Can a person who does not have the capacity to understand her decisions make a withdrawal of care decision?

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Can a person who does not have the capacity to understand her decisions make a withdrawal of care decision?

I sent a message to my HR of my company addressing that a lot of theft and vehicle break-ins happen in our parking lot and that we needed cameras and my bike was stolen. They called my manager about it and he told a couple of crew members who aren’t managers about the call and they told me that he was annoyed. I’m slightly embarrassed and was wasn’t aware my HR would bring this to my manager. Isn’t it against confidentiality to tell my fellow team mates or a form of retaliation for even mentioning it?

Asked on August 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

For some reason, the question in bold does not match the explanation below it: I will answer both briefly--
1) Can a person without mental capacity make a "withdrawal of care decision": no, she cannot--people without mental capacity cannot consent to, direct, withdraw, etc. care. HOWEVER, there must a legal determination (such as in a legal action brought in family or chancery court to challenge the decision) that the person is mentally incompetent: an adult is presumed mentally (and so legally) competent until and unless a court finds to the contrary.
2) Is it a breach of confidentiailty or retaliation to inform coworkers of a complaint about theft/break-ins in the parking lot? No, it is not--not unless the complaint was made after receiving some written assurance (e.g. in an employee handbook or policy manual) that any complaints made to HR are confidential. In the absence of a policy or agreement to keep a complaint like this confidential, HR may share it with other employees.


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