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

Comments (13)
  1. gtV says:

    What is[are] the patient’s health problem[s] that precipitate his wife’s actions for different opinions? Is he dying and she is distraught over this? Why isn’t the patient’s wife saying anything openly?

    Unfortunately the privacy issues and laws seem to have made a mess of this story while the average person on the street has a myriad of questions etcetera that should be answered. Is someone hiding a major issue or problem here?

    The news cat is out of the proverbial news bag, what’s up?

  2. Ginger says:

    Could we call this a “death panel”, since they are deciding they don’t want to extend this person’s care anymore? Looks like this will be what we have to all look forward to when Obamacare is in full force. Good luck to us all.

    1. Nicole says:

      I wanna be a vegetable too!

    2. Jeff says:

      You are ridicolous even saying this has anything to do with Obamacare. This isn’t something that interferes with the national gov’t and it has nothing to do with federal courts. If i said i wanted to die, i dont want doctors keeping me alive, i wouldn’t call them a death panel, i would believe that they are giving me what i want, which is in THEIR job description. The patient has a right to do what he wants with his life. You obviously do not realize where the scope of this case even exists. People like you make these cases a bit ridicolous when this case is a family thing, nothing something to prove or disprove what the new health care bill will do for America

  3. Jennifer says:

    No we cannot call this a death panel. There are situations where the loved one(s) in charge of a patients care are too emotional to make a rational decision. We are missing a lot of facts regarding this situation, and to jump to the conclusion that this is a death panel is an extreme statement. Perhaps, she doesn’t agree with a hypertension diagnosis and that the doctors want to help him with this new diagnosis. That doesn’t sound like a death panel to me.

  4. Haleigh says:

    The woman has bypassed the legal system and, thus has forfeited the right to take care of him.

  5. Taylor says:

    I’m sorry, but this is just weak reasoning. This woman cares for her husband and will go to any measures to take care with him. These doctors seem to be unresponsive to her claims of misdiagnosis and, under duress, she is reacting. Anyone would behave the same way for a loved one. She is doing everything she can for her husband. To just take away the rights she innately has as a wife is despicable.

    1. Haleigh says:

      He’s a VEGETABLE!

      1. Taylor says:

        YOU are a vegetable!!

      2. Haleigh says:

        How did you know?
        Zucchini

    2. Nicole says:

      This whole story is ridiculous. I am very enraged that this is even on this esteemed website. I hate Lana. Al is the mannnnnnn

  6. Nicole says:

    I wanna be a vegetable!

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