As a loved one grows older or when he/she suddenly becomes incapacitated, the basic human instinct is to protect them from harm. And although there are many cases involving family and friends with bad intentions, it is clear that if the ability to make decisions for your loved one was stripped away from you, the results would be heartbreaking. That is what a Pittsburgh woman is claiming regarding the medical treatment and control of her mother.
Mirsada Begovic, the daughter of 85 year-old Enisa Begovic, claims that in the last two months, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has restricted her access to her mother and has required her to be escorted to her mother’s room by security, after the hospital accused her of interfering with her mother’s medical care. Mirsada, a physician trained in Bosnia who once was part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School staff, says however, her only offense has been advocating forcefully for her mother.
Mirsada’s mother has been a patient since October 2013 at UPMC Presbyterian and then UPMC Shadyside, and is in fragile health, with ventilator support and compromised kidney function among other medical problems. Enisa was initially admitted for pneumonia, but a series of setbacks and disagreements about her care has led to ongoing hospitalization and a legal standoff in which a court granted power of medical attorney for her to Ursuline Senior Services.
Begovic has had limited visitation with her mother following what a UPMC official told her in a letter were “multiple incidents” in which she vociferously disagreed with their treatment plan, which Mirsada describes as experimental and questionable. Most shockingly however is the fact that Mirsada is not allowed to ask UPMC physicians about her mother’s care even after the court-appointed guardian authorized a “do not resuscitate” order for Mrs. Begovic on the recommendation of both UPMC doctors and a physician not on UPMC’s staff. But Mirsada vows to keep fighting for the rights of her mother.
If you or a loved one have been denied the right of guardian or have had the role taken away, contact an experienced attorney. A skilled elder law attorney can explain the ins-and-outs of guardianship rights and ensure your legal rights, as well as the legal rights of your loved one, are protected.