In most cases, the conservator and the conservatee share the right to make decisions about the conservatee’s health care. In other words, you or the conservatee may authorize medical treatments. However, you may not arrange for a particular treatment if the conservatee objects to it.
If you think the conservatee is making a mistake by refusing treatment, talk to your lawyer about your options. L
Legal Advice The symbol L notes a situation that may require your lawyer’s advice or assistance.
Read this page, follow the links at least three times… then consult with your attorney.
Exclusive authority. A request for the conservator to have exclusive authority to make medical decisions for the conservatee is usually made in the initial petition for conservatorship. If this request was made in your petition for appointment, your Letters will show that you have this authority.
If you do not have this authority and at some point believe that the conservatee has lost the ability to make sound medical choices, you may have to petition the court to take away the conservatee’s right to make medical treatment decisions and to give that right and responsibility solely to you. To do so, you must complete, sign, and file Judicial Council form GC-380, Petition for Exclusive Authority to Give Consent for Medical Treatment. The court’s order granting that authority is filed on Judicial Council form GC-385, Order Authorizing Conservator to Give Consent for Medical Treatment. Links to both forms are included in Appendix F.
If the court grants your request for exclusive authority after your appointment, you would then need to prepare, sign, and ask the court
clerk to issue a new set of Letters showing that you have this authority. Your lawyer would prepare and file the petition, obtain the court’s order, and see that you receive your new Letters. L
You should give certified copies of your Letters showing your authority to the conservatee’s hospital, doctors, and care facility. Often these
people and institutions will be willing to accept or make a copy of a certified copy for their files.
The authority to make health care decisions for the conservatee is very important and should not be taken lightly. Try to involve the conservatee in your decisions and respect his or her desires as much as possible. Talk with the conservatee’s family and friends to figure out how the conservatee would want things arranged if he or she is unable to tell you directly. courts.ca.gov/handbook
On the other hand…
WIC 5358.2 If a conservatee requires medical treatment and the conservator has not been specifically authorized by the court to require the conservatee to receive medical treatment, the conservator shall, after notice to the conservatee, obtain a court order for that medical treatment, except in emergency cases in which the conservatee faces loss of life or serious bodily injury. The conservatee, if he or she chooses to contest the request for a court order, may petition the court for hearing which shall be held prior to granting the order.
Admissible Evidence Required – not just Doctors written declaration Scott v Superior Court attorney summary.
Petitioner Scott S. petitions for writ review of an order authorizing Lucille Lyon, public guardian for Orange County, to consent to amputating petitioner’s infected toe. He contends the court erred by relying on a physician’s written declaration to find the amputation was medically necessary.
(1) We agree. The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS; Welf. & Inst. Code, § 5000 et seq.)1 authorizes conservatorships for gravely disabled persons like petitioner. The conservatee generally retains the right to give or withhold consent to medical treatment. The conservator must seek authorization from the court to obtain medical treatment to which the conservatee objects. (§ 5358.2.)
Resolving an issue of first impression, we hold an LPS conservator seeking such an order must show the desired treatment is medically necessary—and must do so through admissible evidence. This conclusion follows from plain statutory language and harmonizes the LPS with the Probate Code, portions of which the LPS incorporates by reference. We grant the writ petition and direct the court to vacate its order and conduct a new hearing to determine whether admissible evidence shows the amputation is medically necessary.
Handbook for Conservators 318 Pages