Not a problem, I’m always happy to spout forth my opinion on things!
Caveat – everything I say is my personal opinion & may or may not be factually correct, in fact it could all be complete drunken bunkum! 🙂
An outline requires brevity – sorry, not my forte so your will to live may wane under the weight of my reply!
Firstly – maybe your mum has the standard generational thinking of our elders…don’t cause a fuss, doctor / lawyer / vicar / person of “importance” & “standing” knows best & is always right, etc.
Nonsense of course because one has every right to question & “cause a fuss” as it’s one’s health after all & believe me, doctors are not always right & the NHS often makes arbitrary decisions based on finances or outmoded medical thinking, puts juniors in charge, etc, etc…………….hospital “nutritionists” & the Liverpool Pathway spring to mind as prime examples of how not to do it that I have personal experience of.
Secondly – your mum may not want to give such angst ridden responsibilities to her loved ones – that’s you by the way 🙂 – & would rather let the system do it’s thing & absolve you of any responsibility for what may happen to her in a worst case scenario.
Admirably intended but misguided! – nothing is worse than seeing decisions & actions being made for your loved one’s health that you know are wrong (either factually or simply against what you know to be their wishes) & being helpless to do anything about it.
If you are not PoA for health then medical practitioners will usually listen to your thoughts as a relative but DO NOT NEED TO ACT UPON THEM, THEY CAN OVERRIDE / IGNORE YOUR INPUT in a contentious circumstance.
If you are PoA for health then you are legally deemed to be that person in the event that they can no longer make decisions themself….the doctors have to speak to you as if you were that person!
Thirdly – fear! Fear of having control of her life taken away from her & your mum is possibly also fearful of acknowledging the unpleasant possibility of being in such a position in the first place.
She can rest assured that a PoA is only applicable if & when her health / mental capacity deteriorated.
Also, any specific wishes that your mum has can be written in to the PoA so that you have to abide by them – all decisions you make have to be in your mum’s best interests & not in yours. The ability to put specifics into the PoA (such as blood transfusion, Do Not Resuscitate, organ donation) protect your mum against any eventuality that she may not wish for.
It is also a fact that just because you may be acting for her under the PoA in a certain situation, it is not a legal “given” that you can act in for your mum in each & every scenario.
Ie: she may not lose total control over her life. There is legal precedent that lack of capacity, once acknowledged, can not be assumed in every occasion – this might seem at odds with what I’ve said earlier but imagine not being given the basic human respect of not being asked first what you’d like to eat, wear, do next, etc – these are basic things but important to one’s dignity.
(Also, there are far more complex situations which would not apply to your mum but for which this legal precedent is very important).
Fourthly – your mum may have had poor legal advice. A prime example here – my late mum initially decided to only do the finance PoA because her solicitor told her that there was enough protection in the law anyway for her health!
After all, a medical professional has to act in their patient’s best interests. But why would there be a PoA for health at all then? What if one disagrees with their opinion of best interests / does not wish to go along with their proposed treatment?
I knew from previous experience that this is utter rubbish & when I rang my own solicitor for their input they simply could not believe that my mum’s solicitor had advised her that way!
My mum, my brother & my sister all agreed with her solicitor (see my first point about some people doffing their caps & blindly believing that those in authority somehow always know best) & I frankly had to give up arguing about it with them all.
Move on a year when my mum had been very ill & had also changed solicitor – to one who as it happened advised differently, she changed her mind & took out a PoA for health!
Move on another year or two when dementia took mum’s ability to think for herself on so many things & we were all very glad that she had PoA’s in place.
Basically, a PoA (be it health or finance) is a way of making sure that what one wishes to happen is what happens – it protects the rights of the donor (in this case your mum) in the event that they can not speak for themself.