End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Plaintiff to Oppose Motion to Dismiss Suit for Traumatic, Unwanted Medical Treatmentby Chris

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Contact: Sean Crowley, 202-495-8250-c or scrowley@compassionandchoices.org

Daughter of Elderly Woman Subjected to Unwanted Resuscitation Fights Lakeland Hospital Effort to Dismiss Civil Charges

What:

A hearing on a motion by the Lakeland Regional Medical Center to dismiss a suit against the hospital for failing to transmit a dying woman’s do-not-resuscitate order to her nursing home. The suit claims 91-year-old Marjorie Mangiaruca was not allowed to die naturally as she wished. Marjorie had made her wishes clear to her daughter, Sharon Hallada, when she learned that she was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Due to defendant’s negligence, Marjorie was forced to endure  days of unwanted, aggressive treatment, including having her lip split open, having a hole cut in her throat, receiving paralyzing drugs, having tubes inserted into her throat and her stomach, and having air forced into her lungs. Sharon was put in the painfully stressful situation of directing the hospital to remove her mother’s ventilator and held a bedside vigil with her for five days before she died, finally ending her suffering.

Why:

The suit seeks to hold Lakeland Regional Medical Center and the Oakbridge Healthcare Center nursing home accountable for their negligence, seeking both monetary damages and injunctive relief to ensure that training of staff prevents such violations of patient rights in the future. Attorneys will make oral arguments for and against the motion to dismiss these civil charges at the hearing. The attorneys also have submitted written briefs on the motion to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss brief is available at http://community.compassionandchoices.org/document.doc?id=1322 and the brief opposing it is at http://community.compassionandchoices.org/document.doc?id=1325.

Who:

The Honorable J. Dale Durrance, Circuit Court Judge, Polk County, Florida (Bridgett Bulman, Judicial Assistant, 863-534-4648, bbulman@jud10.flcourts.org)

Defendant Lakeland Regional Medical Center’s attorney: Joseph P. Manello, Esq., Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, PA

Plaintiff Sharon Hallada’s attorneys: Jeffrey S. Badgley, Esq., Badgley Law Group, Kathyrn L. Tucker, Esq., Director of Legal Affairs and Advocacy, Compassion & Choices (participating in hearing via phone)

Where:

Polk County Courthouse, Hearing Room 8A-1 (8th floor, west tower, red elevators), 225 N. Broadway Ave., Bartow, FL

When:

Wed., Sept. 18, 1:30pm-2:30pm ET