Cape woman dies following life or death court battle

CREATED Mar 7, 2014

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The Cape Coral woman at the center of legal battle earlier this week over whether to continue life support on her passed away early Friday morning.

The hospital caring for the woman wanted to take her off life support over her family's objections.  The issue ended up before a Lee County judge.

The judge ruled on Wednesday to back the family's decision regarding the 88-year-old woman.

"For a hospital to arbitrarily to override some body's wishes, it's bad, it's really bad. I mean it's, you're bordering on euthanasia there, you really are," said the woman's son. He had a power of attorney appointing him as the one to decide whether to take his mother off life support. "What the big thing here is there was a health care surrogate but there wasn't a living will that was executed," explained Daniel Endrizal, the attorney for the woman's family. "In a proper plan you have to have both of those documents".

The woman has been in Cape Coral Hospital since November after being admitted for diarrhea. Last week attorneys with Lee Memorial Health Systems filed papers asking a judge to take her off life support, saying she is brain dead and in a vegetative state. The family argued that she wasn't, showing a video in court saying she can respond to commands.