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SaveitForaRainyDay
04-17-2016, 10:11 PM
I changed the title because I wanted to know in a more general sense. Sorry if anyone saw the previous one!

if someone had to have a major operation and an extended stay in hospital, or other scenarios, who would be their next of kin? Who would make the decisions for them? Also, in general life how would having no family impact?

Cyia
04-17-2016, 10:17 PM
How old is the person in question? If they're a minor, then the state steps in as their guardian. That's why it's difficult to get kids off life support in some states.

mirandashell
04-17-2016, 10:18 PM
This is set in America?

MaryMumsy
04-17-2016, 10:48 PM
I have a friend whose only family lives in Canada. I hold her medical powers of attorney, to be a fill-in until her sister could get here. Someone who has no blood family could choose a friend to fill that spot. The main thing is to ensure that the friend's beliefs mirror those of the person granting the powers. If you wouldn't want to be kept on life support indefinately, you wouldn't choose someone who believes in never pulling the plug.

MM

Cath
04-17-2016, 11:00 PM
Also, in general life how would having no family impact?
This last question needs to be much more specific. It's unlikely that two people will have the same experience. Much depends on their environment, their personality, their identity (color, gender, how they present themselves to the world), their location, etc. What exactly do you need to know?

King Neptune
04-17-2016, 11:09 PM
In the U.S. the courts would appoint someone to have medical power of attorney, if the person had not already done so.

WeaselFire
04-17-2016, 11:14 PM
Some people actively avoid family even if they have one. Since having no immediate family members is not an uncommon event in US medical situations, all institutions have policies and methods in place to deal with this. Think of elderly people with no family members who are in nursing homes. Indigent or homeless people with no identifiable family. Hermits who choose to live with little or no contact with other humans.

What do you need for your story? And how detailed has your research, outside of a post here, been?

Jeff

mirandashell
04-17-2016, 11:24 PM
What do you need for your story?

Do you have a keyboard shortcut to save you typing that?

SaveitForaRainyDay
04-18-2016, 12:48 AM
The guy from my story has no idea where any of his family is (not even distant relatives.) He's not estranged from them, he just can't find them. Nobody else can find them either, so in this situation he only has his friends and acquaintances.




I have a friend whose only family lives in Canada. I hold her medical powers of attorney, to be a fill-in until her sister could get here. Someone who has no blood family could choose a friend to fill that spot. The main thing is to ensure that the friend's beliefs mirror those of the person granting the powers. If you wouldn't want to be kept on life support indefinately, you wouldn't choose someone who believes in never pulling the plug.

MM

So they can just nominate a friend, without any lawyers? I didn't know it was as easy as that.


Some people actively avoid family even if they have one. Since having no immediate family members is not an uncommon event in US medical situations, all institutions have policies and methods in place to deal with this. Think of elderly people with no family members who are in nursing homes. Indigent or homeless people with no identifiable family. Hermits who choose to live with little or no contact with other humans.

What do you need for your story? And how detailed has your research, outside of a post here, been?

Jeff

I've tried to research elsewhere but I haven't been able to find much, hence why I posted here. I had no idea how to word this. I'm not very good with legal stuff, so I wouldn't be going into too much detail. I just want to know basics. Like would someone who isn't family be able to make decisions for them, or would that have legal complications?

Helix
04-18-2016, 02:06 AM
Also, in general life how would having no family impact?

It makes Christmas much easier.

(I am not joking.)

mirandashell
04-18-2016, 02:09 AM
So.... this is set in America then?

Helix
04-18-2016, 02:50 AM
So.... this is set in America then?

And if it is, presumably someone in hospital admin is going to want a signature on the payment form.

mirandashell
04-18-2016, 02:54 AM
That's one of the reasons I'm asking. But I guess I should just assume it is the US. It usually is.

King Neptune
04-18-2016, 03:10 AM
I've tried to research elsewhere but I haven't been able to find much, hence why I posted here. I had no idea how to word this. I'm not very good with legal stuff, so I wouldn't be going into too much detail. I just want to know basics. Like would someone who isn't family be able to make decisions for them, or would that have legal complications?

Living Wills and Powers of Attorney for Health Care: An Overviewhttp://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/living-will-power-of-attorney-29595.html

Medical power of attorney
http://www.lawhelp.org/dc/resource/frequently-asked-questions-about-durable-powe

There is a huge amount of information online. Use search terms "Living will" and "medical power of attorney".

dawinsor
04-18-2016, 03:24 AM
Here in Iowa, I just filled out a form that the state bar association provides for free online. My husband and I each filled out the form naming one another as our attorney-in-fact (the term that gets used for who can made decisions, ie it doesn't mean a lawyer) and had two witnesses sign. I used people at the gym. We each listed our son as an alternate. We also filled out living wills saying what procedures we wanted to sustain life or not. That's state specific, since in Iowa it's illegal to withhold fluids or nutrition. Here's a list of the kind of forms available to us: http://www.iowabar.org/?page=Forms

The stuff we filled out didn't require an attorney, though it did require witnesses.

frimble3
04-18-2016, 08:31 AM
I'm in Canada, so don't know if this applies or not, but, depending on how long your character is going to be in hospital, who's looking after their place, feeding the pets, watering the plants and picking up the mail, so it doesn't look like an open invitation to burglars, or jam up the little mailbox if they're in an apartment? Also, bills and whatnot: is everything paid automatically from their account (and how is the account being refilled?) or, if old-school, who's sorting the bills from the junk mail, and paying them?

