Patient Advocate Removed for Advocating

By Doug Chalgian on November 16, 2022

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In In re Guardianship of Tyler J. Newland (click on the name to read the case), a patient advocate for a vulnerable adult is removed for advocating too stridently, and a public guardian is appointed. The trial court did it, and the Court of Appeals affirmed it.  The case is unpublished.

In this case, the hospital wanted the patient discharged, but the patient advocate resisted, arguing that more treatment was needed, or would at least increase the likelihood of a successful transition back to the community.  The evidence cited to support the patient advocate’s removal were things like: the patient advocate “challenged recommendations and opinions of numerous providers,” and was “interfering with [the hospital’s] ability to continue discharge planning.”

Someone more cynical might ask: Isn’t that the job of the patient advocate?

The reality laid bare in this case is that medical care providers in general (and large hospital systems in particular) hold sway in many Michigan probate courts. Too often, it seems, when it’s a patient advocate against the medical provider, patient advocates can advocate, but only to a point.



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mm By: Doug Chalgian
Doug Chalgian

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