NewsThu Jul 24, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
California Public Guardian Attempts to Dehydrate Woman to Death over Wishes of Family
Commentary by Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
FRESNO, CA, July 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Janet Rivera, 46, is the center of a new battle over the ethics of intentionally dehydrating a person to death.
Rivera has been in coma for the past two years, resulting from a heart attack.
Rivera’s husband was recently replaced as her public guardian, after he experienced medical problems. The appointed Fresno County Public Guardian, David Hadden, decided that because she is unlikely to recover, Rivera’s fluids and food would be removed. This decision was against the wishes of the Rivera family and Janet’s husband.
Yesterday, Judge Debra Kazanjian granted an injunction and ordered medical staff to resume fluids and food for Rivera through a tube and to provide ventilator support, if necessary.
The case will return to court next week when a hearing will determine who has the right to make medical decisions for Rivera.
This is a very important case.
If the courts decide that the Public Guardian has the right to make medical decisions for Rivera, and that the Public Guardian can dehydrate Rivera to death against the wishes of the family, then everyone who does not have a legal advanced directive will be able to be killed by dehydration.
Remember, Rivera is not otherwise dying; she is cognitively disabled and unlikely to return to a cognitive condition. If people who are cognitively disabled can be dehydrated to death, then the lives of many people with cognitive disabilities will be directly threatened when they experience significant health problems.
To express concern:
Fresno Public Guardian/Public Administrator/Coroner
David M. Hadden M.D.‘s office number
David M. Hadden, M.D.
P.O. Box 11867
Fresno, CA 93775
FAX (559) 445-3370
OFFICE (559) 445-3202
See the ABC coverage of the story: http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=6280841