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Informed consent helps prevent inappropriate medication

The Long Term Care Community Coalition reports that New York laws and regulations specifically require informed consent in nursing homes. We at the Klein Law Group understand that this is one area that can make the difference between life and death for your loved one. If you have power of attorney because your family member is unable to participate in his or her own health care, the facility must have your consent before implementing any treatment plan, including what medications are prescribed and administered.

As the person responsible for your family member’s treatment plan, you must be fully informed of any medical diagnosis, as well as the proposed treatment and its potential consequences. A study by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General revealed that many of the facilities receiving Medicaid funding have not been compliant with these laws. In every one of the nursing homes that were noncompliant, anti-psychotic medications had been prescribed.

Although the law states specifically that residents should not be chemically restrained unless it is for their own safety, the investigation indicated that physicians prescribed dangerous medications to keep patients sedated and confined. This type of widespread intentional misdiagnosis has caused the loss of quality of life, injury and death in nursing homes across the country.

If your family member has had significant changes in appetite, mood or physical activity, experts warn that negligence or abuse may be the cause. People who have questions regarding the responsibilities doctors have to observe state and federal patient safety laws can find more information on our webpage.

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