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10/03/2017

Court Excludes Key Witness from Medical Futility Trial

Judge Paul Kurmay on right

The family of Helen Marsala continues its medical futility lawsuit against Yale New Haven Hospital.


This action emanates from Yale-New Haven Hospital’s decision to remove the ventilator that was being used for the medical treatment of Helen Marsala. Helen died the next evening. The remaining claims are for wrongful death, medical malpractice, and loss of consortium.


In the most recent development, late last month, the court excluded the plaintiff’s proposed expert witness, retired Judge Paul Kurmay.  In short, the court determined that expert witnesses may not testify on matters of law.  


The theory on which Judge Kurmay would have testified is interesting.  In short, he would testify:
1. Yale did not possess the authority to unilaterally discontinue life support.
2. Yale knew or should have known that the proper judicial procedure for determining whether life support should be withdrawn from an incapable patient is to seek the appointment of a conservator by the appropriate probate court. 
3. Yale should have provided Plaintiffs with an opportunity to arrange for the transfer of Helen to another facility if Yale was unwilling to continue to treat her. 

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

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