The Alliance Defense Fund brings us news that they secured an agreement with Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia to keep a disabled 40-year-old woman on dialysis after the hospital’s so-called “death board” “ethics board” determined to stop dialysis treatments over the objections of the family. This is just a glimpse of what is to come under Obamacare.
ADF-allied attorney secures agreement with hospital to extend vital care for 40-year-old woman
MORGANTOWN, WV — An Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney secured an agreed-upon court order Friday that extends care for a 40-year-old woman on dialysis at Ruby Memorial Hospital after the hospital originally said it would end treatment on March 27 against the wishes of the woman’s family.The hospital agreed to continue care while the family of Rebecca Bennett locates another medical facility willing to continue treatment. The family agreed that if the transfer does not occur by 5 p.m. on April 9, they will no longer oblige the hospital to continue dialysis treatment for the seriously disabled woman, but the hospital will still continue her other basic care. So far, another facility has not been found.
“A hospital should not be allowed to cease care for a family’s loved one when state law gives the family the right to make medical decisions in such circumstances. Becky’s family simply wants to honor their mother’s wishes,” said Jeremiah Dys, general counsel of the Family Policy Council of West Virginia and one of more than 1,600 attorneys in the ADF alliance.
“We were pleased to assist the family in securing this agreement; however, Becky seriously needs life-sustaining dialysis treatment beyond April 9,” Dys explained. “It’s our hope that another facility will be found that is willing to work with the family to give Becky a chance to fight for her life.”
Bennett went into a coma due to complications from diabetes. The hospital’s board of ethics decided that it would stop dialysis on March 27, despite the expressed objections of Sierra Kisner, a member of the family acting as her legal surrogate. ADF attorneys argued that the hospital’s decision violated West Virginia law, which gives the surrogate decision-making power and which requires the hospital to continue care or cooperate in obtaining a transfer. It does not allow the hospital to unilaterally determine that care will cease.
The complaint and motion for temporary restraining order in Kisner v. West Virginia University Hospitals was filed with the Circuit Court of Monongalia County Friday and led to the agreed order issued the same day.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.
Note: Facts in ADF news releases are verified prior to publication but may change over time. Members of the media are encouraged to contact ADF for the latest information on this matter.