Maryland Feeding-Tube Case Pits Wife Against Mother

Judge will decide if man continues to receive sustenance

Monday, Oct 31, 2011  |  Updated 3:48 PM EDT
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Feeding-Tube Case Pits Wife Against Mother

AP

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A judge in Frederick, Md., must decide whether a brain-damaged man should continue receiving sustenance through a feeding tube at his mother's behest, contrary to his wife's instructions.

The court will hear arguments Wednesday in the case involving 55-year-old Daniel Sanger of Rohrersville, Md. The unemployed computer technician lost much of his speaking ability and mobility after a July heart attack.

His mother Phyllis Sanger, of Colonial Beach, Va., obtained a temporary restraining order Oct. 20. The order to restore Daniel Sanger's feeding tube came four days after it was removed with his wife Leta's consent.

Her lawyer contends that only she has authority to make health care decisions for her husband.

His mother and brother want the tube permanently restored. They also are seeking custody so they can direct his care.

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