Is it legal for an adult child taking care of an elderly parent to withhold the parent’s health condition from other adult children as “confidential”?

Asked on August 24, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is really not an easy question to ask.  Is it legal? Well, it may not be "illegal" per se is the best way for me to give any guidance here.  Ifthe child is your parent's health care proxy and if your parents have designated them to discuss their health matters with their doctor's etc., then they may only be following your parent's wishes.  Do you as a child have a right to know the health condition of your parents?  Only so much as they choose to have you know.  Is the child taking care of them their conservator or guardian?  If not and if not the health care proxy then any of you can inquire.  Try and see if some one can speak with your sibling on your behalf and on behalf of the other siblings.  This is no time for family squabbles.  Good luck. 


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