently asked for the hospital billing statement for the last week of my father's life. He died in hospital last year.  When I received his hospital billing statement it listed all the drugs IV, tablets and capsules he was charged for - doesn't mean he actually was given all these.

(Point #1 a nurse pointed out to me tonight - patients can be charged for drugs on -hand for the patient that are never given to the patient.)

Keep in mind I'm not a doctor, but I am a professional researcher and have researched biomed / pharmaceuticals as part of my work consistently since 1990.  These days the Internet government websites make this so easy to read up on drugs - you or I can read as well as the next average joe.

Drugs let's called them "assigned"  to my father seem suspect at best. He went in with constipation - and came out in well, dead.

Had I been able to look up this "cocktail" of around 22 drugs, I would have learned that some of these drugs not only conflicted with each other in many cases, two  steroid drugs he probably shouldn't have had at all since he was diabetic.   Side affects on many drugs were "constipation". So - why give a man who is elderly and constipated drugs that could cause constipation? Hmmm.

In my father's case I don't know if he asked them to help end his life. At age 93, maybe he did, maybe that's why they gave a constipated man with diabetes and high blood pressure ( on arrival Aug 10) more drugs to make his situation likely worse.  Some of the drugs has side effects causing high blood pressure.

I'm not a medical doc, but I was reading what is online at National Institute of Health website about each drug - warnings and side effects.

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Some websites you can use to check out drugs:

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My father was a decision -maker up til the day before he died. Even high on pain meds and laid up in bed he could still correct my math (he frequently would challenge me on some basic math issue just to prove he was still faster) up until three days before he died. He had told me his list of symptoms - and everything he mentioned to me (tight chest, problems breathing,  shakiness, unsteady on his feet, nausea, vomiting, feeling funny in his chest, slurred speech, light headiness, clumsiness, later the spiked blood sugar, etc.) - all these symptoms were mentioned with these drugs and their side effects!

Healthcare or Medical Power of Attorney / Medical Representative And Advance Directive

In the U.S. there are HIPPA Laws. What a patient can see, is not necessarily what a next of kin can see.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney locally could insist on seeing the patient's chart, and/ or get a print out from the hospital pharmacy for what was dispensed. If refused, the person could make quite a media stink of it. I had asked for the hospital patient rep to call me at the time. Her voice mail said she calls people back within 24 hours. Three calls over like a week I never heard back. She finally checked in with me after he died and apologized - no explanation - but just had commented she didn't think I could use her "help" anymore.

So I think if push came to shove on a time constraint probably the HCM- PoA would have to go outside the hospital system for help.Try going to media and seniors rights groups and go FAST - start early.

I'm attaching a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will help you get 'action' if you need it. It explains your right to access medical files.

NOTE: Even though you are entitled to get a copy of your records, medical facilities are not making these records available for free. The price on records can be cost-prohibitive to obtain the records. This is an issue we should be taking up at a national level - cost should not be "blocking access"!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO GET THE PDF OF THE US Dept. of Health and Human Services letter. Carry this with you.  When the new page opens, click on the purple link at the top of the new page.

HIPAA RIGHTS - righttoaccessmemo

Advance Directive

This document will speak for you, your wishes, when you cannot speak for yourself.

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Here are some websites for the U.S. that will help you to understand more about this. These are on the NOLO website.

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NOTE: Some websites may say that they are "free" to you for setting up a Power of Attorney for Medical or Living Will. This can be misleading. Check the fine print.

If the website says it is FREE for these documents DO NOT GIVE THEM A CREDIT CARD NUMBER! Some say the documents are free with a "trial" - and the trial may only be for one week, etc. BE CAREFUL! If you can't cancel, you may find a fee like $19.95 taken out of your account.  AGAIN - there are FREE SERVICES - IF they ask for a credit card. STOP.

Usually the "trap websites" have you provide a lot of personal information up front. When you get to the end, you will be hit with the request for the credit card.

While you may find that you can't highlight copy and paste the sample.  You  can take take notes of what is in their draft. You will have to not only type this IN YOUR OWN WORDS TO NOT DO "COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT", but also make the changes you need that suit your situation. Use the form as an outline - OR - find the real free forms such as on government websites and some medical facilities, as well as hospitals  have these documents for free!

Since the forms differ from state to state  (and province to province) and these change periodically, I may not be posting these on the website here until I do more research on this first.

The best help for protecting your loved one's interests - is YOU.

The best help for protecting your own interests when you are doped up on medication, is your Medical or Healthcare Power of Attorney.

This is not a complicated process to set up. Each state has forms that need to be used specific to that state.

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Caesi Bevis, Author / Speaker Bio

Bevis Consulting

Bevis Consulting

Principal of Bevis Consulting. I am a Futurist, Research Writer, Public Speaker, Voice Over Professional, Consultant, and Expert Witness with over 20+ years background in competitive intelligence, market research, and 13+ years in legislation research and consulting in both the U.S. and Canada. My marketing expertise in recent years includes social network and Internet marketing. I am the former President of the Canadian Business Intelligence Association. My PhD coursework is in Human Behavior Leadership, with an MBA with an International Finance focus, BBA with core courses in Marketing and AA in Advertising Design.

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