Covid Patient Scott Quiner Dies After Fight to Keep Him on a Ventilator

An unvaccinated 55-year-old Minnesota man died at a Texas hospital after a more than two-month battle with Covid-19 that raised questions about who has the right to make life-or-death decisions when patients cannot speak for themselves.

The Minnesota man, Scott Quiner, died on Saturday after his family moved him to the Texas hospital as part of their efforts to keep him on a ventilator, the family’s attorney, Marjorie Holsten, told The Associated Press.

“We’re absolutely devastated,” Ms. Holsten told the AP and several other media outlets.

Mr. Quiner became sick with Covid-19 in October. An operations manager at a transportation company, he was unvaccinated. His illness became so severe that, according to court records, he was placed on a ventilator after being admitted in November to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, just north of Minneapolis. He remained on the ventilator for weeks.

Then, on Jan. 11, hospital officials told Mr. Quiner’s wife, Anne, that they would be removing him from the ventilator in two days, over her objections.

Credit…Marjorie J. Holsten

In court papers, Mercy Hospital did not provide specific reasons for why it moved to take Mr. Quiner off the ventilator. Ms. Quiner did not respond to messages seeking comment.

“We are saddened to hear about the passing of Scott Quiner and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones,” Allina Health, which operates Mercy Hospital, said in a statement. “His passing marks yet another very sad moment as collectively we continue to face the devastating effects of the pandemic.”

On Jan. 12, Ms. Quiner pleaded for a lawyer’s help on the “Stew Peters Show,” a podcast whose host has falsely called Covid vaccines “poisonous shots” and given a platform to pandemic conspiracy theories.

She said that aside from her husband’s lungs, his organs were functioning and “there was nothing wrong with his brain.” Only a couple of days earlier, she said, her husband had opened his eyes “and was more alert.”

What followed was a legal case that underscored the tensions between people who refuse the Covid vaccine and hospitals that have been filled with patients sick with the virus, a majority of them unvaccinated.

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