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Minnesota Covid patient at center of legal fight to keep him on ventilator dies in Texas hospital

A judge issued a temporary restraining order barring doctors at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids from removing Scott Quiner from a ventilator.
Image: The Emergency Room entrance of Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minn.
The emergency room entrance at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, Minn.Debra Anderson / Shutterstock

An unvaccinated Covid-19 patient from Minnesota — at the center of a court battle over whether to turn off life support machines — has died in Texas, officials said Monday.

A Minnesota judge issued the temporary restraining order this month barring doctors at Mercy Hospital, in Coon Rapids just north of Minneapolis, from removing the man, Scott Quiner, from a ventilator.

Quiner's family had sued, saying doctors had declined to provide a treatment requested by his wife and were planning to remove him from life support systems.

Quiner, 55, of Buffalo, Minnesota, was then transferred to a hospital in Houston, where he died, the family's attorney Marjorie Holsten said.

"He passed away Saturday morning. It was tough," Holsten said.

Holsten declined to reveal which hospital Quiner was being treated at but said it wasn't a hospice.

"He was in a hospital, where we were certainly hoping he would stay alive," Holsten said. "He was not receiving palliative care."

Allina Health, the parent company of Mercy Hospital, said Quiner’s death was "yet another very sad moment" in the nation's two-year battle with Covid-19.

"We are saddened to hear about the passing of Scott Quiner and our deepest condolences go out to family, friends and loved ones," Allina Health said in a statement Monday. "His passing marks yet another very sad moment as collectively we continue to face the devastating effects of the pandemic."

The family hopes to have an autopsy conducted on Quiner in coming days to determine how he allegedly lost 30 pounds in the weeks before his death, Holsten said.

More than 870,000 people have died of Covid in the U.S. and more than 71 million have been infected with the coronavirus since early 2020, according to a running tally by NBC News.