Legal Question in Elder Law in California

My brother knowingly filed and then used an out of date medical POA from 2011 to make health care decisions for our mother. He has the 2013 medical POA. There was a difference in the wording. The 2011 gave him far broader powers in decision making. He knew she wanted to die at home but instead placed her on hospice in a nursing home and had staff deny her insulin. She was a severe type 1 diabetic. She did within 5 days. The 2013 medical POA allowed medications if they provided comfort. Without insulin my mother’s blood sugars went extremely high causing extreme thirst, migraines, and severe stomach pains. Can my brother be held legally liable for this? He was also the trustee of the family trust and had a temporary Conservatorship over her. Thank you.

Asked on 5/21/21, 9:47 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

The conservatorship trumps the POA, so the different POAs become irrelevant. Also, it's a little hard to believe that a hospice, which exists to provide comfort in their patients' last days would follow instructions that would cause extreme pain and suffering for five days. If they really did that, they need to be investigated, not the brother.

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Answered on 5/21/21, 10:05 am

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