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The Schiavo Legacy

Many people warned of the "slippery slope" of starving Terri Schiavo to death. They were right:

Granddaughter yanks grandma's feeding tube

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.

Many of you have filled out so called "living-wills" in the last few weeks. You wasted your time:

The dehydration is being done in defiance of Magouirk's specific wishes, which she set down in a "living will," and without agreement of her closest living next-of-kin, two siblings and a nephew: A. Byron McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ga.; Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ruth Mullinax's son, Ken Mullinax.

Magouirk's husband and only child, a son, are both deceased.

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.

All of this is being done by her granddaughter:

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

Two weeks ago, Magouirk's aorta had a dissection, and she was hospitalized in the local LaGrange Hospital. Her aortic problem was determined to be severe, and she was admitted to the intensive care unit. At the time of her admission she was lucid and had never been diagnosed with dementia.

Claiming that she held Magouirk's power of attorney, Gaddy had her transferred to Hospice-LaGrange, a 16-bed unit owned by the same family that owns the hospital. Once at the hospice, Gaddy stated that she did not want her grandmother fed or given water.

"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?"

OH so she is old and has glaucoma.... That's a good reason to kill her.... No strike that... I'm going to use "The 'M' Word" this time.... Glaucoma is a good reason to murder her.

It gets worse:

According to Mullinax, his aunt's local cardiologist in LaGrange, Dr. James Brennan, and Dr. Raed Agel, a highly acclaimed cardiologist at the nationally renowned University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, determined that her aortic dissection is contained and not life-threatening at the moment.

Mullinax also states that Gaddy did not hold power of attorney, a fact he learned from the hospice's in-house legal counsel, Carol Todd.

Want to know how much of a (ahem) piece of work the granddaughter is???

Gaddy, however, was not dissuaded. When Ken Mullinax and McLeod showed up at the hospice the following day, April 1, to meet with Todd and arrange emergency air transport for Magouirk's transfer to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, Hospice-LaGrange stalled them while Gaddy went before Troup County, Ga., Probate Court Judge Donald W. Boyd and obtained an emergency guardianship over her grandmother.

Under the terms of his ruling, Gaddy was granted full and absolute authority over Magouirk, at least for the weekend. She took advantage of her judge-granted power by ordering her grandmother's feeding tube pulled out, just hours after it had been inserted.

The whole thing is worth the read... Yes it is WND but I did some digging and it seems to be checking out... The local paper is covering it and here is a link to audio of an interview with the victim's nephew who is trying to prevent the murder.

And a thanks to Mark at The Conservative Revolution who has his say.

Update Meanwhile Ace picks up the case and Bill from INDC Journal makes an ass out of himself in the comments. It's not buck teeth Bill, it's glaucoma.

Update 2: As is to be expected, one of the KOSmoNUTS says "screw her, she's old":

On Blogsforterri you will find the story of Mae Magouirk who is being floated as the next Terri Schiavo. I guess if you have a website for Terri Schiavo you have to find something new to keep the site alive. ... [she sneered -ed]

Aortic Dissection is a catastophic event. 33% of patients die in 24 hours, 50% within 48 hours. The two week mortality rate approaches 75%. The prognosis is very poor. Since she is 85 I am sure they are reluctant to perform any operation.

I'm not sure if the KOSmoNUT in question, jbane, is a physician but I strongly doubt it... I'm sure she just plays one on the internet. [Update: As further evidenced by the fact the woman was born with a aortic dissection.]

This is a clear case of murder. Why do these people ALWAYS find a way to be on the wrong side of every issue? Liberals care about the poor and the oppressed? My ass.


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Schiavo Legacy:

» Rooftop Report linked with Schiavo Re-Visited...Kind of

» Truth. Quante-fied. linked with The Case of Mae Magouirk

» CatHouse Chat linked with Dying of "convenience"

» KelliPundit linked with That Slippery Slope

» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill linked with Slip sliding down that slippery slope...

» Cao's Blog linked with Granddaughter yanks grandma's feeding tube

» Right Wing Nut House linked with "WHERE WILL IT STOP?"

» The Politicker linked with It's A Brave New World

» NIF linked with The Birdman of Bubble Wrap

» Expertise's Politics and Sports Blog linked with Schaivo's Legacy

» JunkYardBlog linked with BRAVE NEW WORLD

» Darleen's Place linked with 'One swallow does not make a summer' ...

» Murdoc Online linked with The Shiavo Slippery Slope?

» Illuminaria's Voice linked with Transcript of Glenn Beck Interview with Ken Mullinax

» BIRD linked with EVIL DOESN'T TAKE A HOLIDAY

» Outside The Beltway linked with Terri Schiavo Activists Move On to Mae Magouirk

» Daily Pundit linked with Magouirk Story Gets Murkier

» Stop the Bleating! linked with HERE WE GO AGAIN?

» Daily Pundit linked with Magouirk Story Gets Murkier

» Freedom's Trumpet linked with The Legacy Of The Terry Schiavo Murder

» BIRD linked with EVIL DOESN'T TAKE A HOLIDAY

» The Jawa Report linked with Weekend Update, with Rusty Shackleford

» Sean Gleeson linked with Euthanasia blogfight

Comments (99)

Submit to your black-robed ... (Below threshold)
KBiel:

Submit to your black-robed masters now. Maybe, they will show you mercy.

