Brothers battle over whether to keep mom on ventilator, feeding tube alive

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Two brothers are fighting over whether to keep their elderly mother, who is on a ventilator and a feeding tube, alive.

Edward and Kyle Lester appeared before a judge at state Supreme Court Monday.

Edward Lester released a video of his 91-year-old mother Arline Lester, in which he says she mouths, "I want to stay alive."

Court papers show that the other son, Kyle Lester, says their mother had a living will in 1991 in which she said that she did not want to be kept alive by life support.

"She had her leg amputated and she has respiratory problems that we don't feel is fatal and we feel she can get better. She wants to live and we're here to see that she does," said Edward Lester.

Attorneys for all involved went before the judge Monday. A court-appointed attorney for Arline Lester argued that her privacy rights were violated by the press and the courtroom being open to the public. The judge did side with that attorney and sealed the courtroom and court records going forward with this case.

Before the gag order Edward Lester told News 12, "My mother's perception of a living will was, 'If I'm a vegetable, if I'm brain dead and I'm laying there...pull the plug,' but that's not the situation we have now."

A family friend shared a video with News 12 that was taken five days ago. In it, Arline Lester is asked if she is in pain and she shakes her head no.

Edward Lester says his mother made him power of attorney in November. He also says she wrote 17 times on a piece of paper that she wants to revoke that 1991 living will.

The judge did begin hearing from witnesses on both sides Monday. It's not known what, if anything, happened since the judge issued a gag order.

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