The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

WV Family Still Fighting for Life

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Judge grants restraining order, gives family time to make informed decision.

By Nathan A. Cherry

 Martinsburg, WV – The fight of Angela Lanciano-Moreno to keep her son, 22 year old Chris, alive is still ongoing. The family received good news this week when Martinsburg Circuit Judge Gina Groh granted them a 10 day temporary restraining order; which will give the family time to have tests done, and seek an alternative facility for care.

 I told you of my visit with Angela and her son in the Martinsburg City Hospital intensive care unit last week. Angela, who does not agree with City Hospital doctors’ prognosis that Chris is brain dead and being kept alive by artificial means has been researching alternative facilities and treatments since her son was admitted to the hospital on August 22nd.

 I spoke with family friend Michelle Duerr, who has been by Angela’s side through most of the past week in helping to fight for Chris, and in making phone calls to pro-life groups such as the Right to Life organization in Washington, D.C., and the Alliance Defense Fund. Ms. Duerr told me,

“Angie will fight like a lioness for her child, especially Chris, he is her baby.”

 And fought is exactly what Angie has done.

 She has fought sleep deprivation as she remains at the hospital all hours of day and night with her son. She has fought doctors who told her that Chris was “dead and not coming back.” She has fought hospital administrators who told her she had three days to make an end-of-life decision regarding her son. And now she is fighting a system and a law she does not agree with or understand; the West Virginia law that allows two doctors to pull life-support even at the objection of the family.

Paul Taylor, the Family Attorney hired by Moreno said Tuesday in an interview:

“We were seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the hospital from declaring Christian brain dead, and the judge agreed. We won the battle, but I don’t think the war is over, so to speak, because no one wins when drugs are involved. [Angela]Moreno also decided to go to court because ‘she doesn’t agree with the procedure that’s used to declare someone dead and the way it’s handled,’”

I can’t help but agree. Is it right for doctors to be allowed to trump the wishes of family members in the end-of-life decision of a patient; or, for that matter, in any medical treatment? No one would deny that in most every case it is the family that has the best interest of a patient in mind, not the doctors. So why is there a law on the books of West Virginia, and many other states that allows doctors to make these decisions?

Is the power of life and death in the hands of doctors and hospital administrators something we will see more of if a health-care reform like the one proposed by President Obama is passed? We have certainly seen evidence that this president and his administration are in favor of big government and government control in the private sector seems to be a main goal.

Where does that leave the everyday, normal people like Angela Lanciano-Moreno? Simply, it leaves them fighting a war on drugs for their children, and fighting bureaucratic red tape and laws that seek to remove parental rights from their hands.

See these stories for more information on Angela Lanciano and the fight for her son, Christian:
Judge grants request for restraining order
Life or Death

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Written by Nathan Cherry

September 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

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