One of the persistent comme... (Below threshold)
Mike:

One of the persistent comments made during the Schiavo ordeal was that there are numerous cases like hers every year, but we just don't know about them.

As ugly as her starvation was, perhaps some good can come from it in the form of continuous publicity and (hopefully) public outrage for stories like this one.

You always hope that when you raise your kids they understand and adopt the same kind of values that you have. In this case it seems that respect for life got lost somewhere along the way. "Time she went home to Jesus?" Excuse me while I go hit something.

This case isn't even in the... (Below threshold)

This case isn't even in the same vein as the Schiavo case. Here an explicit "living will" exists and the granddaughter is not the legal next-of-kin. Glenn Reynolds has already speculated that conservatives will wrongly compare the two cases. Looks like he wasn't wrong.

I contacted the two Senator... (Below threshold)

I contacted the two Senators from Georgia this morning as soon as I heard about it. I had federalism reservations about the Schiavo case, but this is absolutely different, as fellow commenters noticed. There has to be something that can be done to save this woman, at least temporarily hook her back up while this is resolved in court. Unlike Ms. Schiavo, she hasn't had ten or fifteen years of litigation to resolve the situation before her tube was pulled. The court should definitely "err on the side of life" in this case, at least until the matter of whether her "guardian" granddaughter did something illegal by pulling her out of the hospital and contravening her living will.

You'd think that the grandd... (Below threshold)
BorgQueen:

You'd think that the granddaughter would at least have the sense to realize that when the Lord decides it's time for Mae to come home, He'll know exactly where to find her and call her Himself.

The ties to the Schiavo cas... (Below threshold)
Bret:

The ties to the Schiavo case pertain to killing the non-terminal and starving and dehydration as inhumane for me. I just wish there we some more credible links to this story. I heard the audio live this morning and floored.

GREAT NEWS. WE CAN FIX SOC... (Below threshold)

GREAT NEWS. WE CAN FIX SOCIAL SECURITY.

The Schiavo and Magouirk cases have now firmly established that inconvenient people can and should be put to death.

While this might seem bad to some, it's really good. We should recognize that this new approach eliminates the fiscal crisis in Social Security.

All we need to do is terminate anyone over 70. They are obviously inconvenient. They are a menace on the highway, as anyone who has driven in St. Petersburg can attest. They don't invent stuff, make stuff or maintain stuff. In restaurants, they are picky and don’t tip well. And they chew up perfectly good inheritances that younger folk could use for vacations at Sandals.

Their quality of life is below minimal standards (a now-accepted trigger for euthanasia). As any golfer can tell you, once you can't hit your drive over 200 yards, it's just not worth living.

So, kill 'em. In doing so, we fix SS, we make the roads safer, we raise the average income of wait-persons, and we speed up play on our golf courses. It's a win-win.

I don’t understand what all the fuss is about here. It’s not like we were talking about killing spotted owls.

If surgery is out of the qu... (Below threshold)
julie:

If surgery is out of the question and the aortic dissection is fatal, then let her die from the aortic dissection. Why starve/deny her water?

What I don't understand, is why the hospice would put themselves in such an untenable legal position. Yes, hospices have strict rules about who they accept, mostly bc medicare is paying for it. Plus, why are they allowing someone without legal authority makein decisions rightfully or wrongfully to kill someone? Again, this is very odd or very criminal.

Yes, credible information i... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yes, credible information is needed from credible sources. She is apparently going to be evaluated by a set of doctors. Her wishes are not to remain in a vegetative or coma state. Need more info.

Bill from INDC Journal m... (Below threshold)
julie:

Bill from INDC Journal makes an ass out of himself in the comments.

One could hope he has a g-daughter like Beth someday.

I was going to post one of ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

I was going to post one of my rare agreements with Paul, then I saw this at the Free Republic:

I happen to know the people involved....this is totally bogus. Nobody knows the details of the story. Ms. Gaddy is a very nice woman who loves her grandmother very much and has been caring for her, (along with her mom, sister, and brother), for over ten years. There is no need in anyone trying to compare this to Terri Schivao in any way. The lady who is in hospice is 81, she has slowly been deteriorating since the death of her husband almost if not over a decade ago. LaGrange Hospice is a very nice place, and as we all know, it is designed to make you feel more at home in your last moments here. Ms. Magouirks' nephew, is trying to media attention. As long as I have known them, over 23 years, Never have I heard of any of them traveling down here to care for her. Ms. Magouirk is not eating, because she doesn't want to. Ms. Gaddy is a very christian person who is just doing what the doctors have advised. All I ask is that you look into the facts instead of listening to what someone says, just trying to make something a national headline. In the LaGrange Daily News, www.lagrangenews.com , Mr. Mullinex states:

“She (Gaddy) said, ‘I think it’s time she (her grandmother) goes home to Jesus, that’s she’s too sick and would not have a good quality of life,” Kenneth Mullinax said.
His complaints have been posted on Internet Web logs that have been in overdrive since the Terri Schiavo case.
“All of the Terri Schiavo people have come to our rescue,” Mullinax said. “This thing’s going national.”

He is more interested in the fame than her actual well being. He even admits in the article that Ms. Gaddy has the best interests at heart. People are going to think what they want and people are going to judge, even though it is not their place to.

It's never as simple as it looks, is it?

Mark, I just spend 21 minut... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Mark, I just spend 21 minutes on the phone with the woman's nephew. You could not have picked a worse horse if you tried.

Did you know the woman has asked to go home?

Do you know anything?

