Judge blocks hospital from turning off ventilator of severely ill COVID-19 patient

(COON RAPIDS, Minn.) — A Minnesota man with COVID who had been fighting for his life for months was transferred to a new hospital days after a judge blocked another hospital from taking him off a ventilator.

The decision allowed Scott Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, Minnesota, to be moved to a hospital in Texas, where he is being treated.

Quiner was initially admitted to Waconia Hospital, and then transferred to the ICU at Mercy Hospital, in Coon Rapids, on Nov. 6, after he tested positive for the virus in late October, according to a GoFundMe page in support of Quiner’s family, and the StarTribune, which was first to report this story.

Anne Quiner, Scott’s wife, was granted a temporary restraining order last Thursday against Mercy Hospital, after doctors informed her that day that they would be disconnecting her husband from the ventilator that had been supporting him since the late fall.

The order, from an Anoka County judge, prohibited the hospital from turning off ventilation support, while Anne Quiner searched for a new facility to care for her husband.

According to the court order, Anne Quiner told doctors that as her husband’s health care proxy, she “vehemently disagree[d]” with these actions and did not want her husband’s ventilator turned off.

Over the weekend, Scott Quiner was moved to a facility in Texas for treatment, Marjorie J. Holsten, the Quiner family’s attorney, told ABC News in a statement on Monday.

“A doctor evaluated him and determined that he was severely undernourished. Scott has been receiving much-needed nourishment and hydration and medications that were not given by Mercy,” Holsten said. “He is being weaned off of the sedating drugs and has already been able to follow with his eyes movements the doctor made with his hands. He is making progress in the right direction, though he has a long road ahead of him and continued prayers are appreciated.”

Quiner remains on a ventilator but the oxygen level has been lowered, the family’s lawyer said.

Representatives from Allina Health, which operates Mercy Hospital, told ABC News that they wish the patient and the family well, and have “great confidence” in their team’s work.

“Allina Health has great confidence in the exceptional care provided to our patients, which is administered according to evidence-based practices by our talented and compassionate medical teams. Due to patient privacy, we cannot comment on care provided to specific patients,” the health system wrote. “Allina Health continues to wish the patient and family well. Any information regarding the patient’s on-going care should be directed to his current medical provider.”

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