Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Brother Cuts Life Support to Man in Coma

January 20, 1986|United Press International

PHOENIX — A distraught teen-ager disconnected his comatose brother's life-support system early today and held off doctors with a shotgun before surrendering after two hours, allowing doctors to reconnect the respirator.

After Robert Whipple, 19, was arrested at John C. Lincoln Hospital about 2 a.m. by a special police unit, doctors rushed to reconnect his brother--comatose after a drug overdose--to the machine. The brother remained in critical condition.

Hospital spokesman Conrad Thorn said Whipple entered the hospital at 11:15 p.m. Sunday, carrying a shotgun in a duffel bag. He went to the room of his brother, John Whipple, 28, and asked a nurse to take his brother off the life-support system.

The nurse summoned Dr. John Hennessee, who spent more than 10 minutes trying to talk Whipple out of disconnecting the system and refused to do it himself.

Hennessee described Robert as "emotionally distraught, almost to the point of being in tears at times."

Whipple then disconnected John's respirator and IV systems and used the shotgun to keep people from reconnecting them.

Robert Whipple said he planned to stay in the room until 3 a.m. to make sure his brother was dead but surrendered to officers more than an hour before then.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|