NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health

The Role Of A Power Of Attorney In A Health Care Setting

bigstock_Gavel_And_Stethoscope_On_Grada_6830310.jpg
bigstock.com

What exactly is the role of legal documents, like a power of attorney, in a health care setting, especially if a person is not related to the patient? An incident at a local hospital last week, which has struck a nerve with some LGBT groups and gained some internet buzz, spurred the question.

In summary, Roger Gorley went to see his partner, a patient at Research Medical Center, last Tuesday. Gorley told local TV he had been listed as a power of attorney but that staff ignored this, forcing him to leave and then turning to a blood relative instead. In a statement, hospital officials said Gorley had been disruptive.

Taking a step back from all of this, KCUR’s Elana Gordon turned to Anne Marie Marciarille, a health law professor at UMKC, to discuss what exactly a power of attorney means in a health care setting and the responsibilities of patients, their loved ones and providers.  

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with essential news and information.
Your donation today keeps local journalism strong.