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Posted on October 10, 2019 at 3:30 AM

Transferring a patient to another hospital is a common dispute resolution pathway for medical futility conflicts. In fact, it is built into a majority of state statutes on healthcare decision-making. But it is not common to transfer a patient already determined dead.

Nevertheless, that is apparently what the family of Bobby Reyes was able to accomplish this week. Clinicians at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital determined him dead on neurologic criteria. The family obtained a court injunction forbidding the hospital from stopping organ-sustaining measures. During this time, the family was able to arrange a transfer to Allegiant Health Care of Phoenix.

Coincidentally, Arizona is the location of another recent brain death conflict that was litigated in the courts just weeks ago.

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