Didn't think so.

Unbe-freakin'-lievable. ... (Below threshold)

Unbe-freakin'-lievable. It feels like I'm banging my head into a wall, trying to make sense of this.

Oh, wait - I am. I can't even begin to make sense over what the Granddaughter is saying - "Granny's old, so I figured since she was going to go see Jesus soon, I'd just get her along a bit sooner!"

The grandmother in question is a lucid, reasonable human being - and her wishes are being subverted by someone with wishes of her own. I'm sorry, but how is this hard for a judge to understand? Why does the granddaughter need emergency guardianship for? To what end (outside of killing her own grandmother for God's sake!)?

This is patently absurd.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH... (Below threshold)
Omni:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! They're murdering a helpless old woman and no one's doing anything about it!!!!!

Liberals like to pooh-pooh the idea of the slippery slope, but it DOES exist; as soon as you open the door to pulling the plug, the tube, whatever, on anyone who's not actually brain-dead, it leads right to a situation where someone can be drugged and starved/dehydrated to death, contrary to their clearly expressed wishes, on the whim of a relative. What a DISGRACE!!

Mark: You write d... (Below threshold)
julie:

Mark:

You write don't just believe what someone else says but then you expect us to believe some post in FR and your post. Are they honoring her written living will or aren't they?

And what's with this bullshit dawdling when making these medical and or legal decision? The lady has been denied food and water already for two weeks. Would it kill these fools to move their asses?!!

I sincerely hope that the g... (Below threshold)

I sincerely hope that the granddaughter doesn't get away with this. If she does, then "slippery slope" stands, and I don't think anyone can rightly say that this case is not comparable to that of Schaivo. Coming so soon, it sounds to me almost as if the girl saw her chance after Terri died and decided to jump on the bandwagon. The other thing that's disturbing about this case that I've heard is that the granddaughter is the *sole beneficiary* of her grandmother's will...interesting...

Oh please! You cannot comp... (Below threshold)

Oh please! You cannot compare this to Terri Schiavo's situation. Terri died 15 years ago. It was only her body that was lingering on.

And if this is how you stated it, then the granddaughter is a complete bitch.

But it is still apples to oranges.

You cannot compare this ... (Below threshold)

You cannot compare this to Terri Schiavo's situation.

Keep telling yourself that. Maybe someday you'll really believe it.

Angie: "Terri died 15 years... (Below threshold)
Bostonian:

Angie: "Terri died 15 years ago. It was only her body that was lingering on."

I'm sure you believe that, Angie.

But I think it's a naive conclusion. Her brain was not dead. NOBODY ever claimed she was brain dead. If she had been, she would have needed a respirator.

So her brain was alive.

Where there is a brain, there is a mind.

Many of us that came down o... (Below threshold)

Many of us that came down on Terri's right to be with her parents arrived at that position because

~she was not terminal
~she was not on life support
~she was not brain dead
~her wishes were not know

And one of the things I posted about was the stance taken by many of the "pull the tube" crowd was their "truth" through emotional projection

~I would never want to live like Terri
~NO ONE would want to live like Terri
therefore
~Terri wouldn't want to live

and THAT emotional stance translates into the shifting, gooey argument of "quality of life."

Now we have a woman who left DOCUMENTED WISHES that she NOT be euthanized and her granddaughter ignores them and illegally has her transferred to a hospice.

Certainly it isn't exactly like Terri's, but the same "quality of life" argument is raised just again.

The families of the profoundly disabled should be very very worried.

Bill from INDC Journal m... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Bill from INDC Journal makes an ass out of himself in the comments.

Just doing what he does best.

Gee, a good tube pulling/de... (Below threshold)
julie:

Gee, a good tube pulling/death watch and our own resident little angel of death is nowhere in sight?

This isn't about comparing ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

This isn't about comparing the two cases, it is about this case being an example of the slippery slope.

There were far more reasons to justify killing Terri, there is a whole list of reasons that what is happening with this woman is wrong, but apparantly somebody let the tube be pulled. That my friends is the slipper slope.

I think one thing good to come of the Schiavo case is that the people like this woman won't continue to remain faceless without their stories being heard.

Terri Schiavo's story in the end is about when it is okay to kill disabled people, and which disabled people are worthy to live and which ones aren't.

Starving anyone so they wil... (Below threshold)
Bambi:

Starving anyone so they will die is murder. There it is; it's not complicated.

I don't think this is part ... (Below threshold)
shark:

I don't think this is part of that slippery slope....the Schiavo case, say what you want, was all legal and adjudicated through due process. This seems to be blatant and illegal behavior.

Shark you are right that th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Shark you are right that this seems to be blatant and illegal, but the Schiavo case blurred the line, this case is pushing the line created by the Schiavo case. When it comes to discussions of the slippery slope, the things at the top of the slope are the things that are seen as wrong by some, but are deemed legal, then each step down the incline of that slope are those things that the people arguing for the legal stuff at the top of the slope say won't happen (people in favor of the thing at the top of the slope deny the existence of the slope or that making that thing legal or keeping it legal won't push the stone down the slope).

So the Schiavo case is the top of that slope, this case is one of those steps on down the slope, that the Schiavo case just pushed it down.

Yesterday we thought it was fine to starve/dehydrate a severely disabled woman to death, today, we are letting granny die, because she is old and inconvienient.

The problem with the Schiavo case is that we made it about quality of life, and that is an extremely subjective criteria to decide who gets to live and who gets to die.

