Human Exceptionalism

Futile Care Dehydration Stopped in Alaska

The Alliance Defense Fund, which helped save Jesse Ramirez’s life, has won another one, at least for now. From its press release:

On May 16, the patient’s husband filed the suit P.C. v. K. against the hospital and a doctor in order to keep the medical staff from removing his wife’s life support, which would have terminated her life. [ADF lawyer Kenneth] Kirk subsequently filed a motion for stay on the husband’s behalf to keep the hospital from doing so.

The motion was granted, and the Alaska Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on May 30 prohibiting the hospital from discontinuing life support pending appeal and further order of the court (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=4544). The hospital then determined that it would remove her feeding tube instead, which would have caused the woman to starve to death.

Following additional proceedings and efforts by Kirk, the hospital changed positions and will now allow continuation of the patient’s nutrition, hydration, and pain treatment.

I am stunned at the energy that goes into forcing people off life support. Good for the ADF and the patient’s husband.