Duarte v. Chino Community Hospital
West's California Reporter, 2d Series, 1999, 85: 521-527
Court Decision: 85 California Reporter, 2d Series 521: 1999 Jun 3 (date of decision). The California Court of Appeals for the Fourth District held that an accident victim's physician was immune under state statute for refusal to withdraw the patient from a respirator. The victim's family alleged negligence on the part of the doctors and the hospital for refusing to comply with the family's requests to terminate life support, specifically a respirator, or to transfer her to a hospital that would terminate life support. The court found that the patient had nothing in writing supporting her wish to be taken off life-sustaining treatment, neither a living will nor a medical power of attorney. Under those facts and state statutes, the court found no negligence where the life support was removed only after the patient was diagnosed as brain dead.
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