Last Updated: 5/29/2020
What's at stake
- The protection of the human dignity of life from conception to natural death
On May 30, 2007, Jesse Ramirez and his wife were in a severe car accident that left him with a broken back and neck, shattered arms and legs, and a traumatic brain injury. Days after he was first hospitalized, Jesse was transferred to hospice care. He was not receiving food, water or antibiotics. Jesse’s family knew that he was responsive when not in a drug induced coma, but without power of attorney, there was nothing they could do, but watch him starve.
Jesse’s sister, Marlene Oliva, contacted Alliance Defending Freedom. Alliance Defending Freedom filed suit on behalf of Marlene. Jesse’s food and water were immediately restored. A neurology expert confirmed that Jesse was mentally responsive. Jesse was transferred to a facility where doctors could resume treating his injuries.
Two-and-a-half months later, Jesse walked out of the rehabilitation center on his own two feet.
Marlene and Jesse wanted to turn their ordeal into something good. In June 2008, the Arizona state legislature passed “Jesse’s Law,” which closed a loophole in the decision-making process for patients who are physically unable to communicate their wishes regarding medical care.
Our role in this case
“They were my voice when I had no voice,” Jesse said about Alliance Defending Freedom, “and they raised that voice to get me the help I needed.”
Alliance Defending Freedom represented Marlene Oliva in a lawsuit, which resulted in saving Jesse’s life, and through “Jesse’s law,” others who may find themselves facing a similar horrific experience will also be protected.
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