Elders Will Be Notified & WILL FIND YOU in the Hospital

by Aude_Sapere 63 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • Aude_Sapere

    Don't wait.
    Update your Advance Medical Directives BEFORE you find yourself in my situation....

    My left arm was feeling 'odd' last Friday morning as I was getting dressed for work. I decided to visit the Emergency Room - just in case there was serious problem. (No pain but it felt odd: heavy, puffy, numbness on and off for about 30 minutes.)

    During admission, I told the intake nurse that I had an Advance Medical Directive on file from many years ago and wanted to void it and complete a new one. - I told her twice that the old one was completely INVALID and no longer represented my wishes. She said that she made notation but also told me that I should be sure to update it later after I left the ER.

    After a few hours in the ER (lots of testing), I was admitted to the hospital for a Sub-Clavian blood clot. That was Friday morning.

    Friday afternoon, two nurses came up to my room for regular intake information (a repeat of all the info asked in the ER but different nurses, different admit, etc.) Again I repeated: There is an Advance Medical Directive on file here from many years ago. I want to void it completely and file a new one. Nurses said OK, we'll have a case worker take care of that for you. When they got to the question of religious preference, 'Jehovah's Witness' showed on the screen. They verified the info and I emphatically said "NO. Please remove that comment." I watched while it was changed.

    They asked what I was now. I said 'Happy. Very happy. And please have a new AMD brought to me so I can complete it - I also have a new Health Care Agent.'

    I busied myself with contacting work and family and trying to keep up with all the tests and such and trying to get answers about what was wrong and why and what treatment options were being considered for me, making various arrangements, etc.

    Somewhere along the way I remember asking yet another nurse to assist in voiding my AMD and getting a new one completed.

    Saturday afternoon, my Vascular Surgeon (former Chief-of-Staff at this hospital) comes in to tell me that they will do a CT-Scan of my chest and then proceed with treatment (thrombolitics via catheterization and possible venoplasty). I understand the treatment and give verbal consent but tell him that he needs to know that I have an AMD on file that I wish to VOID. The current one refuses blood and that is no longer my position. I will accept blood if it is required.

    10 minutes later an aid walks in with a fresh AMD and tells me that a case worker will be in to assist me. I don't wait and start to work thru the booklet by myself.

    About an hour later, as an aid is on his way to take me to radiology, the woman who brought me the new AMD happens to walk back in to my room. She asks if anyone had come to help me complete it. "Nope. But I did the best I could and even hand-wrote a note."

    [My note said: "I am no longer one of Jehovah's witnesses. I no longer wish to be visited by them for any reason nor will I follow their medical beliefs. This has been my conscientious decision since Oct 2004 (after MANY YEARS of complacency.) To that end, I WILL accept blood transfusion at recommendation of my physician(s) following consultation with myself and/or my designated agent(s). (my name) (date & time) (signature) (SS#)]

    I was informed that my new AMD was not valid because it needed to be witnessed by two people and hospital staff were not allowed to sign the document.

    My room nurse offered to attempt to find visitors of other patients who may be willing to witness my AMD while the transport aid was waiting to take me downstairs.

    Two women in nearby rooms agreed to sign my document and I verbally told each of them that I was wholely and completely rescinding an AMD already on file and this new one also names different Healthcare Agents. They were kind and agreeable. Signed my documents. Copies were made and distributed and I went down for treatment.

    My treatment was successful and I did very well. I was awake and alert during all processes. I even got to watch my venoplasty on the overhead monitors. I was in Coronary Care for 3 or 4 days and then sent upstairs to a regular room for continuing care and treatment - blood thinners and monitoring, etc. Since I was doing so well and was able to care for myself, doctors agreed to let me leave the hospital and arranged to have a homehealth nurse visit me for daily shots and vitals.

    Pleased with my progress and anxious to get out of the hospital and back to my own home and even back to work, I woke up yesterday happy and proud. I packed my stuff and watched tv while I waited for my doctor to discharge me.

