If you recall from Jennifer’s Story Part 1, Jennifer’s parents, Bill and Carla, were in a terrible car accident but had healthcare powers of attorney on file with their primary hospital and had designated each other as primary agents, and then Jennifer as the tertiary successor agent. Yet, no agent was listed as a back-up for Jennifer who was unavailable at the time of the accident.
Bill and Carla were taken to the nearest hospital and were in critical condition upon arrival. Emergency measures had to be instituted immediately. Fortunately, Bill had his cardiologist’s card in his wallet. Also, Carla’s primary care doctor practiced in the same hospital as Bill’s cardiologist. However, both doctor’s were not in the hospital during the time of the accident; so they were being paged.
Jennifer’s estranged brother, Alex, learned about the accident from his grandmother and went to the hospital post-haste. Accordingly, the hospital, when faced with an emergency where the agent is incapacitated and the successor agent is unavailable, followed its standard policy and began consulting with the “next of kin,” Alex.
The doctor described the situation to Alex and the fact that Bill probably had a heart condition. Alex told them to do whatever they thought was best. This was 30 minutes before Jen’s arrival.
When Jen entered the ER, she came upon the doctor explaining to Alex that the medication initially administered to Bill caused a severe reaction and, consequently, more emergency steps were needed to arrest the seizure. The seizure had subsided and Bill’s medical records had also arrived. However, damage to Bill’s heart was a great likelihood, as his blood pressure skyrocketed before and during the seizure. Furthermore, the seizure had made the overall stability of his condition much worse.
Jen knew that certain medications would trigger this seizure and the information was, in fact, on his healthcare power of attorney. However, this was an emergency.
Still, what if her father doesn’t fully recover? Who is responsible? Jen is about to ask and learn…