Hospital: Gary Coleman's Ex Had Medical Authority
By PopEater Staff Posted Jun 3rd 2010 08:05AM
"Mr. Coleman had completed an Advanced Health Care Directive that granted Shannon Price permission to make medical decisions on his behalf if he was unable to do so," Utah Valley Regional Medical Center told E! Online. "An Advanced Health Care Directive remains in effect regardless of a patient's marital status."
The statement came hours after speculation ignited over Price's rights, as Coleman's ex-wife, to make medical decisions for the unresponsive actor.
Previously, Janet Frank, spokeswoman for the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, told PEOPLE, "Shannon certainly portrayed herself as his wife to our staff and doctors. We assumed she was telling the truth. We can't comment on specific details in Mr. Coleman's case, but in general, any patient on life support is thoroughly evaluated medically before life support is ended."
Regardless of the medical legalities, Coleman's former lawyer, Randy Kester, predicts further controversies over Price's authority. "I don't think anyone is looking at criminal wrongdoing here, but this raises the issue of the appropriateness of her making the decision to take him off life support," Kester told the New York Daily News. "They've been divorced since August 2008 but continued to be together. She might have subjectively felt she was still his wife."
Kester told Us Magazine, "Some people in the public are raising issues whether ... she has authority to be making funeral arrangements, and exactly where she fits into his estate."
The Coleman 911 tape was released to the press yesterday afternoon. On the tape, Price seems reluctant to help the actor, stating she didn't "want to be traumatized right now" since she had a fever.
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