Minnesota COVID-19 patient at center of ventilator fight dies in Texas

A COVID-19 patient flown from Minnesota to Texas during a legal battle over whether his ventilator should be turned off died Saturday, the family's attorney said.

A Minnesota judge had issued a restraining order on Jan. 13 blocking Mercy Hospital from turning off the machine that was keeping Scott Quiner alive, after his family sued the Coon Rapids health care facility. The family flew Quiner to a Texas hospital.

“We’re absolutely devastated,” Marjorie Holsten, the family’s lawyer, said Saturday.

Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, Minn., was unvaccinated and had been in Mercy Hospital's intensive care unit since Nov. 6 with critically low oxygen levels. Anoka County Judge Jennifer Stanfield ruled in favor of the family's request to keep the ventilator connected and had set a Feb. 11 hearing.

The family feels Quiner didn’t receive adequate care at Mercy Hospital. Holsten said earlier that a doctor felt Quiner “was the most undernourished patient he has ever seen.” Holsten said it’s not clear whether the family will pursue any further legal action.

“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.”

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