This is the issue we've bee... (Below threshold)
Mel Martinez:

This is the issue we've been looking for! We can use this to get Bill Nelson out of office and make Florida safe for pesticide companies.

One question for Paul:... (Below threshold)
JimK:

One question for Paul:

Ever consider, even for a moment, that the nephew is lying to you?

I'm not taking a side other than to say this has NOTHING to do with the Schiavo case, I'm simply wondering why you feel like you have 100% of the answers.

If we allow starvation to b... (Below threshold)
epador:

If we allow starvation to be imposed on thousands and thousands of Africans (you have to be a victim of natural disasters to get attention, not genocide these days) with barely a twinge of conscience, why should our society twinge when we let dying people die faster? Pretty soon it will be back to leaving folks on the ice flows (if "global warming" leaves any to be used) and mountaintops as a means of population control.

This ain't no slippery slope, its a tar pit.

Hmmmm.1. Normal is... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. Normal is an evolving standard.

2. If I am to make a mistake, and be taken for a sucker, then I choose to err on the side of life. If that means I get suckered occasionally, then so be it.

3. I have yet to read of an interview with Mae Magouirk directly, even in the newspaper article. Which I find troubling. If her condition isn't terminal, then under what circumstance does this prevent a reporter from talking to her? Is it just happenstance or sloth? Why am I curious? Because it's very likely that Mae is under a morphine drip. And as anyone who has experienced this knows, as I do, if you're on a drip then you're seriously sedated. And there is no way, in such a situation, that you could rationally choose anything.

4. When using the phrase "taking care of" to describe someone, that implies a great deal more care than buying groceries and paying the bills for someone. My understanding is that Mae Magouirk lived alone and Beth Gaddy basically just bought groceries and paid the bills because Mae had trouble seeing. And, in case there is a misunderstanding, by "paid the bills" I mean she filled out the forms and signed the check for Mae.

5. The hospice representative refused to discuss Mae or Mae's case and instead spouted a legal boilerplate. No offense but that is not a positive assertion that Mae is getting the care that she should be, or that she is being given food and water.

6. When was the last time you have ever heard a hospice refuse to state whether or not a patient was being fed? Even in the Schivao case they didn't dodge the question.

7. Here we have yet another situation where the patient involved doesn't actually get any sort of direct personal representation in court.

8. Having filled out a Living Will a long time ago I can personally attest that, at the time, I couldn't find one that didn't automatically assume that I wanted to die. Perhaps this has changed. Or perhaps not.

Nice red herring, epador.... (Below threshold)

Nice red herring, epador. I seriously hope you were being facetious, but in case you are not:

You cynicism is noted, but keep the topic in mind - this is about a woman being starved by her granddaughter under the bizarre claim that she ought to go see Jesus sooner, because she's so frail and all. To be sure, the plight of starving Africans is absolutely tragic - it is damn abominable, and global warming is concerning, but they are not relevant to the topic at hand.

At issue is whether or not someone, who is not named the legal guardian (save for an emergency court order) , should have been allowed to have their grandmother starved to death on the basis that THEY, the guardian, thinks they should go "home to Jesus" because of what the guardian feels is unfair to her charge. Simply put, it is established that this grandmother has a living will (and since she is neither comatose nor braindead, she does not want to be starved), and is clearly capable of making her own decisions. The granddaughter, meanwhile, is taking advantage of her grandmother's situation (recovering from heart surgery) to decide that it was time for her to see the Lord and orders her feeding tube removed.

Considering the questionable legality of transferring a non-terminally ill patient to a hospice, as well as the contravening motion by the granddaughter against her grandmother's living will, this should be a slam dunk decision by a judge - the woman should not be starved to death and she should be put in a proper facility for treatment. Especially if the only publicsized cause is because the woman is ill (she has glaucoma and a stabilized heart condition) - that doesn't survive a legal document like a living will, and if the person in question is capable of announcing their intentions and thoughts in regards to their care.

It cannot be allowed to just 'happen' because one person feels it is time for someone to go - that is a morally-questionable stand to take, and a decidedly slippery slope to tread upon.

epadorso, if I rea... (Below threshold)

epador

so, if I read you right, unless we are able to save everyone everywhere at anytime, then we should save no one, anywhere at anytime.

Way to cop out on making a moral decision!

"If I am to make a mistake,... (Below threshold)
McCain:

"If I am to make a mistake, and be taken for a sucker, then I choose to err on the side of life. If that means I get suckered occasionally, then so be it."

The beautiful thing about individual liberty is that YOU don't get to choose for her, which means that you can't err on either side of this case.


"I have yet to read of an interview with Mae Magouirk directly"

Are you seriously assuming that she can talk? Let's wait for the medical team to evaluate her and get back to us on the 11 O'clock news. The MDs will assess her condition, and the court will determine if that fits with her Living Will instructions.


"Here we have yet another situation where the patient involved doesn't actually get any sort of direct personal representation in court."

She has a legal guardian, which is the way things are supposed to work. When someone can't speak for themselves, they have a guardian. Are you trying to say a different guardian would be better? Would that person best be you?

And if the guardian is acti... (Below threshold)

And if the guardian is acting in a way that is disputed by other family members, its incumbent upon the court to appoint a guardian ad litum.

So, McCain, has the court done that in this instance?

Why in the bloody hell is i... (Below threshold)

Why in the bloody hell is it not obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that it is just WRONG to starve another human being to death?

