>Guardianship Battle Begins


Heather Lavers suffered a cardiac arrest. Doctors say she has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since and likely will never come out of it.

That medical prognosis has begun a chain of events that, like the infamous Terri Schiavo case, will pit a husband against his wife’s family and potentially reignite the national debate over who decides whether a seemingly hopeless patient lives or dies.

Heather was at Tampa General Hospital for about a week before her sister, Heidi Kaczala, persuaded Robert to move his wife to The Toledo Hospital in Ohio. She would get better care at the Level 1 trauma facility, Robert recalled his sister-in-law, a nurse there, saying. He was desperate and agreed Kaczala could serve as her sister’s temporary health surrogate.

Soon after, Robert learned Kaczala planned to seek full guardianship of her sister, which would include the right to decide whether to continue medical treatment. He contacted a lawyer and was told that even though he was Heather’s spouse and had natural guardianship, to be safe he needed to make a similar request in Florida. He also needed to be present at a separate hearing in Ohio, where his sister-in-law had filed her request.

Patricia Kaczala said her son-in-law isn’t capable of caring for Heather – not the kind of long-term care Heather will need. Robert is disabled and unemployed.

A Toledo judge is expected to appoint a legal guardian to speak on Heather Lavers’ behalf. Her sister in Ohio is asking the court to grant her decision-making power over all medical care for Heather. Robert Lavers says his sister-in-law considers his wife brain-dead and would eventually “pull the plug.”

Robert and his wife previously discussed the issue and agreed on one thing: “Only God can stop your heart.”

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship Battle Begins In Schiavo-Like Case

See also:
Ill woman at Toledo Hospital is subject of custody hearing –
Man fighting to keep wife on life support

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