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Cass County Probate Court urges public to prepare for vaccination of incapacitated family members

CASSOPOLIS — The Cass County Probate Court is urging the public to make sure that incapacitated family members in nursing homes or other placements who are not able to give consent to be vaccinated have taken the appropriate legal steps to give consent.

Court officials provided an example on Tuesday: if an incapacitated individual does not have a patient advocate or guardian to act on their behalf, a family member may want to petition the court to appoint a temporary guardian. Resources can be found at casscourtsmi.org/guardianships. General resources may also be found at Michigan Legal Help at michiganlegalhelp.org.

“While many residents of nursing homes and family members have already taken the necessary legal steps to allow for important medical decisions to be made on their behalf, the court wants to make sure that there are no delays in vaccinating vulnerable populations,” said Chief Probate Judge Susan L. Dobrich.  “Family members have an obligation to waste no time in making sure that the proper steps have been taken to make sure their incapacitated loved ones can be vaccinated.”

The court also asks local nursing homes to inventory patient records in order to determine which patients require third party consent and to make sure the information is up to date. In addition, the court said it plans to make every effort to act on petitions as quickly as possible.

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