By Edgar Linares, NewsRadio 830 WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An ethical dilemma is in front of the Hennepin County Court Wednesday.
According to the Associated Press, Al Barnes, 85, has been to eight different hospitals in the last 10 months.
His wife Lana Barnes, 56, is seeking treatment for him because she said he’s been misdiagnosed by doctors.
Doctors at the Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park say Lana is making futile decisions on her husband’s behalf.
Now doctors want Al replaced with a substitute decision-maker.
“It’s extremely rare for clinicians to pursue an alternative form of guardianship or surrogate decision making,” said Dr. Mary Faith Marshall, an ethics specialist with the University of Minnesota Medical Center. “Especially, if that patient has given the spouse the power of attorney for healthcare.”
She said doctors would generally do this if they feel the surrogate is not acting as a capable decision-maker. Marshall said another reason why a request like this would be made is because the surrogate is not following the patient’s advance directives.
“I can tell you that conflicts and decision making at the end of life are probably the most frequent ethical dilemmas that come to hospital ethics committees,” said Marshall.
The case will be in the Hennepin County Probate court at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports