Doctors at D.C. General Hospital yesterday amputated the gangrenous parts of the feet of Alice Anderson, a homeless woman who lost a court fight last week to stop the operation.
Anderson's court-appointed attorney, Darrel Parker, said he visited her in the hospital on Saturday after he had lost his second attempt to have the D.C. Court of Appeals reverse a lower court ruling that Anderson, 47, was incompetent to make a proper medical decision. Parker said she continued to oppose the operation, saying it is up to God to decide her fate.
"There is an outside possibility that she may be able to walk because the doctors only removed a part of each foot," Parker said. "However, they are testing for more infection, and they may have to operate again."
Parker was appointed Feb. 1 by Judge Cheryl Long to represent Anderson. At the same time, she appointed Patrick J. O'Brien to act as Anderson's guardian and to make the decision regarding the operation. Doctors had told Long that Anderson would die without the operation.
O'Brien consulted seven doctors before he decided Anderson should have the surgery.
Medical emergency workers found Anderson in mid-January sitting on a park bench in subfreezing temperatures with no shoes or socks. Doctors said later they thought the gangrene had developed as a result of frostbite.
At a hearing on Friday, Constence Tuck, an attorney for St. Elizabeths Hospital, told Long that Anderson, who is a patient at the hospital, would be cared for by the city after her operation.
"She will not be wheeled back on the street," Tuck said.