Doctors administered IV fluids and operated on Schreiber to fix damage done by kidney stones, the paper added. He was rushed unconscious to the hospital where he went through cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a surgery and was given antibiotics.
Benjamin Schreiber was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1996, after he clubbed a man to death with the handle of a pickax and left his body outside a trailer, the Des Moines Register reported.
The chance that he is "ineffective", the court added in a footnote, seemed "no longer going" on condition that the appellant had himself signed appropriate documents within the case.
When he lost consciousness at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, a staff member called his brother, who told the hospital that although it could give Mr Schreiber medicine to ease his pain, "otherwise you are to let him pass", according to Mr Schreiber's petition.
Schreiber filed for release in April 2018.
Schreiber claims he is "imprisoned illegally and should be immediately released".
Schreiber's lawyer then took the case to the appeals court, which ruled Wednesday that the convict couldn't have it both ways.
The court dismissed the request, stating it was "unpersuasive and without merit".
And Potterfield doubts that Schreiber's interpretation of the law could possibly be what lawmakers meant when they defined a life sentence.
The Iowa Court of Appeals was unmoved, however, by Benjamin Schreiber's bid for freedom ruling that the argument - however original - was "unpersuasive".
Schreiber also had said in his post-conviction relief application that his due process rights were violated because the hospital didn't abide by his do-not-resuscitate order.