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July 18, 2013 at 4:13 PM

State high court: Not forcing nursing care is not neglect

The Washington Supreme Court today ruled the guardian of an elderly Pierce County woman was not negligent when she didn’t force her into a nursing home against her wishes.

The court explained in the unanimous ruling that even if the bed-bound woman could have gotten better care in such an institution, she should not have been forced to move into one. Following her wishes was not neglect.

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals, citing the Legislature’s mandate against placing incapacitated persons against their will.

The court did not agree with the guardian, however, that she was entitled to be reimbursed for her attorney’s fees. The justices said the state Department of Social and Health Services was justified in its investigation, but incorrect in its findings.

 

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