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In Case of San Gabriel Valley Man, Judge Decides Spouse Has Authority to Remove Life Support If No Directive’s Given

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that a spouse in California is the presumptive healthcare decision maker when the partner is in a persistent vegetative state.

Ruling in the case of a San Gabriel Valley man, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Thornton House said that in the event that there is no advance directive for a someone in a vegetative state, their partner can decide for them. California law, House noted in her ruling, has left “a gap” when it comes to this issue.

The case involves Juan Fernando Romero, who suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain in May 2015 that left him in a persistent vegetative state at a San Gabriel Valley hospital.

His wife, Ana Romero, in 2016 sought to remove his life support and feeding tube, saying he would never return from the vegetative state again. But his sister sued to gain control of the end-of-life decision from his wife.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.