What can be done if DPOA and DNR forms were filled out when person was mentally ill and not witnessed and resident was not resuscitated in ER? 3 Answers as of May 02, 2014

In the state of Michigan the DPOA form requires 2 witness signatures and no notary. In 2008, X showed signs of a mental illness which were annotated in notes left by some healthcare aides who visited X before X was admitted into a nursing home. X had signed both the DPOA form and the DNR form at the same during this time he was experiencing mental illness. The DNR had no witness signatures on it. Years later, X was rushed into the ER unconscious. ER informs X’s agents who both tell doctor not to resuscitate. X dies. It is later found that the DPOA form has flaws. The DPOA form had only one witness signature on it with a date of his signature being 2005. That witness had died in 2006 which was 2 years before X and the 2 agents signed the DPOA form. X’s adult children became upset and want to sue. Is this a case of negligence and wrongful death? If so, who could be held liable? The hospital for assuming daughter was DPOA without seeing proof? The nursing home assuming daughter was DPOA without seeing proof? The daughter for assuming she was DPOA?

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Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Those are legal issues that a blanket answer cannot be given. There are arguments for both sides. Would need to review all forms, interview friends of deceased and family members, etc. Generally the wishes of the person are carried out. In this situation that must be shown they were would need to be established. If an attorney does the forms it is most helpful so errors do not occur.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/2/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
The question is was there reasonable hope for recovery? If not there is no damages regardless of the faulty DNR order.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/1/2014
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
You have posted this or a very similar question before. It reads like a law school question. I do not believe there is any liability here. Certainly, the daughter has no liability. Your initial premise is also wrong. In Michigan, a POA can be witnessed or notarized. While both are common, it is not required. You do not say when the decedent died, but if it was more than 3 years ago, there may be a statute of limitations problem.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2014
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