Bioethics Blogs

Lang v. Rogue Valley Medical Center – Unilateral DNR and Withholding Lawsuit

The Oregon Supreme Court has just issued a judgment allowing a medical futility lawsuit to proceed to trial.

In 2001, Ruth Miller was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Seven years later, in 2008, she executed an advance directive, naming Phillip Lang as her health care representative.  

On August 1, 2008, Miller was admitted into Rogue Valley Medical Center, where she died that night. Lang brought a lawsuit against the Medical Center and Miller’s oncologist, asserting claims for wrongful death, negligence, medical malpractice, and abuse of a vulnerable

Lang alleges that Miller was not capable of making medical decisions when she was admitted. According to the complaint, when defendants admitted Miller, they listed her as “Do Not Resuscitate” and provided her with only palliative care instead of following plaintiff’s directions to insert a feeding tube and to take other measures to reverse Miller’s deteriorating condition. 

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.