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Compassion & Choices Announces Settlement of Lawsuit over Texas Woman’s Needlessly Agonizing Death

Deceased Women’s Family to Continue Advocacy Work to Improve End-of-Life Care

James Jordan with mom Sally Jordan and his sister Amanda Norris

Compassion & Choices and the estate of Sally Jordan are pleased to announce a resolution to claims against her Texas healthcare providers for allegedly violating her Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order by providing unwanted medical treatment for more than 10 days, causing her to suffer a needlessly agonizing death.

“We’re happy to put the litigation behind us and focus on what was always most important: sharing our mother’s story so that other families know they have to be diligent advocates for their end-of-life care wishes,” said James Jordan, Ms. Jordan’s son and healthcare proxy.

“Of course, we wish our mother never had to endure unwanted interventions in her last days,” said Ms. Jordan’s daughter, Amanda Norris. “But we know she’s proud we are speaking out and empowering others to take charge of their healthcare decisions.”

Nearly one out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, the equivalent of about 25 million people, according to a 2014 poll by Purple Insights.

Sally Jordan thought she did everything right. She had a living will (also known as an advance directive) stating what healthcare she wanted at the end of her life and she designated her son James as her healthcare proxy if she could no longer speak for herself. Unfortunately, Ms. Jordan did not have the peaceful death she planned. Her family wants to ensure that others do not suffer the same fate.

Amanda and James are continuing to work with Compassion & Choices as advocates for families and patients to inform them about their end-of-life care wishes and how to best ensure those wishes will be honored in their chosen healthcare facilities.

“We thank James and Amanda for trusting us to handle their case and for their willingness to prevent other patients from suffering needlessly as their mom did,”said Compassion & Choices Staff Attorney Jonathan Patterson. “This case shows the importance of ensuring each medical facility and doctor you visit has a copy of your advance directive, completely understands your wishes and will honor them.”

For more information regarding advance directives and other health care planning documents visit our Plan Your Care Resource Center: CompassionAndChoices.org/end-of-life-planning


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