The death-mongers don't give a tinker's damn about any facts pertaining to this case, or the Schiavo case, just so long as their beloved right to kill their baby can't be infringed upon.

That's why the "personhood" argument keeps popping up. If we declare an adult who's dependent upon another for survival to be a "person" worthy of living until their natural end, the argument that relegates the unborn baby to a parasitic blob of tissue may dissolve.

I'm damned tired of people using all these smoke-and-mirror arguments to avoid the fact that no matter how it's framed, no matter how it's sterilized, it's still an issue of one human being taking the life of another, when the person being killed has done nothing wrong except become "inconvenient" to those upon whom he or she depends.

Anybody that can't see how that is horribly wrong is imbecilic, evil, or delusional.

Period.

JULIE:"The lady has been... (Below threshold)

JULIE:"The lady has been denied food and water already for two weeks."

If true, she would be dead by now. I went to the local paper link Paul was good enough to provide and it's not clear that she is in fact being deprived of food and water.

I've been following Mae's s... (Below threshold)
purple_kangaroo:

I've been following Mae's story as well as Terri's closely on my blog at http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=purple_kangaroo_Angela

The most recent news story suggests that Mae Magourik may be getting food and water while doctors decide her fate.

According to a recent WorldNet Daily article, if--as Ken Mullinax claims--food and water are still being denied to Mae Magourik, it would be in direct violation of the court order of April 1st.

WND says, "In his order, Probate Judge Douglas Boyd permitted Gaddy to continue as Magouirk's temporary guardian, but in a formal letter attached to the order stated that her powers were limited. One of the conditions of her guardianship is 'To see that the ward [Magouirk] is adequately fed, clothed, sheltered and cared for, and receives all necessary medical attention, including placement in a nursing home, if appropriate.'"

WND has not been able to confirm whether Ken's claim that she still has not been given fluids or a feeding tube is true or not.

I hope she is actually receiving nutrition and hydration at this time. Is it possible that Ken hasn't been told whether she is or not, and is assuming she's not? Or . . . ??????

Here's the link where you can read the entire WND article: http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43721


JULIE:"The lady has... (Below threshold)

JULIE:"The lady has been denied food and water already for two weeks."

If true, she would be dead by now. I went to the local paper link Paul was good enough to provide and it's not clear that she is in fact being deprived of food and water.

According to the nephew, an IV was put in for about a day last week, which was probably enough to rehydrate her up to the point where she could survive for a while. Unfortunatly it is not clear whether or not she is being provided with food and water. The family doesn't even seem to know what the case is.

In terms of the case as a whole, I simply can not believe that this judge is appointing doctors to decide her fate. It doesn't matter what judges or doctors think....it was her express wishes to not be denied food or water under these circumstances. The judge and doctors don't get to do an end run around that. Or maybe they do. We might as well be living in the Netherlands then, where old folks are scared to death of going to the hospital because their family or a doctor might kill them without even consulting them first.

Show me the court documents... (Below threshold)

Show me the court documents.

Show me a major news source. One that knows how you use the word "neither" ('81-year-old neither terminally ill, comatose, nor in vegetative state'... WTF!?)

Sorry, after the "Terri can talk! Terri laughs at my knock-knock jokes!" lies, I'm not just going to take some relative's word.

If everything alleged is true, this is a big deal... so get out the court documents already!

I'm not going to take sides... (Below threshold)

I'm not going to take sides on this or decry Paul's slippery slope argument - I just have a question for Paul:

Why is it you automatically assume the nephew spoke with 100% truth and good will when talking to you? That means you automatically dismiss the report on Free Republic, just because it goes opposite to what you want to believe. Your reply to Mark's comment was, as usual in these circumstances, condescending and did not address any of Mark's comment. The only thing you did was refute him on the basis that you you spoke to the nephew. Which means you are calling the Freep poster a liar.

I know it hurts you to look at both sides of an issue, Paul. And I know you have a hard time accepting facts that fly in the face of what you want to be true, but sometimes it necessary.

I'm not saying one or the other is the truth. I'm just saying that you need to stop refuting people by saying "I'm right, you're wrong and I don't have to prove it, it just is."

Robbie: it;s a secure plac... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Robbie: it;s a secure place of avoidance by Glenn Reynolds and others who skirt issues in similiar fashion...make the issue all about criticizing, diminishing those with questions, concerns, and avoid discussing the actual issues instead.

It makes for cute, flippant rhetoric on often the internet, but it, in effect -- that type of avoidance commenting -- secures that the problem (the Culture of Death, however well arranged legally, all the t's crossed, all the i's dotted, all the right things filed...) continues while suggestions to the contrary (stop killing the inconvenient because you want to) are suggested as being irrelevant.

And, legal precedents exist... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, legal precedents exist and only exist because someone, at some time, brought a challenge to assumed correctness. I always find it very amusing when lawyers try to humiliate those with issues beyond the scope of the, um, lawyers themselves, as in this case.

Right. 3/28 to 4/8 is only ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Right. 3/28 to 4/8 is only 12 days. What ever was I thinking! Oh wait . . . I was thinking that they SHOULD MOVE THEIR ASSES!

Do you really think it matters whether it is 12 days, 14 days, or 2 days when you deny food and water to a 81 year old woman? You can not starve an elderly and apparantly ill person that long, say Oops! we made a mistake, then expect the poor woman to recover without adverse physical consequences from the experience. I won't even get into the sheer cruelty of it. Starvation/dehyration is a peaceful way to go my ass.

