Treatment Decisions for Incapacitated Adults – Question #1
Test your knowledge about treatment decisions. This is the first of a 4-question series. The same parameters apply to each of the questions.
Parameters: Dealing with adult patients (vs. minors) who lack capacity to consent to medical treatment. In other than an emergency situation. California law (Constitution and statutes) applies.
Topic: Surrogate Decision Makers
Question: Which of the following, if in existence, have legal authority to consent to treatment of the patient in a hospital?[Circle the correct number(s); the answers and discussion are found lower in this post ]
- A health care surrogate with an oral or written appointment from the patient for the duration of a stay or illness (maximum of 60 days).
- An agent appointed in an Advance Health Care Directive or Power of Attorney for Health Care.
- A conservator of the person (including the Public Guardian) authorized to make health care decisions.
- A court appointed surrogate designated to make health care decisions.
- The patient’s treating physician, as long as licensed to practice medicine in California.
- The closest available relative.
- A multi-disciplinary committee.
The answer and discussion
- Nos. 1 through 4 are correct. You should have circled them all.
- Further, Nos. 1 through 4 are stated in priority order (e.g., if both No.1 and No. 2 exist, No. 1 has the authority).
- No. 5 is not correct.
- No. 6 is not correct. Nothing in the California Constitution or statutes gives authority to closest available relatives. We’ll discuss this more in a future post.
- No. 7 only applies in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home); does not apply in a hospital.
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