How can I obtain consent for my incapacitated mother to get a vaccination?

Ali Katz


Q: How can I obtain consent for my incapacitated mother to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
-Concerned Daughter

A: Dear Concerned:

Your first step in obtaining consent is to determine whether or not you have the authority to do so under the law. Whether you can provide consent will depend upon what legal capacity you have and the scope of that capacity.

For example, you may have the authority to consent for the vaccine if you are your mother’s agent under a medical power of attorney or under a court order that appointed you as her legal guardian. From there, you’ll need to determine the scope of your authority based on the terms of the power of attorney or court order.

While providing consent would typically be the exact kind of authority granted by such documents, given the unique nature of the COVID-19 vaccine, if you are unclear or have any questions about your legal powers, seek the guidance of a lawyer like us.

If your mother is incapacitated and does NOT have a medical power of attorney or other legal document granting medical decision-making power to you or someone else, you’ll likely want to petition the local court to be appointed temporary guardian in order to gain the authority to provide consent for the vaccine.

A Personal Family Lawyer® can help you create and file your petition for temporary guardianship with the court, as well as support you in creating a medical power of attorney, living trust, or other planning tool for your family member.