Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shocking Surprise in Al Barnes Case

Lana Barnes entered Hennepin County Probate Court Wednesday morning determined to win aggressive care for her frail husband and remain his medical decision-maker.

Instead, Barnes possibly could face lawsuits and criminal charges after making a startling admission on the witness stand: She altered a legal document governing her ailing husband's care.

Lana Barnes testified that as guardian for her husband, Al, she felt justified in eliminating two pages of his 1993 health care directive, including passages in which he said he didn't want to be kept alive by machines.

When she admitted her 85-year-old husband to Methodist Hospital in December she provided only a page identifying her as guardian.

In several hearings over the past 10 days, Methodist has sought to remove her from that role, contending that Al is too sick to recover and that her insistence on aggressive care is incorrect and reckless.

Her admission brought a sudden halt to the proceedings, as Referee Dean Maus, Lana Barnes and the attorneys went into a closed-door meeting.

Maus later advised her to hire a lawyer. "This is a very serious matter," Maus said. "You should be careful about what you should say."

The missing two pages of Al Barnes' directive contradicted his wife's insistence that he wanted life-sustaining care. Instead, it indicated that Barnes didn't want to be sustained by respirators or feeding tubes -- devices to which he is currently connected.

"If ... there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from extensive physical and mental disability, I direct that I be allowed to die and not be kept alive by medications, artificial means or 'heroic measures,' " the directive stated.
Lana Barnes later said her husband had changed his views.

"Al did tell me he wants to live," she said. "He said, 'If there's any chance at all, I want it.' "

No legal action was immediately taken against Lana Barnes or on the petition to replace her as guardian. Maus said he would review evidence and select an emergency guardian soon. A March 3 hearing will name a permanent guardian.

Full Article and Source:
Wife's Surprise Shakes Barnes Case

See Also:
Doctor Vs. Patient's Wife


Dean said...

Well, he could have changed his mind. And if he told her he wanted to live, that doesn't justify what she did -- but it does give some explanation.

Anonymous said...

Of course she shouldn't have altered his document, but she has a point. As guardian, it's her decision, not his.

This reminds me of the Gary Harvey case. The guardian made the decision to end his life in 2009 and it didn't matter what Gary Harvey wanted or his wife. And they would have gotten away with it if Mrs. Harvey hadn't went to the media.

Jane said...

Here is another prime example why laws and new protocols need to be put in place for "EVERYONE" to understand, over the years people change, many times their ideas and beliefs change and are no longer the same as what they believed when they were young or even five or ten years ago.

When your young,strong and healthy your belief may be, "don't keep me alive on tubes, medication and machines" But God forbid if illness did strike your body, and you could be kept alive on medication, tubes and machines, and if there was a possibility
you would survive with or without the tubes and machines, your idea about pulling the plug would change.

Believe me, the Will to Live
becomes very strong when you think death is near, Miracles do happen at any age whether you believe or not.
Many testimonies can be given on that subject.

When a person becomes ill and frail, they're very vulnerable, the last thing on their mind and the family is changing legal papers, they could easily be postponed due to the focus on the person who is ill. This is the legal danger zone for the person who is ill, their spouse and family, And, it is where they need protection.

In my opinion, it only stands to reason, a person at any age, who is ill, clearly does not want to die and leave their loving family, if there is anything medically that can be done to save their life, without a doubt that would be their wishes.

The court should not be so quick to
judge Al Barnes wife harshly for telling the truth. There is no crime in Not wanting your love one to die.

And, the court should not rule out
Al Barnes Did change his mind and his wife is protecting his right to live, her only focus has always been to advocate the medical help her husband needs.

The court should consider Al Barnes wife does not understand legal procedure, she is not an attorney, her only goal is to keep her husband alive, advocating proper medical care. Courts, convervators, attorney's and court appointed guardians are strangers to Al Barnes, they have not been the ones that have cared for Mr. Barnes personal and medical needs for years at home. Lana Barnes is now sitting at the side of Mr. Barnes hospital bed day and night advocating proper medical care. the people trying to pull the plug on Mr. Barnes, have no love or family association with him. How can they assume it's time to let Mr. Barnes die without any assoication of his medical history, and understanding his wishes have changed. They are not his family who have lived with Mr. Barnes for twenty, thirty or more years, it makes no sense to put his life in their hands ?

We can all relate wanting to make sure "Everthing," is medically being done to save and protect our love ones and to keep them alive and safe. The Courts and others should Remember, this could be someone you love more than your own life. Would you want your love one handed over to strangers who had no feeling of love, respect or association to their real personal wishes or medical needs in any sense and allow them to be killed ?

Would this be what you would want for your love one and your family ?

Any possible lawsuits against Lana Barnes should be dropped immediately and instead, help Lana Barnes protect her husband Al Barnes from being killed.

New reforms and laws must be put in place to protect all of us.