Health Care

questions & answers

Question: My mother is 85 and being treated by a naturopathic doctor. My sister and I are concerned that the care she is getting is harming her overall health. We have contacted the Naturopathic Physician Medical Board to file a complaint. They are willing to move forward and subpoena her medical records for review. The problem is that they say there is no way to keep this physician from mentioning it to our mother. We feel that our mother puts an abnormal amount of "faith" in this physician and that she has been, for lack of a better word, "brainwashed" into believing that he can do no harm. We want to proceed without fear that he will convince my mother that we are "the bad guys." What do we need to do to proceed without fear that he will discuss this with our mother? Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: If you have already discussed your fears with your mother, using every reasonable method to persuade her to change physicians, you should recognize that her health care choices are legally hers, unless a court has determined that she is legally "incapacitated". At that point a guardian (family member or another) will be appointed [A.R.S. Title 14, Chapter 5, Art 3]. Regarding your anonymity, when reporting her doctor to the Naturopathic Physician Medical Board, their Complaint form (published online) states, “Although this Board may accept anonymous complaints, the Board may not be able to process an anonymous complaint if the nature of the complaint will require a witness or testimony from the complainant.” [https://nd.az.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Complaint%20Process.pdf]. Because the NPMB advised you that you cannot remain anonymous in your mother's situation, they apparently do require your formal testimony, in order to proceed with your Complaint. You do have the choice whether to proceed this way, but as with all important decisions, you must determine whether the clear risks (family strife) are truly worth the possible reward (if: you are proved right by the NPMB, and they revoke your mother's doctor's license, and she finds a different doctor of whom you approve).

Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My mother is 85 and being treated by a naturopathic doctor. My sister and I are concerned that the care she is getting is harming her overall health. We have contacted the Naturopathic Physician Medical Board to file a complaint. They are willing to move forward and subpoena her medical records for review. The problem is that they say there is no way to keep this physician from mentioning it to our mother. We feel that our mother puts an abnormal amount of "faith" in this physician and that she has been, for lack of a better word, "brainwashed" into believing that he can do no harm. We want to proceed without fear that he will convince my mother that we are "the bad guys." What do we need to do to proceed without fear that he will discuss this with our mother? Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

STORIES

  • I just helped my mother, age 89, deal with her Medicare HMO. . .
  • He told me that I could actually get all the money I needed by using my home as collateral. . .
  • If you get a divorce, make sure your date of birth is on the Decree if your name is changing!. . .

LegalLEARN

FIND LEGAL HELP

  • Please select your county of residence below.

    County:
     

OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
    Link

ORGANIZATIONS