Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Glenn H. v. State

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

April 3, 2018

GLENN H. and SONIA H., Petitioners,
v.
THE HONORABLE NICOLAS B. HOSKINS, Commissioner of the SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA, in and for the County of MARICOPA; and BANNER CARDON CHILDREN'S MEDICAL CENTER, Respondents, CODY H., Real Party in Interest.

          Petition for Special Action from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. JD34913 The Honorable Nicolas B. Hoskins, Judge Pro Tempore

          Janelle A. McEachern, Attorney at Law, Chandler By Janelle A. McEachern Counsel for Petitioners

          Coppersmith Brockelman PLC, Phoenix By Andrew S. Gordon, Karen Carter Owens Counsel for Respondent Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center

          Arizona Law Practice, LLC By Amie S. Clarke Guardian Ad Litem for Real Party in Interest

          Anthony R. Montoya, Attorney at Law, Glendale By Anthony R. Montoya Co-Counsel for Amicus Curiae Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc.

          Keturah A. Dunne, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Patterson, New York By Keturah A. Dunne, Pro Hac Vice Co-Counsel for Amicus Curiae Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York Inc.

          Presiding Judge Kenton D. Jones delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which Judge Jon W. Thompson and Judge Randall M. Howe joined.

          OPINION

          JONES, Judge

         ¶1 This special action addresses a single issue: whether the superior court had subject matter jurisdiction to grant a hospital's employees' oral requests, made via an emergency telephone line, to authorize medical procedures for a minor patient whose parents did not consent. Because the hospital did not create an action through the filing of a complaint, and the court's conduct was not otherwise statutorily authorized, we hold the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the requests. Accordingly, we accept jurisdiction and vacate the orders authorizing medical treatment for the non-consenting minor.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2 In August 2017, Cody H., the fourteen-year-old son of Petitioners, Glenn and Sonia H., was diagnosed with bone cancer. Thereafter, Cody sought treatment, including chemotherapy, known to suppress the production of red blood cells, and surgery at Banner Cardon Children's Medical Center (the Hospital). Cody and his parents are practicing Jehovah's Witnesses, and objected to the use of blood transfusions upon religious grounds. The sincerity of Cody's and Petitioners' religious beliefs is undisputed. Cody's medical team developed a treatment plan using alternative therapies designed to avoid the need for blood transfusions.

         ¶3 On October 12, 13, and 16, and December 4, 2017, one or more Hospital employees called the superior court via an "emergency hotline." The employees sought orders authorizing blood transfusions over Cody's and Petitioners' objections. Although Petitioners were never given formal notice of the proceedings and learned of the employees' first request only when advised it had been denied, and the second by overhearing conversations in the Hospital's corridors, they were present and represented by counsel at all but the first proceeding. At each stage, Petitioners argued first that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider the requests, and second that the Hospital had failed to prove Cody's medical condition constituted an emergency warranting a blood transfusion. Although various medical personnel presented evidence and argument to support the requests, the Hospital itself did not appear through counsel.[1]

         ¶4 In the course of addressing the Hospital's requests, the court explained the emergency hotline was the "standard practice in the county" for these types of requests, and it did not expect the Hospital would be filing a complaint or dependency petition, "particularly when [Cody] does not meet the definition of a dependent child." As far as the record reveals, this emergency hotline is assigned to Maricopa County Superior Court judges on a rotating basis and available after business hours. The record does not reflect when the court established the emergency hotline, the type of relief generally sought by individuals using the hotline, or how the Hospital employees became aware of the hotline. It is also not clear from the record what the prescribed process is for accepting the calls, whether any restrictions exist on who is authorized to call, or what record is kept of the contents of the calls. Indeed, it is unclear whether the callers here were doctors, administrators, or staff, as the identification and credentials of the caller were apparently not part of the information required to be provided. However, it is undisputed that the Hospital never filed a complaint or petition to initiate the proceedings.

         ¶5 The superior court ultimately granted three of five requests for authorization to administer blood transfusions. Petitioners filed this special action in November but did not request a stay of the court's orders. Thereafter, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.