Man Who Battled Doctors Over Mom's Care Transfers Her to Another Hospital

Drip infusion of a patient in a hospital room.

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A judge Monday rescinded his order directing UCLA doctors to continue giving an ill woman life-sustaining care rather than "comfort" steps in the wake of the transfer of the patient by her son to another medical facility.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff held a hearing on Wednesday on an application for a temporary restraining order against the UCLA doctors sought by David L. Carey of Chatsworth, the son of Jeanne M. Carey. The lawsuit was brought Tuesday against the UC Regents and several UCLA physicians and alleged that had the doctors been allowed to change Jeanne Carey's medical treatment, she "almost certainly" would have died.

After hearing testimony from David Carey and arguments, the judge continued the TRO hearing until Monday, but ordered the regents and UCLA in the meantime to "maintain the status quo and (Jeanne Carey's) current level of care and not institute comfort care measures pending further order of the court."

Beckloff's order allowed David Carey to transfer his mother to another facility if he wished, and that is what he ultimately did, a decision which the judge's clerk wrote in a minute order was "against medical advice."

The suit stated that David Carey was considering other medical facilities, including Barlow Respiratory Hospital, to provide his mother with life-sustaining medical needs, or a trial extubation and/or tracheostomy placement if an alternate place of care was not found. Monday's court minute order did not state when Jeanne Carey was transferred or to what hospital.

David Carey brought his mother to UCLA Medical Center on Oct. 13 from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and she has been intubated since that time, according to the suit, which does not describe her illness.

Using his power of attorney, David Carey signed a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment document directing that his mother was to be provided with full treatment "by all medically effective means under any situation, including CPR and full respiratory support, including intubation," the suit states.

However, on Nov. 15 UCLA physicians decided that "comfort" measures would be implemented as soon as Nov. 25, according to the suit.

"By doing so, UCLA would not attempt to resuscitate Ms. Carey if the need were to arise, would not re-intubate her if the need were to arise, and would stop all supportive measures such as suctioning, giving feeds, medications and water, all of which is in contravention of the ... POLST," the suit states.

An MRI of Jeanne Carey's brain shows she is not "brain dead," according to the suit, which further states that she breathes with the assistance of a ventilator, is able to follow commands and is responsive to her son.

In alleged violation of the POLST, UCLA doctors told David Carey that they would not agree to re-intubate his mother if she failed a breathing trial, the suit states.

On Nov. 18, UCLA doctors stopped taking lab tests to monitor Jeanne Carey's condition, her son states in a sworn declaration.

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