Despite a court ruling that called her "deceiving" and "overwhelmed," Lana Barnes is continuing to fight for the medical care she believes her 85-year-old husband needs to survive.

A court-appointed guardian for Al Barnes had decided Monday to end his life support measures, including a ventilator and feeding tube. However, his wife requested that this action be delayed until she could challenge that decision. The Hennepin County Probate Court granted her request, and will hear her challenge Wednesday morning. 

Lana Barnes believes her husband suffers from reversible Lyme disease and that he needs the long-term antibiotic therapy that doctors have refused to provide at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. Doctors have determined that Barnes suffers from advanced and irreversible dementia -- not to mention kidney and respiratory failure -- and that aggressive care would be futile and perhaps painful to him.

The court took away decision-making authority from Lana Barnes last week. Evidence showed that she had only provided part of a health care declaration to Methodist -- the part that named her as medical decision-maker for her husband. Omitted were pages in which Barnes declared that he didn't want to receive ventilators, feeding tubes or other heroic measures if he was suffering from a terminal condition.

Unknown until last week was the existence of a newer health care declaration by Barnes that named his eldest son as his decision-maker. The court opted instead to name a private firm, Alternate Decision Makers Inc., as emergency guardian for Barnes.


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