    6 days in the hospital. I was very ready to go home.

    I got up to use the restroom.

    When I come out, there he is.

    A man I have never seen before is asking if I'm (myname).

    'Yes. That's me. Can I help you?'

    It's an elder from one of the local congregations.

    Fifteen years fading. No 'shepharding calls' ever. I consider myself a successful fader. I get up to use the restroom in a private hospital and, with IV tubes still in my arms, BAM!! I am face-to-face with questions about whether or not I consider myself one of Jehovah's witnesses. Did I take blood? Am I disfellowshipped? Do I want to talk to the elders? Why did I leave? Is there anything he can do while he's there? Am I sure that no other elders have visited me in the past 6 days? because a different person is assigned for each day and I should have been receiving daily visits.

    I was SO CLOSE to my discharge time. I was SUCH a good fader. I get up to use the restroom and suddenly I find that my cover is blown.

    I imagine I may get one of those calls from my former congregation. (Maybe not...)

    I wanted to share with everyone here my experience so you each have the opportunity to VOID/RESCIND/UPDATE your own AMDs / Durable Power of Attorneys and, if you wish to avoid an unwanted/unexpected visit from local JWs.

    Update your information with local hospitals BEFORE you are admitted unexpectedly.

    Thanks for all your past and future support. And thanks for reading about my little adventure.


  • myself

    Okay, I'll bite. Elders will be alerted if what?

  • stillajwexelder

    IFI post on this board of if a JW nurse is in hospital and I accept a blood transfusion

  • myself

    Aude, sorry you had to face that, especially after having medical problems, it was the last thing you needed. It is a lesson learned, and a good warning to those trying to fade as peacefully as possible.

  • horrible life
    horrible life

    Aude there seems to be a very severe HIPPA violation. I would be very interested, as should you, as to how a elder came to know you were there. HIPPA is a privacy act, There are severe consequences for violations. Who told , when and to whom? Nurses, computer, grapevine? If it came from the hospital, I would get to the bottom of it. Glad you are doing well HL

  • jgnat

    I am so glad you shared your experience! Absolutely right, don't try and change the directive in a middle of an emergency. Do it now! I am sure a computer bypass automatically alerted the local Hospital Liaison Committe members, and so the gears ground on.

    By the way, how did you manage to shoo the elder out of the room.

    P.S. Glad you are feeling better.

  • jgnat

    I was just thinking how a sentence like, "Do you still consider yourself one of the Jehovah's Witnesses" would sound so innocent to a bystander, yet so chilling to a fading JW.

  • confusedjw

    Aude - Really that is a close cousin to harrassement. That is a shame and I hope nothing comes of it to bother you further.

    So how is your health situation? Are you on the mend and okay?

  • jgnat

    Yes, privacy rights! How could I have missed that:


    Accountability for medical records use and release

    In HIPAA, Congress provided penalties for covered entities that misuse personal health information.

    1. Civil penalties.

      Health plans, providers and clearinghouses that violate these standards will be subject to civil liability. Civil money penalties are $100 per violation, up to $25,000 per year for each requirement or prohibition violated. {IS THIS A MAXIMUM OF $25000 per patient per year, $100 per point violated?)

    I hope that privacy laws eventually shut down HLC patient visits without their express consent. The HLC's can limit their services to advising medical staff of alternative therapies. And the hospital staff will refrain from informing HLC members of patient names.

  • outnfree


    So sorry to hear of your recent troubles -- medical AND stOOpid, revoked AMD!

    Your post will be a service to others. I know that I have had my primary care physician remove my directive from my file, that I have identified myself as NO LONGER one of Jehovah's Witnesses to the admitting office of one of the local hospitals and, of course, I never have identified myself as a JW with any physicians seen in the past four years. But there is another local hospital I should contact. And a neurologist, too, so that file can be updated.

    I sincerely hope that your successful "fade" won't be compromised. I can imagine the sick feeling inside when you realized who that man was and what the repercussions might be for you.

    I wish you peace and a speedy return to full health.


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