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Thread: Laws Giving Access to Incapacitated Parents

  1. #11
    Moderator jen's Avatar
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    Adult children in active addiction, etc, are often cut out of loves for self preservation. But then I think of a former member here whose mom had a brain condition, married a man she didn't know, and the member lost all contact with mom. Terrible.

  2. #12
    Moderator Shaena's Avatar
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    It definitely has to be case by case. For the exact reasons stated by Kimm. I have a similar situation in my family.

  3. #13
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplekitty View Post
    The laws don't seem to be about whether or not children should be able to make decisions over the spouse. They are about the spouse denying the children access to the incapacitated parent (not allowing visits), and in the case of Peter Falk, the children weren't even notified when he died and that he had a funeral.
    Right. This doesn't seem to do anything about visitation.

    I think it's horrendous when a spouse denies children access to a dying parent, assuming the relationship was fairly healthy. But when we marry, part of what we are choosing is the person in charge of making these kinds of decisions. If we choose poorly, there are going to be repercussions, but that ultimately falls back on the person doing the choosing and the staying. It's a terrible thing when the person with the power abuses that authority, of course. But there are methods by which someone appoints the person who will make these decisions, and I think we need to honor those methods and those decisions. If DH turns in to an asshole who cuts off my family, that's ultimately on me for choosing him and staying with him, especially if he showed his asshole-ness while I was still mentally able to make those decisions and did nothing about it. That pretty much shows that for whatever reason, I'm good with the choice. For the family members, it's terrible when their parent (or other loved one) makes a bad choice about who is going to call the shots, but it's ultimately that person's choice to make.

  4. #14
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    Right. This doesn't seem to do anything about visitation.

    I think it's horrendous when a spouse denies children access to a dying parent, assuming the relationship was fairly healthy. But when we marry, part of what we are choosing is the person in charge of making these kinds of decisions. If we choose poorly, there are going to be repercussions, but that ultimately falls back on the person doing the choosing and the staying. It's a terrible thing when the person with the power abuses that authority, of course. But there are methods by which someone appoints the person who will make these decisions, and I think we need to honor those methods and those decisions. If DH turns in to an asshole who cuts off my family, that's ultimately on me for choosing him and staying with him, especially if he showed his asshole-ness while I was still mentally able to make those decisions and did nothing about it. That pretty much shows that for whatever reason, I'm good with the choice. For the family members, it's terrible when their parent (or other loved one) makes a bad choice about who is going to call the shots, but it's ultimately that person's choice to make.
    Well it doesn't really do much for the children who are excluded once the parent becomes incapacitated. As someone else mentioned, we had an actual member that went through it and it was horribly unfair and shitty. I do think if a spouse abuses his/her authority if the parent becomes incapacitated, that the children should have some type of legal recourse. It's no different from when anyone abuses authority, much less level of incapacitation. It's not really helpful at that point to point out that the parent should have chosen better or whatever.

  5. #15
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    But if the parent trusted this person before being incapacitated, they in effect chose them as their representative. If that choice was made while they were already mentally compromised in some way, that's a different thing.

    And yes, it is unfair and shitty to the kids (or whomever is being denied access). Denying access isn't always abusing authority. There are plenty of people who wouldn't want certain family members to have access. So I think the courts should fall back on the fact that Jim married Jane and trusted her to make these decisions and act in his interest. If they start intervening and deciding the maybe Jane isn't acting in his best interest, then the designation loses a lot of it's meaning, and people who the incapacitated doesn't want around could easily gain access. So I think that the default needs to be to respect the choice that incapacitated person made.

  6. #16
    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    But if the parent trusted this person before being incapacitated, they in effect chose them as their representative. If that choice was made while they were already mentally compromised in some way, that's a different thing.

    And yes, it is unfair and shitty to the kids (or whomever is being denied access). Denying access isn't always abusing authority. There are plenty of people who wouldn't want certain family members to have access. So I think the courts should fall back on the fact that Jim married Jane and trusted her to make these decisions and act in his interest. If they start intervening and deciding the maybe Jane isn't acting in his best interest, then the designation loses a lot of it's meaning, and people who the incapacitated doesn't want around could easily gain access. So I think that the default needs to be to respect the choice that incapacitated person made.
    I never said it was always abusing authority. I said "if" it was an abuse, there should be legal recourse. And that's what these laws are doing.

    Not to mention, it's not going to hurt anyone to notify the children when the death has occurred and the funeral has been scheduled.

  7. #17
    Nihongo dame desu villanelle's Avatar
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    I agree that notifying people isn't an undue burden of any kind. I was discussing the visitation part, even thug that's not part of this law.

  8. #18
    Vicious Trollop Kimm's Avatar
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    I don't know. I mean, I get that there are abuses, but I have no desire for my mother to even be notified when I am dead. She doesn't even deserve that. I am sure she will find out, but no one owes it to her.

    I also think it should be case by case. In the case of the member here who this happened to, her mom was already mentally unable to make decisions when she married the scumbag she married. If one can prove THAT, then I have no problem with a judge stepping in. Unless one can prove that though, I think the rights of the spouses should stand. To go against that is going to get insanely complicated in a case by case basis.

    I feel the same way about grandparents' rights. If I say you get no access to my kids, then no judge should be able to override that. I guarantee you my mom could cry you a river about how unfair I am in keeping her from my kids. It does not make it true though. I am protecting my kids by keeping them from her.

    These things are so, so complicated. Like I said earlier, if you can prove that someone made decisions in an incapacitated state, fine. Otherwise, the wishes of the person, or person they married, should be respected. I think it is grossly overstepping for judges to be involved.

  9. #19
    Premier Sponsor Mare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimm View Post
    I don't know. I mean, I get that there are abuses, but I have no desire for my mother to even be notified when I am dead. She doesn't even deserve that. I am sure she will find out, but no one owes it to her.

    I also think it should be case by case. In the case of the member here who this happened to, her mom was already mentally unable to make decisions when she married the scumbag she married. If one can prove THAT, then I have no problem with a judge stepping in. Unless one can prove that though, I think the rights of the spouses should stand. To go against that is going to get insanely complicated in a case by case basis.

    I feel the same way about grandparents' rights. If I say you get no access to my kids, then no judge should be able to override that. I guarantee you my mom could cry you a river about how unfair I am in keeping her from my kids. It does not make it true though. I am protecting my kids by keeping them from her.

    These things are so, so complicated. Like I said earlier, if you can prove that someone made decisions in an incapacitated state, fine. Otherwise, the wishes of the person, or person they married, should be respected. I think it is grossly overstepping for judges to be involved.
    This is where I am. I also thought about the whole grandkid/grandparent access when first reading this. If you are of sound mind, then you have the right to choose your representative when you are incapacitated. Typically that person is your spouse. If you want other people involved, I think that needs to be spelled out beforehand. It sucks for people who are going through stepparents not allowing access, but I think that's the way it should be. There are certain rights granted upon marriage, and while I'm not always a slippery slope person, I can see who this would open the door for so many other things related to spousal rights.

  10. #20
    Full Sponsor RealCranky's Avatar
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    Okay, don't think about your annoying mother. Think about your kids, and then think, 30 years from now that you are on your 4th husband. What are the odds that you have married him for his mind?
    nesha ;-)


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