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Quick question regarding next of kin

(9 Posts)
rocketeer Thu 03-Jan-13 10:50:34

Hi, if dh and i are married (have been for 9 years) am I his next of kin and not his mother? And is this automatic? If he is ill can she have any authority over his care and what happens to him? Sorry to be abrupt but trying to type on my phone. Thank you

titchy Thu 03-Jan-13 10:57:47

Yes of course you are - why on earth would his mother be nok? (Not sure nok actually has any legal definition though.)

rocketeer Thu 03-Jan-13 11:03:41

She seems to think mother trumps wife. I think I really need to speak to the doctors but thanks so much for replying, I have crap signal but can somehow get on mn!

mellen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:07:31

Neither of you have automatic authority over his care if he can't make decisions for himself (though it is likely that your views would be sought by the medical team looking after him). If he wants one of you to then he should look into power of attorney. If you are in England try googling 'Mental Capacity Act' if you are in Scotland it is the 'Adults with Incapacity Act'

HappyAsASandboy Thu 03-Jan-13 11:12:06

From here, the Mental Health Act lists relatives in order:

Husband or Wife
Son or Daughter
Father or Mother
Brother or Sister
Uncle or Aunt
Nephew or niece

Hope that helps wink

rocketeer Thu 03-Jan-13 11:41:37

Thanks. She wants authority if his care even though he is mentally sound and thinks I am not capable to make decisions. Its all very sad and I can slightly see her pov as he is her son, I'm just worried she will try and go behind our backs, she is very forthright and a bit of a bully tbh

mellen Thu 03-Jan-13 11:57:05

If he is mentally sound then neither of you have any rights over his care. It is what he wants to consent to that is the relevant thing.

PenelopePipPop Thu 03-Jan-13 12:04:56

mellen is right. And if he loses the mental capacity to make a decision for himself then it is what is in his best interests that counts, the decision maker on medical matters will be his treating team but they will need to take into account the views of anyone concerned in the person's welfare (s.4(7) Mental Capacity Act) which would include you and his mother probably. But neither of you trump each other, and there are a lot of other factors to be taken in to consideration when making a best interests decision under s.4 Mental Capacity Act. In practice they will not just do what she says - absolutely not! She has no legal authority in this situation, and their only duty is to listen to what she thinks would be in her son's best interests since that can help inform their decision.

I take it your DH is in hospital. Hope he gets well soon.

rocketeer Thu 03-Jan-13 15:55:56

Thanks. Yes he is in hospital and the signal there is rubbish! Had a lovely chat with Macmillan and a guy from the CAB who was running a drop in session in the Macmillan lounge and feel a bit calmer and understand where we stand a lot better. Thanks for the quick replies though, it was really helpful.

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