Court says guardians can order end of life support

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota appeals court has ruled legal guardians can order the end of life support for their wards.

The ruling overturns a Hennepin County District Court finding that end-of-life decisions are too important to be made by the guardian alone. The appeals court disagreed, saying those decisions should not be dictated by the courts.

The case involves Jeffers Tschumy, who was mentally disabled and living in a group home. In 2011 he was declared severely brain damaged after choking on some food. A Hennepin County judge denied his guardian the right to end life support, but ordered that it be discontinued.

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The judge later issued another order saying that guardians have the power to consent to medical treatment for their wards, but they don’t have sole power to end life support.