Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Battle in Alaska over hospital starvation attempts

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 9/16/2008 8:45:00 AM

An Alaska hospital has agreed to keep a feeding tube in place for a patient who has been unresponsive.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) represented the patient's husband, who wanted his wife to have a chance at life. Attorney Joe Infranco handled the case.

"The hospital was trying to take the position that the woman was, they thought, not going to recover," Infranco explains.

But the husband wanted his wife cared for without having to fight hospital staff who wanted to starve her to death. "Our view is that the default position should be life, and it's the principle that's important -- that we want to be a society that affirms life," the attorney points out. "We don't try to weigh life against issues like convenience."

The judge ruled in favor of the husband and wife. Infranco says it reminds him of Jesse Ramirez, a Phoenix man in a similar position whose wife wanted his feeding tube removed. The court ruled in his favor as well.

"And a few months later, [Ramirez] walked out of the hospital on his own [two] legs and came to our office to thank us," he adds.

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