Efforts continue to prevent hospitals in Wisconsin from giving people a death sentence over "quality of life" issues.
The case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which deals with University of Wisconsin hospitals and clinics, involves two disabled patients who weren't in a vegetative state and had no terminal illness. A 13-year-old boy who had pneumonia died after antibiotics, food, and hydration were removed. A 79-year-old woman was under the same physician instructions, in spite of her health improving and family resistance to the order. She survived.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Catherine Foster has filed a brief in the case.
"Having a disability shouldn't be a death sentence," she argues. "Letting the hospital get away with withholding treatment endangers vulnerable patients and puts all patients at risk, especially patients with disabilities."
The ADF brief points to state law that says a hospital can withhold treatment only if the patient has received a "Persistent Vegetative State" diagnosis or has expressed a wish to refuse life-sustaining treatment before reaching the stage of legal incompetency.
ADF contends neither case fits those requirements – and that hospitals and doctors must follow the law, especially physicians at the University of Wisconsin system who receive their paychecks from the state.