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Surrogate Selection as Solution to Intractable Futility Case: Al Barnes

Posted Jan 20 2011 11:46am
I recently published a comprehensive examination of using surrogate selection as a solution to intractable futility disputes.  A new case in Minnesota will be testing this approach (once again) next week.  ( Fox News )  Healthcare providers have determined that continued treatment for Al Barnes is inappropriate.  But Al's wife, Lana Barnes, has insisted that all interventions continue.  ( Star Tribune

Notably, this is not just a case in which the providers and surrogate differ on what constitutes a worthwhile quality of life.  Rather, the providers in this case think that Lana has a "fixed delusion" about her husband's prognosis and may actually lack capacity.  Providers are asking the Hennepin County Probate Court to transfer decision making authority from Lana to Alternate Decision Makers, Inc., a professional guardian.  Notably, this approach to this same court famously failed twenty years ago in the Helga Wanglie case

Scandia, Minn. Woman Battles Methodist Hospital Over Ailing Husband:
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