MOUNT VERNON, MO. -- The father of a brain-damaged patient at the hospital where Nancy Cruzan died was blocked from moving his daughter to a state where her feeding tube could be disconnected.
Lawrence County Judge Scott Sifferman on Saturday issued a 10-day restraining order against Pete Busalacchi, of St. Charles. His daughter Christine, 20, was severely injured in a 1987 car accident.
The order was issued on behalf of Don Lamkins, director of the Missouri Rehabilitation Center, who said Christine Busalacchi is "cognitive of her surroundings and does have significant mental functions." Lamkins was named as the woman's temporary guardian.
Busalacchi called Lamkins's claims "ridiculous." He said yesterday, "The poor kid is gone . . . what's there is just a machine."
Cruzan died at the center Wednesday, 12 days after a judge ruled that her parents had convincing evidence that she would want to die and allowed doctors to remove her feeding tube. She had been in a persistent vegetative state since a 1983 car crash.
Last week, Busalacchi said his daughter also would want to die. He wants to move her to Minnesota, which has less strict regulations, because he said he does not have the evidence the Missouri law requires.