Alyssa Gilderhus was 18 years old when she suffered a ruptured aneurysm. She was given a 2% chance of survival when she arrived at the Mayo Clinic. Miraculously, she survived and was transferred to the Mayo’s rehab section. Her mother soon became disenchanted with her care and requested that various personnel not attend to her daughter while voicing her displeasure on Facebook posts in all caps. She eventually asked for a transfer to a different hospital.
The Mayo Clinic refused the transfer request alleging that Alyssa could not make decisions for herself. The hospital also sought guardianship of the patient. Frustrated, Alyssa’s family engaged in a cloak and dagger move with Alyssa escaping the hospital and fleeing Minnesota so she could not be returned to the hospital.
A South Dakota hospital saw Alyssa and prescribed medication and sent her home. Alyssa graduated from high school this year after being named Prom Queen.
One point, one plug, and one comment.
1. When she turned 18, Alyssa should have executed a health care power of attorney and a HIPAA Release so her mom could access her health care records and legally make medical decisions for her during her incapacity.
2. I always advise my clients to have their children execute those documents when they turn 18 and definitely before leaving for college. My fee is $150.
3. I would tend to follow the advice of doctors at the Mayo Clinic over those at a rural South Dakota hospital. But if a mother who posts on Facebook in all caps with exclamation points wants to follow different advice for her daughter’s care, she, not a social worker, should have the right to make that decision.
Photo Credit: Engebretson family
License: Fair Use/Education