Sam's Story

Sam’s good friend, Chris, contacted Nidus to inquire about a Representation Agreement with Section 7 Standard Powers. Chris wanted to see if a Representation Agreement could address Sam’s health care needs. The doctor had cancelled Sam’s medical procedure at the last minute because no one with legal authority was available to give consent.

The doctor determined that Sam could not give consent because he was not able to demonstrate that he understood the risks and benefits of the treatment being offered. The doctor could have taken consent from a family member but unfortunately Sam’s closest relative, his brother, travels a lot and could not be reached in time. Sam’s extended family was not available on sudden notice.

Sam’s friends, family and paid caregivers were very distressed about this situation – not only for the immediate health concern but also for the future as Sam ages. Although Sam does not communicate verbally, those closest to him know when he is in pain and want to be sure there are no delays in getting treatment.

Chris was willing to consent for Sam because he is in contact with him and is aware of Sam’s likes and dislikes. Chris also keeps in touch with the Home Share provider (paid caregiver) that Sam lives with so he knows if Sam needs help. However, as a friend, Chris does not have legal authority to help Sam with his affairs.

Chris knew that a Representation Agreement could cover health care decision making and he saw how it could greatly benefit Sam, but he wanted more information on the roles and duties and how people can be included.  After getting information from Nidus, Chris spoke with Sam and his family. Together they decided that Chris would be best suited to be Sam’s representative.

“As Sam’s good friend for over 22 years, I’m very pleased and honored to be able to be recognized as his legal representative for health care and personal care matters. As he ages I often worry about my friend and I am comforted to know that I can be involved in his life in this way.”

Sam’s family members were both named on the Representation Agreement as Supporters. This is a pro-active way to let the doctor know that everyone is in support of the arrangement. It anticipates possible questions and strengthens the Agreement for Sam’s benefit.

As it turned out, the Representation Agreement form (obtained through the Nidus Self-Help Course) arrived in time for Sam to sign it at his birthday dinner!

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