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COI Impacts Decision to Stop Life Support: Kubena v. Enmon

Posted Jan 10 2010 10:27am
One argument against giving physicians or hospital committees more authority to refuse requested life-sustaining medical treatment is that these providers may have a conflict of interest that prevents them from neutrally and fairly judging the appropriateness of the treatment.  Rarely does the COI issue manifest itself so concretely as in the ongoing case of Dr. Cleveland Enmon.

In June 2009, Enmon was a traveling doctor working the emergency room at Stockton, California's St. Joseph's Medcial Center.  In a criminal case, Enmon is accused of stealing the expensive Rolex watch from a  Jerry Kubena, Sr., who was dying of a heart attack.  In a civil case by Kubena's family, Enmon is accused of allowing Kubena to die so that he could steal the watch.  

Enmon was in court on Friday, so that San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge William Murray Jr. could schedule the start of Enmon's felony theft case.  Trial is set to begin March 12.  After the hearing  Enmon was jailed for failing to appear over a pair of southern California traffic tickets.  (ABC News)
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