Bioethics Blogs

Another California Lawsuit for Following the Wrong Surrogate

A few days ago, Bart F. Sullivan filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court (California) against Park Vista at Morningside and Placentia Linda Hospital.  His 92-year-old mother, Clara, died there in May 2014.  Sullivan’s legal theories include: abuse of an elder person, negligent wrongful death, medical malpractice, infliction of emotional distress, and fraud.

Most interesting is a claim that the nursing home and hospital lacked a good faith belief in the validity of Clara Sullivan’s DNR order.  From the complaint: “Clara Sullivan’s daughter Gail Mitsch had signed a “Do Not Resuscitate” form for Clara . . . a form not only without Plaintiff’s signature (as Plaintiff shared POA for Health care, Exhibit “X” ), but contradicting Clara’s Health Care Directive. . . .  Clara Sullivan on many occasions has expressed her desire for optimal medical treatment.”

This sounds a little like the Noval lawsuit in which the hospital proceeded on the basis of the consent of some of the patient’s family but without the consent of the duly authorize agent.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.