I was lucky, I had a friend (didn't realize how good a friend) who fed my old cat for a month, and sorted my mail, brought me the bills and a cheque-book (this was the olden days) and mailed the cheques for me. This, again, would depend on how long your character is in hospital.

mirandashell
04-18-2016, 03:33 PM
Do you have sick pay in Canada?

Helix
04-18-2016, 03:44 PM
Justin Trudeau would probably do all the house-keeping.

GeorgeK
04-18-2016, 03:59 PM
As a surgeon I've run into this a few times, no family, estranged family. Hospitals have fill in the blank forms to name a friend or to exclude family from making decisions or to even name the attending physician as a stand in for during that hospitalization. I have had to call security and eject estranged family from the hospital. It mostly came up with patients who were gay, but not always.

The problem really showed up if a patient came in on an emergency basis and was not mentally alert enough to voice their concerns or wishes and did not have a local physician with whom they had already discussed such things

Twick
04-18-2016, 06:03 PM
Do you have sick pay in Canada?

Depends on the employer. In my case, I'd get a certain amount of time off, then would likely start cannibalizing my vacation. After that, I have short-term disability insurance, but tapping that, ironically, means that I'd have to be healthy enough to deal with bureaucrats.

I'd say that if I didn't have a family member to rely on, and I was the pro-active sort, I'd have to find a good friend, or failing that, a professional such as an attorney, social worker or minister, and give them Power of Attorney to deal with my essential needs. It's unfortunate, but modern Western society still assumes that adults have close family who can look after them when they can't look after themselves. If you don't have any, you'd best pick a substitute brother or sister who's willing to help out in emergencies. (I can still remember the Nursing Hotline squawking "What? You have no one you can call to sit up with you all night?" when I was having a secondary allergic reaction to medication.)

mirandashell
04-18-2016, 06:25 PM
Ah. So you don't get sick pay from the government? We do for a while but it's quite a small amount, nowhere near what you would get for working. We also have employer's sick pay but that not paid for very long at all.

CL Polk
04-18-2016, 06:32 PM
what's it like to have no family?

so wonderfully peaceful.

frimble3
04-18-2016, 11:22 PM
Ah. So you don't get sick pay from the government? We do for a while but it's quite a small amount, nowhere near what you would get for working. We also have employer's sick pay but that not paid for very long at all.
AFAIK, the government in Canada will provide disability pay, but I think that's more for permanent conditions. No idea what happens to a person with no other insurance with a short-term problem.
I have sick-days, and short-term disability (up to a year) and long-term disability (after the year of short-term), all through work, and I've been at the job almost 30 years, so I've never thought about what other people do.
I've used the short-term disability, which is how I know about the 'find someone to look after your stuff' part.

frimble3
04-18-2016, 11:35 PM
It's unfortunate, but modern Western society still assumes that adults have close family who can look after them when they can't look after themselves. If you don't have any, you'd best pick a substitute brother or sister who's willing to help out in emergencies. (I can still remember the Nursing Hotline squawking "What? You have no one you can call to sit up with you all night?" when I was having a secondary allergic reaction to medication.)
Oh, yes. Or stay with you, (or you with them) for 24 hours after a procedure 'just in case', or pick you up after tests because you're not allowed to drive (or don't drive) - heaven forbid a fully conscious person should call themselves a cab.
It's as though medical people live in some alt-50's world, filled with women who stay home all day, phone at the ready, with nothing to do but take care of other people. (Not saying the nurses wouldn't have similar expectations of men, but in my case, it's mainly women. Women with jobs. Or small children, or no cars.)
It's a supposition that's remarkably convenient (and cheap) for them. No need to provide a long-term waiting-room, no need to expand home-care, no, just look blank and say "Well, just get your somebody to step in."

frimble3
04-18-2016, 11:39 PM
As a surgeon I've run into this a few times, no family, estranged family. Hospitals have fill in the blank forms to name a friend or to exclude family from making decisions or to even name the attending physician as a stand in for during that hospitalization. I have had to call security and eject estranged family from the hospital. It mostly came up with patients who were gay, but not always.

The problem really showed up if a patient came in on an emergency basis and was not mentally alert enough to voice their concerns or wishes and did not have a local physician with whom they had already discussed such things
That must be hell for the staff, especially if there are two sides, both trying to 'claim' the patient, neither with any documentation.

Twick
04-19-2016, 01:04 AM
Oh, yes. Or stay with you, (or you with them) for 24 hours after a procedure 'just in case', or pick you up after tests because you're not allowed to drive (or don't drive) - heaven forbid a fully conscious person should call themselves a cab.


Well, I had a procedure once where I had to be kept company for 6 hours afterwards (and was in no shape to get myself to the clinic in the first place). I hired a home care aide for the day. Expensive, but worth it.

Never had a medical facility worry about me driving myself home. Including one time where, two hours earlier, I heard a nurse say dubiously "I don't think she's dead."