News

June 3, 2024

Siblings, The POA, and Your Loved One on Hospice Care


Whether siblings can receive updates from hospice on a patient’s condition when a POA is involved depends on several factors:  

1. The Scope of the POA:

  • Limited POA:This gives the designated representative authority only for specific decisions, like managing finances or making medical decisions in specific situations. In this case, the POA might not automatically grant access to general patient updates unless explicitly stated.
  • General POA:This grants broader decision-making power related to healthcare and medical information. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean complete control over information sharing.
 

2. Patient’s Wishes:

  • Even with a POA, the patient’s wishes regarding who receives information ultimately hold the most weight. If the patient explicitly expressed a desire for siblings to be kept informed, the POA holder, hospice team, and family should try to honor that wish, even if it requires additional communication or agreements.

3. Hospice Policies:

  • Each hospice provider has its own policies regarding information sharing, balancing patient privacy with family needs. They may require the POA holder’s authorization for information release to siblings, even if the patient desires it.
 

Here’s what to do:

  • Open Communication:Encourage an open dialogue between the patient, siblings, and POA holder about desired information sharing.
  • POA Holder Involvement:The POA holder should discuss the patient’s wishes with the hospice team and see if there are ways to accommodate everyone’s needs within their boundaries.
  • Hospice Team Consultation:Talk to the hospice team directly to understand their information sharing policies and explore options for keeping siblings informed, such as designated updates with the POA holder’s consent or group meetings where everyone involved can participate.

Remember:

  • Respecting the patient’s privacy is paramount, even if it means navigating complex situations with POAs and family dynamics.
  • Open communication and collaboration are key to finding solutions that honor everyone’s needs and wishes.
  Family dynamics can play an instrumental role during a patient’s time on hospice care.  Do you want to learn more?  If you would like to talk to someone about hospice care, we are here to help.