Not comatose, not vegetative, still being dehydrated to death

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Think a living will can protect you against being dehydrated to death against your wishes? Think again.

In a situation recalling the recent death of Terri Schiavo in Florida, an 81-year-old widow, denied nourishment and fluids for nearly two weeks, is clinging to life in a hospice in LaGrange, Ga., while her immediate family fights desperately to save her life before she dies of starvation and dehydration.

Mae Magouirk was neither terminally ill, comatose nor in a "vegetative state," when Hospice-LaGrange accepted her as a patient about two weeks ago upon the request of her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, 36, an elementary school teacher.

Also upon Gaddy's request and without prior legal authority, since March 28 Hospice-LaGrange has denied Magouirk normal nourishment or fluids via a feeding tube through her nose or fluids via an IV. She has been kept sedated with morphine and ativan, a powerful tranquillizer. ...

In her living will, Magouirk stated that fluids and nourishment were to be withheld only if she were either comatose or "vegetative," and she is neither. Nor is she terminally ill, which is generally a requirement for admission to a hospice.

Magouirk lives alone in LaGrange, though because of glaucoma she relied on her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, to bring her food and do errands.

Granddaughter just got tired of looking after Grandmama:

"Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus," Gaddy told Magouirk's brother and nephew, McLeod and Ken Mullinax. "She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?"

What's shocking is that the hospice would comply with Gaddy's request without verifying her legal authority to act on her grandmother's behalf. I used to think well of hospices, but I'm starting to wonder if there's a chain of them owned by the Soylent Corporation.

So the hospice pulled the tube, then put it back three days later at the request of relatives who did have that authority. Within hours Gaddy applied to a probate judge and was granted emergency guardianship for the weekend, long enough to order the feeding tube pulled. Mae Magouirk has gone without food and water for over 10 days.

Georgia law requires that a hearing for an emergency guardianship must be held within three days of its request, and Magouirk's hearing was held April 4 before Judge Boyd. Apparently, he has not made a final ruling, but favors giving permanent guardianship power to Gaddy, who is anxious to end her grandmother's life.

That's putting it mildly. There are other relatives ready to step in and care for Magouirk, but again a judge, one judge, stands in the way of saving a life.

Hat tip to the Bayly Brothers.

UPDATE: Jack Lewis provides a helpful timeline of the situation.

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» They're murdering Mae Magouirk!! from JackLewis.net

This is a timeline I've constructed to better allow you to understand what's going on. There's a lot more information... Read More

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 9, 2005 12:09 AM.

Happy 9th! was the previous entry in this blog.

State by state, revisiting end-of-life law is the next entry in this blog.

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