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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Nikolouzos’ husband, Spiro, is on life support at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. The hospital’s ethics department determined that life support should be discontinued. Nikolouzos filed an original petition seeking an extension of time for continued life support and asked for injunctive relief and monetary damages. The trial court held a hearing for a temporary restraining order on March 9 and orally denied the application. The trial court denied a second application on March 11. Nikolouzos appeals both denials, though St. Luke’s filed a motion to dismiss the appeal on March 15. HOLDING:Dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Though appeal from the denial of a temporary injunction is allowed, appeal of a TRO is not. The court acknowledges that the substance and function of the TRO are more important than the name given to it. The record in this case demonstrates that the initial relief requested was a TRO pending a subsequent hearing on a temporary injunction, and the parties at the hearings treated them as hearings on applications for TROs. No testimony was taken at the hearings. At the conclusion of each hearing, the trial court denied Nikolouzos’ applications for TROs. Under these facts, the rulings at issue are denials of TROs, not denials of injunctions. “Although there is no question that [Nikolouzos] has the most compelling personal interest at stake, this court lacks the power to exercise jurisdiction where none is provided by law.” OPINION:Charles Seymore, J., delivered the court’s opinion. CONCURRENCE:Wanda McKee Fowler, J. “I write separately for two reasons. First, in the very short time we have had to research the issues in this case, I believe the decision is correct; however, if it is not, I want to allay any thoughts by the Nikolouzoses that they might have been able to prevail on the merits if we had jurisdiction. Next, I want to address procedural problems inherent in the [Advance Directives Act], making it an ineffectual tool for both families of patients and health care providers.” The concurrence finds that Nikolouzos did not meet her burden to get a TRO, because she could not show a likelihood that her husband could be moved to and be cared for somewhere else. Even if Nikolouzos could have met her burden, the procedural problems of the ADA would sabotage her efforts to get extra time to find alternative accommodations. “The problems all stem from lack of specificity in the statute and could be rectified if the legislature chose to be as specific in this statute as it has been, for example, with the procedures a minor must follow to obtain an abortion without notification to one of her parents. . . . This subject deserves no less specificity because this statute affects no less than the life and death of men, women, and children. Counsel’s attempts to comply with the statute ad its short deadlines underscore the problems the statute creates.” The concurrence offers three possible fixes for the statute: 1. It should state specifically in which court a family or trustee must file the action; 2. It should direct a family in what to call their action, specify the steps they must take to have their complaint heard and include timetables within which they and other parties must act; and 3. It should also state if the family or hospital has the right of appeal from a ruling on a request for an extension of time under Health & Safety Code 166.046(g). “In short, in its current form, the statute creates confusion where there should be clarity. This confusion not only is a disservice to both families and health care providers, but also ironically increases litigation when it should lessen it. I respectfully urge the legislature to revisit section 166.046 and to clarify the procedures a family must follow to secure alternate care for their loved one. The legislature has already seen the importance of clarity at the inception of life; clarity is no less important at the end of life.”

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