Coma Patients and Wrongful Death

Coma Victims are Coma Patients who have been put in a coma by reason of the negligence or mistakes of a medical professional, or maybe because of a car or bicycle accident, a drug overdose, suicide or other accidental circumstance.

The family of a coma victim must make hard choices, and these choices often are extreme tests of conscience and religious beliefs.

The hard decision which may cause a split within the surviving family is the one where the car accident victim is in a coma and is able to breathe only by the mechanical assistance of a ventilator or respirator. Also, he or she has no mental activity as determined by a brain electrical activity test called an EEG (electroencephalogram).

Under these heart wrenching circumstances, the health care facility may come and talk with the key decision making family members, making a sometimes none too gentle inquiry as to what the intentions and the instructions of the family are with regard to disconnecting life support.

Generally under the laws of most states- if your loved one was in a coma due to the negligence of another person or company, and you or your family gave their consent to disconnect life support and your comatose family member passed away as a result- the negligent party is responsible for the wrongful death of the accident victim, even though technically the accident placed the victim/family member into a coma and did not immediately cause their death.

Similarly, when a medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or neglect causes the patient to be placed in a coma and then the end of life directives or living will of the accident victim directs the hospital to remove life support and the victim dies, it generally will not be a defense to the wrongful death claim that the doctor or hospital did not technically kill the victim.