I think people misinterpret... (Below threshold)
julie:

I think people misinterpreted what epador was trying to say. I took it as him saying these huge human disasters can desensitize people from the human suffering of one person and it was wrong.

Well, Michele and others, y... (Below threshold)
julie:

Well, Michele and others, you are taking sides, aren't you? Where's your proof? Where's your court docs in support? Why on earth should Paul give any more weight to an anonymous post on another website over the nephew he spoke to himself?

Look, it is not easy to review these cases when one side is refusing full disclosure. And that side would be her granddaughter. Hospital records are not public records. Not all court files and hearings are public records.

You would prefer that no attention be given to the individual case unless all the facts can be proven first? What happens if Mae Magouirk's rights are being violated? Tough noogies?

How exactly does one get a higher authority to step in and take a look at things to make sure everything is on the up and up? Could it be publicity and public pressure?

It's clear from the interest in these cases that a good percentage of the public lacks confidence in the way they are being handled. The more publicity the better. It can only lead to reforms that can improve and ensure that the rights of the individual are being protected and restore public confidence.

Was Schiavo klled or allowe... (Below threshold)
Otocon:

Was Schiavo klled or allowed to die? Is there a middle way, a means to negotiate these issues that technology now forces us to confront, a way to balance both these truths about a dying person and treat her with dignity and respect? Is a sophisticated "feeding tube" a "burdensome" or risky method? Does keeping someone on such a tube for more than a decade with no hope for recovery alleviate a person's suffering or prolong it? Or can suffering also mean having one's dignity stripped away? Does the pace of medical progress affect this? Do we keep people half-alive indefinitely in the hope of such a possibility?

There really isn't anything... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

There really isn't anything to argue here.

This woman didn't want to be starved/dehydrated to death-she even said so in writing.

Her grandaughter wants to do just that.

What in the world are you death squad people defending here? You are just proving Paul's point of the slippery slope.

Old people shouldn't be killed because they require more care. Old people shouldn't be killed just because they have become infirm. Old people should be able to go "home to Jesus" on God's time, not when a relative decides they need to go.

This isn't that difficult people, and the fact that you are making it that difficult is scary.

I wonder if Gaddy has hired... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I wonder if Gaddy has hired George Felos yet.

MicheleCertainly o... (Below threshold)

Michele

Certainly one needs to look at the nephew's statements in the context of the setting. Are they at least consistent with the known facts of the case.

We know that the granddaughter did not have the legal power to transfer Mae to a hospice. We also know that the grandmother did not qualify for hospice care. We know that as soon as her other relatives found out they made arrangements to have Mae transferred into a regular hospital for evaluation and treatment. We know upon learning of these plans the granddaughter went to court for an "emergency" guardianship and that the hospice refuses to make any statement about Mae's care and instead issues boiler plate legalese disclaimers.

And we know Mae left specific written instructions on just what kind of care she wanted, including NO EUTHANASIA unless very specific conditions were met.

Even these simple facts bespeak a very troubling scenario. Either the granddaughter was the dupe of doctors who felt it was time to "put grandma down" despite grandma's wishes and she trusted "the doctors knew best" and entered into a questionable arrangement with a hospice to make sure she "died" within the hospice timeline, or she was complicit with the doctors, or she pushed the doctors.

All in all one has a situation in which one cannot dismiss the nephews comments out of hand because the situation itself stinks to high heaven

And we are not talking about a surgical feeding tube here, but the nasal kind. And IV fluids. For a woman who had just been in the hospital for a dissected aorta (stablized). This constitutes "extraordinary" care?

And why should I accept the anonymous word of someone on Free Republic as having even equal validity with someone willing to be questioned by the press?

Certainly, let's get more focus on this question. I think that's what Schiavo's case is doing ... making these kind of 'under the radar' hurrying up of the end of life actions come into public scrutiny.

As it should be. If we cannot protect the rights of the weakest and most vulnerable among us, then we have a lot more problems in this culture than arguing over Social Security policy.

Hmmmm.1. "The beau... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. "The beautiful thing about individual liberty is that YOU don't get to choose for her, which means that you can't err on either side of this case."

The beautiful thing about comprehension is that you should have figured this out on your own.

My point is that, if this is all a hoax, then I'm willing to accept being called a sucker for believing it.

Yes reading is truly fundamental. You should try it sometime.

2. "Are you seriously assuming that she can talk?"

The beautiful thing about comprehension is that you should not try to put words in my mouth and instead should read what I wrote.

I am disturbed that nobody has interviewed Mae herself. I would expect that, in any story about someone, that every effort would be made to actually interview that person.

If no interview was possible, then it should have been indicated as such. But neither was there an interview nor was there any indication as to why there wasn't an interview.

Is she capable of speaking? Or is she being sedated? I'd like to know.

As for assumptions, you're the one assuming that she cannot talk.

Very good, Ed. You are all... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Very good, Ed. You are allowing that you might be wrong about your assumption. I am saying that we don't know enough. If trhe circumstances are as Paul describes, I will agree with you. But I'm going to wait for real MDs to ascertain her condition and then compare that with her Living Will. It wouldn't be the first time that bad information has spread around the net.

Re "death squads", that may be a cute way of people saying they are against a right to die regardless of the circumstances, because we don't really know enough about these circumstances. That is a legitimate position argued before the Supreme Court once upon a time, but one should be willing to state that position more directly.

