Health Law

Judge Orders Calif. Woman Back on Life Support

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A central California woman who has been without food or water since July 14 is now back on life support again, after a state judge ordered that a feeding tube be reinserted.

Janet Rivera, 46, has been comatose for two years, following a heart attack. Because her husband also suffers from severe health problems, the Fresno County Public Guardian was making decisions about her case, and followed medical advice in terminating her care, according to a local ABC News affiliate and the Associated Press.

But yesterday, following objections from other family members to the removal of Rivera’s feeding tube, Judge Debra Kazanjian ruled that life support should be continued while the case is being decided.

“The family expected she would die within a few days but she started breathing on her own. That’s when they asked that her feeding tube be put back in. Despite their pleas, the county would not do it… until now,” recounted a CBS News affiliate shortly before the hearing yesterday.

Rivera did not leave any directions about her wishes in such a situation, the judge noted.

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