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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ind. Courts - More on "End-of-life case splits family"

Updating this ILB entry from Jan. 14th, Tim Evans reports in today's Indianapolis Star in a long story headed "Daughter vows to fight on for her gravely ill Carmel father." It begins:

Susan Rissman vows that the fight to keep her father alive is not over — despite a crushing court ruling Wednesday.

“We’re not going to quit,” Rissman told The Indianapolis Star. “I don’t know what else I can do, but I can’t give up on my dad.”

Her comments came after Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation refused a request to appoint a guardian or order a review of St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital’s care of her 88-year-old father, Paul G. Smith, who was removed from a ventilator Jan.7 and had a feeding tube removed the next day.

Rissman went to court to force doctors at St. Vincent’s to resume active treatment of her father. But Nation ruled his care can be guided by a 2004 living will that says he doesn’t want his life prolonged by artificial means, even though Rissman and others insist that Smith — who has asked for food and water — is still capable of making that decision for himself.

It was unclear Wednesday what legal or medical options Rissman might be able to pursue. But the more pressing concern is time.

Smith is gravely ill, and, according to testimony Wednesday from his doctors, the retired attorney and former Hamilton County court magistrate already has outlived their expectations.

Rissman has been her father’s primary caregiver for the past several years, but another daughter, Judith Sly, has been designated his health-care representative based on power of attorney and other directives Smith signed in 2004.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 17, 2013 01:08 PM
Posted to Ind. Trial Ct. Decisions