One question for Paul:... (Below threshold)
Paul:

One question for Paul:

Ever consider, even for a moment, that the nephew is lying to you?

=======

Then michele took me to task (as usual ;-)

>>Why is it you automatically assume the nephew spoke with 100% truth and good will when talking to you?

Sure, I considered he lied. I never automatically assumed anything. If you read the MSM reports, they support him. So far, Gaddy refuses to talk to the media [wonder why?] and his story is internally consistent. The sister, the judge and the hospice all have had days to deny his version of the events. They have not.... The judge says that he "denies" there is a problem because everyone agreed to the "settlement." (they all hugged necks) OK but did he deny facts? That the 3 doc are now 5 days behind in their report and she is not getting food and water??? Nobody has denied those facts for days. So yeah, until I'm told otherwise I give Ken credibility.

>>That means you automatically dismiss the report on Free Republic, just because it goes opposite to what you want to believe.

Nope Nope Nope and double nope. If you read the Freerepublic post, it does not disagree with any of the facts of the case. It is full of additional worthless information like "I've known them a long time" and "She's a Christian woman" blah blah blah... But it does not contradict the facts. Further, why do you take the word over an anon poster on Free Republic over a member of the family? Seems odd.

>>Your reply to Mark's comment was, as usual in these circumstances, condescending and did not address any of Mark's comment.

No, I did not address the whole thing in comments, I made a whole post. Read my update post, I cover the whole thing.

>>The only thing you did was refute him on the basis that you you spoke to the nephew. Which means you are calling the Freep poster a liar.

No, as I said, if you read the Freep poster, she does not contradict any of the facts of the case, she just calls Ken names.

>>I know it hurts you to look at both sides of an issue, Paul. And I know you have a hard time accepting facts that fly in the face of what you want to be true, but sometimes it necessary.

So you call me condescending then you condensed... Nice.

I'd avoid mirrors for a few days.

If you knew what the hell you were talking about, you could know I will take a contrarian view quite easily.


>>I'm not saying one or the other is the truth. I'm just saying that you need to stop refuting people by saying "I'm right, you're wrong and I don't have to prove it, it just is."

I said he pickled a dark horse. I said that from personal knowledge. I never said I did not have to prove it, I made a whole post backing it up. He picked a dark horse.

And speaking of horses, the only one who seems to be climbing on her high horse is you.

I'm with Bill at InDCJourna... (Below threshold)
Mona:

I'm with Bill at InDCJournal on this whole brouhaha. The over-reaction is very disturbing, as is the claim about "death trends"; folks, cases like these have been happening for decades. I know, I litigated one in the mid-90s, in which an 82 yr old woman in Michigan, while lucid and long before falling into a diabetic coma, insisted she would not have her gangrenous foot amputated. Her doctor was firm that *she* was firm about that.

Well, she after she goes into a coma, her patient advocate (her sole heir) upholds her wishes, and refuses amputation. But she is the heir, so she must be in it for the money, right? Nevermind that it is ENTIRELY LOGICAL that a person would most trust the person they also most want to inherit. Other family swoop in and create media hysteria about poor old lady being killed -- Killed! I tell you by gangrene; It is a horendous death, obscene to do it to her, I tell you! -- and also, they'd sure like her to survive long enough to change her will, was the opinion of some.

Well, we have a probate hearing. To impeach doctor, they bring up the doctor's *past* drug addiction issues, publicly embarrassing him, to undermine his clarity that the woman had REFUSED any more surgery, after a double mastectomy and increasing problems from diabetes. She had adamantly said NO.

The whole thing turned into a media circus, in southwestern Michigan, in the mid 90s. Unfortunately for me, for the patient advocate, and for her illand elderly ward, this was the heyday of Kevorkian, and the patient advocate who hired me was being likened unto him by some in the media. But this WAS NOT A RIGHT TO DIE CASE. It was a garden variety, common law right to refuse medical treatment. Could I get that across to the media? No. Not sexy enough to interest them. Could all you opiners here grasp such distinctions based on sound bites and ill-informed Internet ramblings?

How do we know that Mae did not tell her granddaughter that she did not wish to eat any more? It is common for sick old people to come to that point. I've seen it suggested around the blogosphere that Mae had made this decision, but I *don't know* -- and neither do all those pontificating -- what the actual facts are here. If Mae, when lucid, had said she did not wish to eat, then her granddaughter is upholding her GARDEN VARIETY RIGHT TO REFUSE MEDICAL TREATMENT.

These family cases should not be tried by Internet rumor and innuendo. They are not a "trend toward death," or if they are, the trend began long ago, and I guess I'm part of the "death culture." I joined, I guess, when I took that case in the 90s.

What if that granddaughter is, indeed, a loving and good woman, doing her best to do as her grandma wanted? It is *unchristian* to be demonizing her without knowing all of the facts, which most certainly are not known.

I am disgusted.

BTW michele you got 2 thing... (Below threshold)
Paul:

BTW michele you got 2 things exactly backwards. Consider them...

1) I called the nephew because I wanted to confirm Word Net Daily. We both know that is never a bad idea.

2) Check out the freerepublic post and compare the wording carefully to the first story in the LaGrange news. (go ahead do it and I'll wait here)

Notice something????

Do you find it odd that the person on Free Republic used the exact verbiage the newspaper used and then threw in negative things about Ken but positive comments about Beth's side of the family???

