TORTS – ELDER ABUSE & MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE (Elders Right to Autonomy in the Medical Decision-Making Process)
Maxine Stewart v. Superior Court 16 Cal.App.5th 87, 224 Cal.Rptr.3d 219 (Certified for Partial Publication on October 12, 2017)
Decedent Anthony Carter, who was experiencing episodes of confusion, named Plaintiff Maxine Carter, a registered nurse, as his “healthcare agent” with a durable power of attorney for health care decisions during his admission to hospital owned by the real parties in interest. Some of the defendants, including real parties in interest, scheduled Mr. Carter surgery to install a pacemaker due to irregularities in his heartbeat. Plaintiff canceled the surgery, telling the doctors she thought the irregularities were related to Mr. Carter’s sleep apnea. She requested a second opinion regarding the need for a pacemaker. Plaintiff was informed about two weeks later after an ethics committee meeting the some of the defendants, including real party in interest, would continue with the pacemaker procedure despite plaintiff’s objection. Shortly after surgery Mr. Carter went into cardiac arrest and later passed away.