Wife of critically ill Covid patient wins court battle to keep husband on ventilator

‘Absent an order from the court, my husband will die,’ Anne Quiner wrote to a Minnesota judge

Nathan Place
New York
Wednesday 19 January 2022 00:49
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Wife battles hospital to keep Covid-infected husband on ventilator

When a hospital allegedly planned to take a Covid-19 patient off life support, his wife went to court to keep him alive – and won.

Scott Quiner, 55, tested positive for Covid in late October, and by early November he was on a ventilator at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. As Mr Quiner showed few signs of improving, doctors reportedly told his wife, Anne Quiner, that they would turn off his ventilator on 13 January.

Ms Quiner fought back. In a petition to Anoka County District Court, she pleaded for a restraining order against the hospital.

“Absent an order from the court, my husband will die,” Ms Quiner wrote. “I have advised the doctors that I vehemently disagree with this action and do not want my husband’s ventilator turned off.”

On the day Mr Quiner was set to be taken off life support, Judge Jennifer Stanfield granted Ms Quiner’s request. The judge issued a temporary restraining order against Mercy Hospital, blocking it from unplugging Mr Quiner’s ventilator, and scheduled a hearing to work out the dispute on 11 February.

The hospital’s parent company, Allina Health, has not commented in detail about the case, but said it would follow the judge’s order.

“Allina Health respects the privacy of its patients and is unable to comment on specific patient care,” the healthcare company told KARE 11. “We will follow the court’s order in this case and continue to work through the legal process. In the meantime, our care teams remain committed to providing exceptional care to all our patients based on the best medical science and treatments for a patient’s medical condition.”

A few days later, Ms Quiner says, her husband was moved to a hospital in Texas, possibly offering a way out of the standoff.

“Scott is now in a hospital in Texas getting critical care,” Marjorie Holsten, a lawyer for Ms Quiner, told the Star Tribune. “The last update I got was yesterday afternoon after some tests had been run; all organs are working except his lungs.”

Allina Health did not confirm or deny this news, but hinted that Mr Quiner is no longer a patient at Mercy Hospital.

“​​Due to patient privacy, we cannot comment on care provided to specific patients,” the company told The Independent. “Allina Health continues to wish the patient and family well. Any information regarding the patient’s on-going care should be directed to his current medical provider.”

According to the Tribune, Mr Quiner is unvaccinated. Experts say getting vaccinated and receiving a booster shot is the best way to avoid severe illness from Covid-19.

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