The Right to Sue for Wrongful Prolongation of Life

New Jersey Judge Recognizes the Right to Sue for the the Wrongful Prolongation of Life.

For the first time, a NJ Superior Court Judge has ruled that the family of a women who was resuscitated against her will, may sue the hospital, nurses and doctors for wrongfully prolonging her life. Morris County Superior Court Judge W. Hunt Dumont authored the decision.

The patient, Suzanna Stica, was admitted to Morristown Memorial Hospital after complaining of breathing problems. On file at the Hospital was her “Do Not Resuscitate” and “Do Not Intubate” directives. Despite these patient directives, when Ms. Stica went into cardiac arrest, she was resuscitated and intubated by the staff. She lived another six months experiencing pain and suffering before she ultimately passed.

In his decision, Judge Dumont said the defendants “violated Ms. Stica’s fundamental right to refuse unwanted medical treatment.”

Judge Dumont’s decision is a victory for all patient’s fundamental rights to control their medical care.