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June 9, 2023

Minnesota judge bars hospital from taking Covid-19 patient off ventilator

Minnesota judge bars hospital from taking Covid-19 patient off ventilator

A Minnesota judge blocked a hospital from taking a patient with Covid-19 off life support Thursday, a day after his wife said she “vehemently” disagreed with doctors’ decision, court records show.

Anoka County Judge Jennifer Stanfield issued the temporary restraining order barring doctors at Mercy Hospital, north of Minneapolis, from removing the man, Scott Quiner, from a ventilator after they declined to provide treatment that his wife, Anne Quiner, had requested, her lawyer said in an interview.

The lawyer, Marjorie Holsten, said she didn’t know what the treatment was. Anne Quiner didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an affidavit filed in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District, Anne Quiner said she had been appointed to make her husband’s health care decisions. He was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit Nov. 6, NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis reported.

In the affidavit, Quiner said she was working to find a new facility for her husband but needed more time.

Doctors at Mercy Hospital “advised that they intend to take actions on Thursday, January 12, 2022, that will end my husband’s life,” she said in the document. “These actions include turning off his ventilator.

“I have advised the doctors that I vehemently disagree with this action and do not want my husband’s ventilator turned off,” she added.

The hospital didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, its parent company, Allina Health, declined to comment on patient care. It said it will “follow the court’s order in this case and continue to work through the legal process.”

The statement added: “In the meantime, our care teams remain committed to providing exceptional care to all our patients based on the best medical science and treatments for a patient’s medical condition.”

The next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11.

According to an NBC News count, hospitalizations for Covid-19 in Minnesota have risen by 6 percent in the last two weeks as the omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to surge across the country. The most recent state health data show that 55 of the state’s 68 hospitals — 81 percent — had no beds available in their intensive care units.

Tim Stelloh is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

Courtney Brogle



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