Bioethics Blogs

Healthcare Agent Sued for Making Treatment Decisions while Drunk

Linda Diann Aymond Roberts, a neonatal nurse practitioner, died on July 28, 2009.  Her son, Jeffrey Buelow, filed a petition against his stepfather, Donald Melvin Roberts, seeking damages for the alleged wrongful death of his mother.

Buelow claims that during the period that Mrs. Roberts was hospitalized in the Rapides Medical Center, Mr. Roberts was under the “influence of alcohol.”  Mr. Buelow claimed that Mr. Roberts was intoxicated when he signed “Consent to Withdraw Life–Sustaining Procedures,” for Mrs. Roberts. 

Mrs. Roberts passed away shortly after life support was withdrawn. Mr. Buelow alleges that Mrs. Roberts’ life-sustaining procedures were wrongfully withdrawn by Mr. Roberts, as BOOP (“bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia) was a curable disease.

This week, the Louisiana Court of Appeals (15–965) affirmed the dismissal of the case, because it was filed too late.

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.