Wisconsin Nurse Who Allegedly Cut Off Man’s Foot Without Consent Pleads Not Guilty

The Wisconsin case first made national headlines last November. The woman has now pleaded not guilty to the charges against her, including elder abuse.

Empty hospice bed is pictured

Image via Getty/Darwin Brandis

Empty hospice bed is pictured

A nurse alleged to have amputated a patient’s foot without consent before stating she wanted to put it on display has pleaded not guilty.

According to a local report from Wisconsin-based outlet WQOW-TV, the woman in question—identified as Mary K. Brown—pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges including elder abuse. The story first came to light back in November, at which point Brown was reported to have been charged for allegedly amputating a hospice patient’s foot in May of that year, both without consent and without direction from a doctor.

Western Wisconsin Nurse Mary K. Brown faced a judge on charges she amputated a patient’s foot without consent using a pair of scissors. Brown asked the judge for a public defender during her initial appearance. I was in court and will have more at 5 on @kstp pic.twitter.com/sdyNnIZeFK

— Eric Chaloux (@EricChalouxKSTP) December 6, 2022

As first alleged in initial reports on the case, the 62-year-old alleged victim was admitted to a nursing home in the Spring Valley area in March of last year. At the time, the man had “severe frostbite” on both of his feet. Early reports, including this one from WEAU-TV citing court documents and an associated criminal complaint, suggested there were varying accounts from staff regarding the quality of the amputation.

An oft-excerpted component of the allegations against Brown (seen in previously released court footage below) revolve around remarks she’s accused of having made to other staff members, namely that she (allegedly) expressed a desire to taxidermy the amputated foot with the intent of displaying it as a warning about wearing boots.

View this video on YouTube


Brown is also reported to have admitted she did not have approval to conduct the amputation, although she allegedly asserted at the time that she did it to improve the comfort of the patient, who later died. Noted throughout coverage of the case is that the man’s death was not officially determined to have been brought on or quickened by the amputation itself.

Listed charges against Brown include physical abuse of elder person with the intention of causing great bodily harm, mayhem, and intentionally abusing patients to cause bodily harm. All three counts carried modifiers stating that an increased penalty is possible due to the age of the victim.

According to publicly available court documents, Brown is next set to appear in court on March 9.

Complex has reached out to a previously listed lawyer for Brown for comment. This story may be updated.

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