Elder Abuse - a very real concern

This article was published by Hope Australia on May 27. Paul Russell is the director of Hope Australia.

Paul Russell

Paul Russell

Elder Abuse is a serious issue. The abuse of elderly people by unscrupulous relatives or carers or people who befriend a lone elder with sinister motive vexes authorities.

Why? Because it is a mostly hidden phenomenon of people who will have a diminished ability to speak out by virtue of the abuse itself or because of their isolation.

Characterised mostly by greed over finances, elder abuse has also been noted as physical, emotional and even sexual abuse of a vulnerable elderly person.

The image of such a person is perhaps of one who is aware of the abuse but has no ability to complain. This may not always be the case. It is also possible that a person offers excellent care and support of an individual at all times and uses their friendship and influence to have the elderly person make over their estate to them at the exclusion of any other beneficiary.

The recent story of a nurse gaining the full estate of an elderly Melbourne man may well be such a case. I say 'may be' deliberately because, to date, no case has been proven against Abha Anuradha Kumar, who managed aged care facility Cambridge House, where Lionel Cox was being cared for.

Friends of Mr Cox have questioned the new will created only weeks before Mr Cox passed away witnessed by two other staff at the care facility. Spellng corrections, shaky handwriting and other errors in the drawing up of the newest will cast additional suspicions. Ms Kumar stands to gain more than $AU900,000.

Link to the full article

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Compassionate Community Care successfully protected the right of a woman to receive medical care

alex schadenberg

alex schadenberg

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

We won a case and we protected the rights a woman to receive medical treatment without going to trial.

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a woman (niece) who is the legal Power of Attorney for her Aunt. The Aunt was in the hospital.

The niece needed advise and support after a doctor placed a DNR order and the hospital refused to provide oxygen assistance for her Aunt. The doctor and the hospital did not consult the niece who is the legal Power of Attorney. 

The niece said that the doctor claimed that her Aunt (who had been considered incompetent) agreed to have treatment withdrawn even though her Aunt had clearly stated in the past that she wanted medical treatment and did not want a DNR.

The niece wanted to know how to protect the rights of her Aunt and her right to fulfill the wishes of her Aunt. 

I advised the niece to hire a competent lawyer, but the niece did not have the financial ability to do so.

What happened.

With the approval of the niece, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Compassionate Community Care contacted the most experienced lawyer in Ontario to handle the case.

EPC sent an appeal to our supporters asking for donations for the legal costs.

The doctor and the hospital brought the case to the Consent and Capacity Board (Board) of Ontario. 

At the pre-trial hearing there was doubt that the Aunt was competent when the doctor said that the Aunt agreed to have treatment stopped. The niece was represented by the experienced lawyer and EPC was paying for the legal costs.

Link to the full article

Compassion & Choices has a New Campaign to Reduce Patient Choice: Be Careful What you Sign.

By Margaret Dore Esq., MBA

Margaret Dore

Margaret Dore

Last week, the deceptively named euthanasia promotion group, Compassion & Choices (C & C), announced a new campaign to reduce patient choice in healthcare.*

C & C wants to increase the enforceability of health care directives, but only for those that refuse treatment. C & C wants a health care provider who doesn't follow the directive, to not get paid. The problem is that you could get stuck with what you thought that you wanted and not be allowed to change your mind. Consider this example:

Link to the full article.