Health Care Decisions for Incapacitated Adults
In an earlier blog post, we discussed the important of drafting an Advanced Health Care Directive as part of your California Estate Plan. However, one question that has arisen in the past is what occurs if there is no health care directive in place and you believe that a loved one requires a specific health care procedure. The answer as always lies in the California Probate Code.
- Sections 3200 -3212 provide the remedy for health care decisions for adults who are not under conservatorship.
- Section 3201 permits a petition to be filed to determine whether a patient has capacity to make decisions concerning existing or continuing conditions and if there is no capacity to designate someone to make those decisions in their stead.
- Section 3201 provides that the petition can be filed by a spouse, child, friend, relative or other interested person. It is also important to note that there are some limits to the relief that can be sought under these sections of the probate code.
For example, no order can be made to provide experimental drugs or for convulsive treatment and there is nothing in this section of the code that can impair the ability of someone to choose treatment by way of spiritual means in lieu of medical treatment. This means that if someone decides to pursue spiritual rather then medical treatment for an ailment this cannot be used to force them to be found to be incapacitated.
Consult with a Los Angeles Attorney – Kushner Legal
The most effective way to ensure that your medical wishes are followed when you no longer have capacity is to meet with a lawyer and have a properly drafted Advanced Health Care Directive drawn up. Contact the team at Kushner Legal today to schedule a consultation.