Judge bars hospital from taking COVID patient off ventilator

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A judge in Minnesota has blocked a Twin Cities hospital from removing a COVID-19 patient from life support.

Anoka County District Judge Jennifer Stanfield has granted a temporary restraining order that stops doctors at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids from taking Scott Quiner off a ventilator.

The restraining order was requested by Quiner's wife, who disagrees with the doctors' decision to remove her husband from life support. She told the judge she was searching for a medical facility that would take her husband, but she needed more time to find a location.

A GoFundMe account to assist with medical bills says Quinter tested positive for COVID-19 on October 30 and was initially admitted to Waconia Hospital with critically low oxygen levels. On November 6, he was placed on a ventilator and transferred to Mercy Hospital's intensive care unit, where he remains today.

The hospital's parent company, Allina Health, issued a statement, saying it was unable to comment on specific patient care.

"We will follow the court's order in this case and continue to work through the legal process. In the meantime, our care teams remain committed to providing exceptional care to all our patients based on the best medical science and treatments for a patient’s medical condition," the statement said. "We continue to focus on our patients and meeting the critical care needs of the community as we all navigate this challenging time together."

A hearing in the case is scheduled for February 11.

Like many states in the U.S., hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Minnesota are increasing. According to the most recent state health data, 81 percent of the state's hospitals, 55 out of 68, have no beds available in their intensive care units.