An acute care hospital had “care and custody” of a dependent elder for purposes of Welf. & Inst. Code  15610.57 when it took him in for acute care, noting he was not mentally competent and was not eating sufficiently on his own to sustain himself.  The hospital also committed “neglect” of the elder when it overrode the objections of the nurse to whom the elder had given a durable power of attorney and operated on the elder to implant a pacemaker despite the nurse’s refusal to consent and demand for a second opinion.  The right of personal autonomy is fundamental, and the hospital infringed it by approving and proceeding with an operation to which the elder and his designated representative did not consent.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division Two (Ramirez, J.); October 12, 2017; 2017 WL 4544658.