Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Local Woman's Family Fights to Keep Her Alive

There is a battle for a woman's life in the Fresno County Courts. Janet Rivera(46) had a heart attack back in February 2006 that has left her comatose. Her court-appointed public guardian had filed and succeeded in having all artificial life support, including food and water, removed on July 14, 2008. The family filed for a temporary restraining order and got a new attorney.

I was able to talk to the family's attorney, Brian Chavez-Ochoa, today about the status and some of the facts of the case. There was a hearing at 2pm today. In this hearing it is established that all life sustaining measures are to be taken until a further order. This includes all medicines, food, water and even a respirator if needed. The doctors had actually started Rivera on food and water yesterday evening. There is a trial set to begin next Tuesday for a family member to be established as Janet Rivera's guardian.

Previously Janet Rivera's husband, Jesus Rivera, was her guardian. According to the article I read in the Fresno Bee, it appears that the family is unified in its position to sustain Janet Rivera's life. So I asked Chavez-Ochoa what caused this to move into a public guardian situation and he was unclear. He has only been on this case for 2 days so he isn't familiar with all the background that got us to this point and is unclear as to how this got into the County's hands to begin with. But Chavez-Ochoa was crystal clear on the fact that the family is a unfied force that wants to keep Rivera alive.

If the family loses its case the public guardian will stay and can turn around refile to have Rivera once again taking off all life sustaining measures. This would once again leave her in a position to starve to death.

I am shocked that the County has taken a woman off food and water and this is the first I was hearing of it. I am shocked that this hasn't received the national coverage that the Terry Schiavo. Could it be that Janet Rivera is on Medi-Cal that the county was so quick to act or that the media was so lax to cover it? Is this just further proof that the State doesn't value human life? I mean they took her off all support, food and water and she lived for over a week that way. What kind of humanity can sit by and watch a human suffer that way. Not to mention, maybe her body isn't quite as ready to give out as those consulting doctors thought it was.

So once again I ask, where is the outrage?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let the woman die with some peace, you fucking moron.