Saturday, July 30, 2016

Do Clinicians Need Consent for an Apnea Brain Death Test?

This is the question that will be answered by the Virginia Supreme Court in VCU Health System v. Lawson.  



He is a quick recap of the procedural history of the case:


  • On May 23, VCU asked the trial court for permission to do the apnea test over the family's objections.  

  • On June 10, after hearings in May and June, VCU ultimately won at the trial court.  

  • On June 14, the Lawson family filed a notice of appeal and the trial court stayed its order pending appeal.  

  • On June 17 and June 27, because the appeals process will take months, VCU then asked the Supreme Court to either expedite the appeal or lift the stay pending appeal.  

  • On July 1 and July 8, the Supreme Court denied both petitions.  


The case will now proceed to briefing and argument on the merits.  Still, the procedural briefing and orders from June and July give some light into the issues that will be argued before the court.  



For example, VCU makes these three points.  First, the apena test is not "health care" requiring consent.  Second, the interventions VCU is providing cost $10,000 per day which probably will not be covered by insurance.  Third, VCU children's ICU is sometimes full, meaning that treatment must be denied to others.  


Load disqus comments

0 comments