This week I heard a tragic story from a colleague whose client recently lost her fiancé to COVID19. He was hospitalized and the hospital was on lockdown. She could not even enter the hospital. He was alone to fight the disease.
Sadly, she wasn’t listed on the legal documents filed with the hospital (the fiancé’s healthcare directive and HIPAA waiver), so once he was taken to the hospital, no one would communicate with her.
She called on Thursday last week and was informed that he was no longer in ICU – she was so relieved. However, they wouldn’t provide any other information because privacy laws prevent hospitals from sharing health and financial information of a patient, even to other family members! She called again the next day to see if he was doing better because it was all she could think of and the lack of information was agonizing, as you can imagine.
After being transferred several times, a nurse finally told her that he was in the morgue. He had died the day before and she didn’t even know it. His family, in turmoil as well, didn’t communicate any of that to her.
My heart breaks for the client not being able to see or share her love for her fiancé in his final moments. These are the kinds of situations that should never happen! Yet, with all the chaos, it’s not a surprise – we were all unprepared for this crisis when it hit, and I’m starting to hear more stories like this pop up within my legal network.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone in our community, Truest Law is offering free health care directives and HIPAA waivers this month to anyone in Arizona. Contact us at Truest Law or call our office at 480-949-6500.