Man Pretends to be Brother of Coma Patient, Takes Him Off Life Support

Then empties his bank account and takes thousands of dollars worth of belongings

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© Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters

A hospital in Florida allegedly neglected to verify the identity of a man who authorized the hospital to discontinue life support to his friend, claiming he was his brother

A family from DeLand, Fla., is suing a hospital for taking their relative off live support on the authority of a friend who claimed to be his brother.

In May 2011, Roger MacKinnon, a Navy veteran, asked Richard Leclair to take him to the hospital after he suffered chest pains. His heart stopped during an exploratory procedure, and for the next week he was comatose.

On June 7, Leclair authorized the city’s Florida Hospital to take MacKinnon off life support, claiming they were brothers.

Leclair was named beneficiary to MacKinnon’s $106,000 bank account and allegedly removed items worth  thousands of dollars from his home as well. However, the state attorney says there is not enough evidence to charge Leclair with fraud.