A patient being treated for COVID at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids will remain on a ventilator for at least another month after an Anoka County district judge issued a restraining order preventing the hospital from disconnecting it.
The hospital had planned to turn off the ventilator that had been keeping Scott Quiner, 55, of Buffalo alive at noon Thursday, but Judge Jennifer Stanfield blocked the move and set a hearing to be held online Feb. 11.
"I was thrilled with the order issued by the court," said Marjorie Holsten, a local attorney hired by Quiner's wife, Anne.
Allina Health said it will follow the court's order as litigation continues but could not comment further.
"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," a statement from Allina said. "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 was appointed by her husband to make health care decisions on his behalf, court documents show. She is in the process of finding a new health care facility in Texas for her husband but needs more time, the documents said.
Without the judge's decision, "my husband will die," Anne wrote in her petition seeking the court's action.
"I have advised the doctors that I vehemently disagree with this action and do not want my husband's ventilator turned off."
Scott Quiner, who was unvaccinated, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October and was initially admitted to a hospital in Waconia with critically low oxygen levels. After his condition didn't improve and he was connected to a ventilator, Quiner was transferred to the Mercy Hospital ICU on Nov. 6. Mercy had the type of ventilator he needed.
Two months later, Mercy Hospital moved to turn off the ventilator even though Anne Quiner repeatedly had asked the hospital to try various treatments, including some that are not widely used. But the hospital refused, she said.
"They basically said they have the authority to do this no matter what I say," Anne Quiner said Thursday on the Stew Peters Show, a podcast that broadcasts from the Twin Cities and has been critical of COVID vaccines.
The hospital wrote that "there is no change in the care plan. We will plan for cessation of ventilatory support tomorrow at noon," according to a screen shot of Scott's electronic medical records filed with court documents.
That is what led Holsten to file a motion for a restraining order.
The fight between the Quiners and Mercy had been raging under the radar until news broke on Peters' show this week. The outcry led to several social media posts in support of the Quiners, and thousands of people called the hospital.
Mercy, which is operated by Allina Health, retained the Fredrikson & Byron law firm, which asked the court to deny the Quiner's motion, stating that "it was not supported by medical science or Minnesota law."
The judge upheld Anne Quiner's request.
Ahead of next month's hearing, Stanfield ordered both sides to file memorandums discussing the legal authority about removing a person from life support.
Stanfield also wrote that if Anne Quiner does not proceed with efforts to gain a temporary injunction, the court would dissolve the restraining order.