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The admitting doctor told me that he could enter a Do Not Resuscitate Order for my mother without my permission. I have Durable Health Care Power of Attorney for my mother.

Georgia law does not allow him to enter a DNR without my written permission, since I have Power of Attorney, which is nearly absolute power to make medical decisions for her. I have read that in some situations, for example when there is a dispute among next-of-kin, and there is no Power of Attorney, that the doctor may act as a "tie-breaker," but this is absolutely not true when a Power of Attorney exists. The lesson is that you should never rely on the doctor for correct legal advice; if he wants to do something you don't want, complain in writing to the hospital first, and then talk to a lawyer who will get an emergency court order to force the hospital or doctor to act in accordance with the family's wishes, or to follow the Power of Attorney's directions. At St.

Joseph's Hospital, I would suggest complaining to the Sisters of Mercy who actually own the hospital, if you do not get satisfaction from the hospital staff.

The Sisters live in the Mercy Convent around the corner from the hospital at 11801 McAuley Drive, Savannah, GA 31419, and the headquarters of all Sisters of Mercy in the Americas is in Silver Spring, Maryland (, fax number 301-587-0533. The CEO of the hospital can also be reached via e-mail at e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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