Judge blocks Mercy Hospital from taking COVID-19 patient off ventilator after wife files lawsuit

An Anoka County judge has ordered that Mercy Hospital must leave a Buffalo, Minnesota, man on a ventilator.

Scott Quiner was diagnosed with COVID-19 last fall and hospitalized in Waconia in October. His wife Anne told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that Scott was transferred to Mercy Hospital in November where he remains sedated and on a ventilator.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the hospital alleges that doctors at the hospital were planning to take COVID-19 patient Scott Quiner off the ventilator Thursday.

"I have advised the doctors that I vehemently disagree with this action and do not want my husband’s ventilator turned off," Anne Quiner states in the filing.

On Thursday, Judge Jennifer Stanfield ordered that Mercy Hospital cannot turn the ventilator off. A hearing is set for Feb. 11. In the meantime, Stanfield told both parties to put together their legal arguments on the authority to remove someone from life support in Minnesota.

Allina Health, which operates Mercy Hospital, said it was "unable to comment on specific patient care" for privacy reasons.

"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," Allina said in a statement. "We continue to focus on our patients and meeting the critical care needs of the community as we all navigate this challenging time together."

Anne Quiner says she has been working to transfer her husband to a hospital in Texas for future care.