Bioethics Blogs

Hospital Sued for Resuscitating Patient in Contravention of POLST

As I argued in a lengthy review of U.S. cases, providers face significant risk for administering UNWANTED life-sustaining treatment.  Here is the latest case in point.

On August 7, 2013, Beatrice Weisman’s healthcare agent completed a Maryland MOLST indicating that she did NOT want to be resuscitated if she coded.  Nevertheless, on August 29, 2013, clinicians at Maryland General Hospital (now part of the University of Maryland) performed CPR despite her express DNR instructions and against her wishes.  Hospital employees defibrilated Mrs. Weisman three (3) times, and injected her with epinephrine all in an effort to resuscitate her.


Weisman’s agent is now suing the hospital for assault,  negligence, IIED, breach of contract, and informed consent.  (Circuit Court of Maryland, Baltimore City, No. 24-C-16-004199).  He alleges:


“While that undesired effort was successful, Mrs. Weisman was severely injured by the violent process, has been burdened by enormous medical costs and now spends tens of thousand of dollars per month to care for herself, and was ultimately charged for medical services that she specifically advised Defendant that she did not want or were otherwise occasioned by Defendant having ignored her express wishes.


“In addition, Mrs. Weisman’s family now spends significant time, energy and resources caring for her because she cannot fully care for herself, despite The expenditure of what will be a significant part of her Estate and that of her late husband’s.”

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.