Why is it that families are kept so far out of the loop when it comes to a loved one’s health?
The quick, easy answer, of course, is the nation’s health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). Physicians are able to share only certain information with the family unless the patient agrees to more. The problem is that the patient might be too elderly, addicted or mentally ill to cooperate or even understand what they are agreeing to (or simply stubborn).
Certainly individual civil liberties must be taken into consideration. This writer, in fact, is more than moderately liberal.
But there is a blurry but significant line that puts human wisdom to the test, as we evaluate true need for family assistance.