Covid patient whose family sued to keep him on ventilator dies

Scott Quiner, a Minnesota man whose wife sued over a hospital’s plan to take him off a ventilator months after being diagnosed with covid-19, died Saturday. He was 55.

Quiner died at the Houston hospital where he was flown to for care during the legal battle, according to Marjorie Holsten, an attorney for the family. She said he remained on a ventilator at the time, but she declined to identify the facility or provide additional details on the circumstances of his death.

The family’s ordeal drew national attention this month as surging coronavirus cases overwhelmed hospitals across the United States. A GoFundMe in support of Quiner garnered tens of thousands of dollars in donations, and his wife told their story in media appearances.

“On behalf of the family of Scott Quiner, I would like to thank the public for the outpouring of love and support during this difficult time,” Holsten said in an email to The Washington Post. “The family now requests privacy while they grieve the loss of their beloved husband and father.”

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Quiner was not vaccinated when he contracted the virus on Oct. 30, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the GoFundMe page. He was admitted to a hospital in Waconia, a city about 30 miles southwest of Minneapolis, with low oxygen levels. When his condition had not improved about a week later, health-care workers placed him on a ventilator and transferred him to the ICU at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, about 45 miles away.

More than two months passed. Then, on Jan. 11, doctors told Quiner’s wife, Anne, that they wanted to take him off the ventilator, she said in court records. She said she strongly objected as his medical representative.

A day later, she filed a petition in state court seeking a temporary restraining order to stop doctors from removing the ventilator. A judge granted her request on Jan. 13, shortly before the machine was to be turned off, according to court documents.

It’s unclear why Mercy Hospital wanted to take that step. The system that operates the hospital, Allina Health, defended the treatment Quiner received there.

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“Allina Health will vigorously defend the exceptional, evidence-based care provided to our patients by our talented and compassionate medical teams,” the system said in a statement sent to The Post, adding that “our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones.”

Quiner was transported from Mercy Hospital in Minnesota on Jan. 15, according to Allina Health.

“His passing marks yet another very sad moment as collectively we continue to face the devastating effects of the pandemic,” the statement added.

Anne Quiner has said she believes her husband did not receive adequate care from Mercy. A statement Holsten previously sent to The Post said Quiner did not receive adequate nutrition while on the ventilator and subsequently lost 30 pounds.

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Anne Quiner told conservative radio host Stew Peters after her husband’s transfer that he was “very critically ill.”

“They are saying they’re going to try everything they can do to save his life.”

“Scott is fighting — they said he’s absolutely fighting. He’s moving, he’s trying to do things. … He’s not giving up, and neither are we, that’s what they told me,” she said on the show.

Jonathan Edwards contributed to this report.