The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court decision allowing appointed professional guardians to remove patients from life support without a court review.
The case involved Jeffrey Tschumy -- a man incapacitated from diabetes, the effects of a stroke, and partial paralysis from a spinal infection -- who choked on his food and suffered what was determined to be irreversible brain damage, reports Minnesota Public Radio. The man had no family and the professional guardian who'd been appointed nearly three years earlier to make the man's medical decisions asked the hospital to remove him from life support.
The hospital's ethics panel and a district court said that guardians didn't have that decision-making power. But the Minnesota Supreme Court disagreed.