It seems it would be rather unusual for someone to go to the trouble and expense (assuming they involved a lawyer in drawing up their Advance Directives) of appointing a person they presumably trust and have confidence in, to be their Agent under their DPOA for Health Care, and, then, when hospitalized, tell the health care staff that they don't want to receive a visit from this person. I can more easily see a person who is using a DPOA for Health Care form they purchased online or in a store, who has named as their Agent someone who they are not particularly close to, doing this, but even then I would be surprised if this happens very often. Of course, there is always the possibility that the patient was pressured by someone into preparing this document. While it is necessary to safeguard the patient’s rights, I have some thoughts about this situation.
On the subject of a patient refusing visitation from the person that they have selected and designated as their Agent under their DPOA for Health Care; besides the possibility that this is what the patient genuinely wants; the possibility that the patient has become unable to give informed consent; and the possibility that the patient has been coerced into preparing the document and designating an Agent; there are also other possibilities:
It is possible that some kind of interaction has taken place between the patient and the staff that has influenced or prejudiced the patient towards the person whom they have designated as their Agent. It is also possible that the staff have said to the patient something like: “You seem to be doing fine without your wife,” or: “You don’t appear to need your wife to be with you,” and the patient wants to please the health care staff and goes along with this, or the patient can’t find a way at that moment (patients are usually very sick when they are hospitalized) when that comment is made to them, to disagree. This may have then been interpreted by staff as the patient actually not wanting their wife/Agent to visit them.
Also, given that patients usually have to be very sick to be admitted to hospital, it is quite possible that when the patient said or indicated that they didn’t want their Agent to visit them, they were severely stressed both mentally and physically during an acute illness, or were just showing improvement from an acute illnesss, or were under the influence of a medication, or had had a reaction to a medication, or were experiencing toxicity from a medication, or polypharmacy, and it is also possible that they have experienced a stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, acute renal failure, delirium, dehydration, hypoxia, or another condition that could affect their mental status or result in an altered mental status, or that they had undergone a medical procedure that could result in a changed mental status. These conditions may result in an altered mental status, or in the patient's state of mind being different to the way it normally is, and thus affect the patient's behavior. These condition/s and others may not be considered or identified by staff.