Saturday, January 22, 2011

Doctor Vs. Patient's Wife

Al Barnes has been in eight hospitals in the past 10 months. His diagnoses include end-stage respiratory distress, renal failure, dementia and other maladies.

Now the 85-year-old from Scandia, Minn., is at the center of a wrenching and unusual court struggle over who will control his medical care.

A doctor at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park will go to court Wednesday, seeking to replace Barnes' wife with a substitute decision-maker and arguing that she is making futile and reckless decisions to prolong her husband's life.

The case, scheduled to be heard in Hennepin County Probate Court, pits not just Methodist but the opinions of several Twin Cities hospitals against a woman who believes her husband can recover from his vegetative state. While Barnes is being fed via a tube and breathing through a ventilator, Lana Barnes said that is because of treatable infections and fluid buildup in his brain that is often misdiagnosed.

"I know my husband. I know I'm not crazy. I know that Al is there," said Barnes, 56, who was placed in charge of her husband's care several years ago through his written health care directive. She filed paperwork Tuesday to move the case to a Chisago County court nearer to her home in Scandia.

Methodist is but the latest hospital to assume Barnes' care, and to clash with his wife in a case that raises highly charged questions about the care of gravely ill patients.

Full Article and Source:
Wrenching Court Case - Doctor vs. Patient's Wife


Thelma said...

Sounds like the Gary Harvey story.

Anonymous said...

I saw a comment on facebook from Bobby Schlinder that the decision has been delayed.

Barbara said...

Al Barnes wouldn't be alive today if he didn't have a strong will to live.

Everyone should have the right to live!

Finny said...

Very sad. You're right, Thelma. This mirrors the Gary Harvey story.

Kyle said...

Here we go again. Another life considered not worthwhile. It makes me literally sick.

Doctors forget their oath to do no harm.

I am so sorry for this family.

Angie said...

More and more of these stories are making the news and who knows how many more people are euthanized that their story doesn't make the news. Scary world.

Anonymous said...

The Nevada Secretary of State offers a lockbox for advance directives, wills, etc., for a nominal fee. All states should have the same system available for security of important documents affecting life/health..