By Meg Ellefson: For Complete Post, Click Here…
Scott Schara, a Town of Freedom resident, joined me on Feedback to share the story of how a Wisconsin hospital killed his daughter, a 19-year old with Down Syndrome. Originally admitted for a low oxygen level due to contracting COVID, the treating physician labeled her a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) case without her family’s consent prior to her death.
Grace was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton on October 6, 2021, five days after testing positive for COVID. Grace had Down Syndrome and was described by her father as high functioning. She could read and write, was very loving, was a great joke teller and her father had even taught her how to drive a car.
Scott described how his older daughter Jessica begged and pleaded with the hospital staff to save her sister as she lay in her hospital bed suffocating to death, as a result of the three contraindicated medicines that she was administered without her family’s consent. Alarmingly, an armed guard was placed outside of Grace’s hospital room. Jessica’s efforts to stay with Grace as her patient advocate via the American Disabilities Act were finally permitted.
On the morning of October 13, 2021, Jessica was told she had to go home to take a shower. During the hour Jessica was away, Grace was strapped down to her bed, her health had declined, and her sedation had been increased. That day, Grace was given a combination of a sedative, an anxiety medication, and morphine, despite the fact that the package insert for the morphine injection warned that using it in conjunction with other drugs she had been given “may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death.”
Jessica says her sister felt cold after the 6:15 p.m. morphine injection, which a nurse claimed was normal. Another nurse claimed they could not intervene because she was coded as Do Not Resuscitate. The family insisted that she wasn’t, to no avail. Grace died at 7:27 p.m. that evening.
State law requires that a patient’s health care agent (Grace’s mother Cindy) sign written consent for DNR status and that such patients must wear a DNR bracelet. Cindy did not sign the consent nor was Grace wearing a DNR bracelet.