The trial court correctly sustained a demurrer to plaintiff’s elder abuse claim.  The complaint did not allege the sort of egregious withholding of medical care necessary to state an elder abuse claim.  The trial court also correctly granted summary judgment to defendants on plaintiff’s medical malpractice claim.  Even though plaintiff’s decedent had specified in her Health Care Advance Directive that she wanted all possible steps to be taken to prolong her life, the doctors were not required to give her care that they reasonably believed would be medically ineffective—that is, would not offer the patient any significant benefit.  Here, the decedent was suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer that had metastasized into her ribs.  Giving her CPR, as her relatives, the plaintiffs, requested, would have risked breaking her weakened ribs causing great pain.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Haller, Acting P.J.); April 16, 2018 (partially published May 11, 2018); 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 432