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COVID Patient Flown to Texas After Minnesota Doctors Decided to Pull Plug on Ventilator

The Daily Beast logo The Daily Beast 1/17/2022 Andrew Boryga
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout © Provided by The Daily Beast Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Handout

A Minnesota woman whose husband neared death from COVID appealed to the courts to force his hospital to halt their plans to pull the plug on the man’s ventilator.

Scott Quiner, 55, a reportedly unvaccinated man who had been battling COVID in Mercy Hospital’s ICU in Coon Rapids since November, was set to have his ventilator shut off on Jan. 13, according to a petition filed in court one day before the deadline by his wife, Anne Quiner.

Quiner said the decision by the hospital would “end my husband’s life” and appealed to the Anoka County Court for a restraining order against the hospital. “Absent an Order from the court,” she wrote in the petition, “my husband will die.”

On Jan. 13, a district court judge ordered Mercy Hospital not to turn off Quiner’s ventilator.

On Monday morning, Marjorie Holsten, an attorney representing Quiner’s wife, told the Star Tribune that Quiner has now been transferred to a hospital in Texas.

"The doctor said Scott was the most undernourished patient he has ever seen,” Holsten told the outlet. “The last update I got was yesterday afternoon after some tests had been run; all organs are working except his lungs.”

Holsten did not name the Texas hospital. Neither she nor Anne Quiner responded to a request for comment.

Allina Health, which runs Mercy Hospital, said in a statement to the Star Tribune that it was grateful the family found another care facility for Quiner. "We continue to wish them all the best," the statement read.

Allina Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a screenshot of Quiner’s chart included in his wife’s court filings, staff at the hospital noted on Jan. 12 that Quiner’s “care plan” called for the end of ventilator support on Jan. 13. “Family would be able to be present at the bedside,” the chart read.

In a motion following the court order halting that plan, attorneys for Mercy Hospital said Quiner’s medical care and treatment was “based on best available medical science and authority.”

However, Quiner’s wife said in her petition that she “vehemently” disagreed with Mercy Hospital’s doctors.

In a recent interview with FOX9, Holsten, the family attorney, applauded the ruling. “I don’t think the judge wanted to be on the wrong side of saying, ‘Well, of course you should be able to pull the plug,’” she said.

“I think the world is watching what is going on with Scott, and as he gets better and better, we’re gonna see that, you know what, there are protocols that should be used that hospitals have not been using,” Holsten told the outlet. “I’m hoping that changes are going to be made as a result of this case.”

Quiner’s care has drawn attention across the country, and his family has raised more than $70,000 on GoFundMe and GiveSendGo.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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