The Latest: Hospital says it'll pay for autopsy in Reno case

AP News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2016 7:34 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The latest in the death of a Nevada woman whose father fought in court to keep her on life support (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The Reno hospital where a 20-year-old Nevada woman died on life support in the midst of an end-of-life court battle says it's cooperating with her family to have an autopsy done and will pay for it.

A statement from Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Jamii Uboldi on Tuesday also expresses condolences to the family of Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo).

It cites patient privacy provisions of the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and says officials can't comment further.

Family attorney David O'Mara said Hailu died Monday at Saint Mary's, where she never awoke from anesthesia after surgery April 1.

Doctors at Saint Mary's initially pronounced Hailu brain-dead May 28, but her father appealed the finding to the Nevada Supreme Court.

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3:20 p.m.

A family lawyer says a Reno medical center and the father of a 20-year-old Nevada woman who died on life support in the midst of an end-of-life court battle are cooperating to have an autopsy done.

Attorney David O'Mara said Tuesday that Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center and the father of Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo) are agreeing to find a funeral home and pathologist to handle the post-mortem.

The hospital isn't commenting, citing patient privacy laws.

The Washoe County coroner's office says that because Hailu's death on Monday happened at the hospital, a county autopsy isn't required or planned.

Hailu never awoke from anesthesia after surgery on April 1.

Doctors at Saint Mary's initially pronounced Hailu brain-dead last May 28, but her father appealed the finding to the Nevada Supreme Court.

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12:45 p.m.

A family attorney says the father of a 20-year-old woman pronounced dead while she was the focus of an end-of-life court battle was told her heart stopped and that efforts to resuscitate her failed.

Attorney David O'Mara tells The Associated Press that Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo) died Monday at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, where she never awoke from anesthesia after surgery April 1.

Correcting an earlier AP report, O'Mara says Hailu's father, Fanuel Gebreyes, wasn't told the cause of death was respiratory failure.

O'Mara says Gebreyes was at the hospital and noticed Hailu had trouble breathing — even with a ventilator. But Gebreyes wasn't in Hailu's room when her heart stopped.

O'Mara says the family is making arrangements for an autopsy to determine her cause of death.

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11:15 a.m.

A coroner's official says a public autopsy isn't planned following the death of a 20-year-old woman at the center of an end-of-life court battle in Reno.

Lynn Sack, aide to Washoe County Coroner Ellen Clark, said Tuesday that Saint Mary's Hospital and Medical Center properly notified the coroner that Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo) died Monday.

She says that because the death was at the hospital, a county autopsy isn't required.

Family lawyer David O'Mara says her father was told Hailu died of respiratory failure while still on life support.

Hailu failed to awake from anesthesia after abdominal surgery April 1.

The hospital isn't immediately commenting.

Doctors had pronounced Hailu dead May 28, but her father, Fanuel Gebreyes, appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court to have her kept on life-support.

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10:30 a.m.

A Nevada hospital official says federal patient privacy laws prevent administrators from commenting on the death of a 20-year-old woman at the center of an end-of-life court battle.

Saint Mary's Hospital and Medical Center spokeswoman Jamii Uboldi on Tuesday cited the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

She says administrators think they need the father of Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo) or a legal representative to OK talking about the case.

Family attorney David O'Mara tells The Associated Press that Hailu died Monday at Saint Mary's, where she never awoke from anesthesia after abdominal surgery April 1.

O'Mara says the family was told the cause was respiratory failure.

The father appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court after the doctors at Saint Mary's pronounced Hailu dead last May 28.

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9:45 a.m.

A family lawyer says a 20-year-old woman at the center of an end-of-life court battle over her treatment has died at a Reno, Nevada, hospital while still on life support.

Attorney David O'Mara tells The Associated Press that Aden Hailu (AY'-dehn HEHL'-oo) died Monday at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, where she never awoke from anesthesia after abdominal surgery April 1.

O'Mara says the cause appears to have been respiratory failure.

The hospital isn't immediately commenting.

Hailu's father, Fanuel Gebreyes, lost a bid last week to delay brain wave tests that the hospital said would show Hailu was brain dead and wouldn't recover.

O'Mara said Gebreyes felt that that as long as there was a chance that Hailu was alive, the hospital should treat her or find a place that would.