If I were a betting man, I'd say some whacky DU'er type lifted the story then claimed inside knowledge. Go read it, while I actually don't disagree with any of the facts, if you compare it to the only MSM report out there at the time, it sounds like a set-up.

Yes, I put far more faith in Ken for the reasons listed above than some anon poster who I think lifted her source material. (go read them both, I know you ignored me the first time. ;-)

How do we know that Mae ... (Below threshold)
julie:

How do we know that Mae did not tell her granddaughter that she did not wish to eat any more?

Because it's contrary to her living will. And, no one is denying the granddaughter the chance to tell her side of the story.

Because it's contrary to... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Because it's contrary to her living will. And, no one is denying the granddaughter the chance to tell her side of the story.

It is not contrary to her living will to invoke her common law right to refuse medical treatment. Further, in some states, living wills may be superseded by oral repudiations, but in any event, she does not lose her right to refuse medical treatment by signing a living will. (If you've been following the Schiavo case then you are familiar with the Abstract Appeal blog. Go there -- the FL lawyer explains quite well on his front page, why living wills are not always the end of the inquiry -- and he authored this explanation before this latest "death culture in Georgia" hysteria.)

We don't know whether Mae refused food or not. We don't know whether her granddaughter may not be the most devout and decent Christian woman on the planet. And it is wrong to depict her as some vile member of the "culture of death" and make her a publicly despised person in the context of a crusade against "murder." Without knowing applicable law or many more facts. It is WRONG.

As a lawyer, I've felt almost hopeless, verging on despair, watching first the Schiavo matter and now this, unfold online, when I know how the law and courts actually function, and why so many of the shrill and simply FALSE claims about the law and courts that have been tripping off keyboards are, at best, misguided. Look folks, catching CBS with typography and Word evidence is an issue exquisitely conducive to bloggers and the vast army of smart folks "out here." But playing doctor and lawyer, second-guessing courts about the character and motives of regular folks caught in a common and painful area of life, is NOT an area conducive to blogswarming.

It alarms and angers me.

Mae Magouirk safe for now. ... (Below threshold)

Mae Magouirk safe for now. See Tekgnosis for further details.

Tell the Media to report the REAL Schiavo polls!

http://capwiz.com/sicminc/issues/alert/?alertid=7351686&type=ME

http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/4/emw226586.htm

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/prweb/20050408/bs_prweb/prweb226586_3

My account, etc. of Terri Schindler's Funeral Mass:

http://tekgnosis.typepad.com

It is not contrary to he... (Below threshold)
julie:

It is not contrary to her living will to invoke her common law right to refuse medical treatment.

No, but what evidence is there that she invoked her common law right to refuse medical treatment? I assume that you are also referring to the right to refuse food and water.

Evidence that she did not want to starve to death is her living will, a written document. Evidence that she wants to starve to death is what ??? Pardon me if I go with the written documentary evidence.

And if she is competent to void her living will and consent to refusing medical treatment and food and water, she should be lucid and competent enough to memorialize it in some fashion beyond what ?????? So where is the evidence?

We don't know whether Mae refused food or not.

That's right, we don't know. And b/c we don't know, don't tell me and others we have to accept her death from refusal/denial of food and water. And no, it's NOT WRONG to want this investigated to ensure that her rights are being protected and her wishes enforced whether it turns out she refused or not.

Her granddaughter may be the most devout person – then again she may not. And she could be both an entirely wonderful person and a person who is doing the wrong thing. Good intentions don't count for much when it is contrary to the patient's wishes. And once again, nothing is stopping her from telling her side of the story.

As a lawyer, I've felt almost hopeless, verging on despair,

Hey, you're not the person being denied food and water, Mona. So, either toughen up or get into a new profession. And you are also not the only person who knows about the law and how courts operate. There are a number of attorneys here and even a few docs, so not everone is playing one.

And frankly, the average joe has every right to be assured that Mae Magouirk's rights are not being violated and her wishes followed. Like it or not, these cases are one of public concern. And until a better system is found to assure public confidence that a patient's rights are both being followed and protected, they will continue to be one of public concern.

In the fourteen days that S... (Below threshold)
McCain:

In the fourteen days that Schiavo starved to death, 50,000 abortions occurred in the United States, a slaughter that actually represents a long-term decline in the abortion rate. In 30 years since Roe v Wade, the number of folks who identify themselves as anti-abortion has risen to the point where they almost number those who identify themselves as pro-abortion.

Is the life movement becoming so obtuse that decades of hard-earned political capital is going up in smoke over 1 or 2 right-to-die cases? Perspective, people. The focus on these cases, particularly the overreach occurring in the political arena, may set back the pro-life movement for years. The sterotype of a bunch of zealot yahoos is going to be difficult to overcome.

Ya know what, if it is true... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Ya know what, if it is true that the food was denied while the judges make the decision, they are doing this assbackwards.

She should be fed until they figure out what to do, but this is extremely disturbing to me.

Mona I actually don't disagree with you that there are lots of cases like this all over the place-and that is the scary thing. I think the real legacy of the Schiavo case isn't so much the slippery slope as it is that these cases will now get more media attention-especially the ones that are screwy-and this one is case in point. It will bring to light that our country tolerates, and by the bent of some posts I have seen finds acceptable the killing of people who are severely disabled, because somebody else finds them inconvinient or thinks their life isn't worth anything.

Sorry, I'm pro-choice -- as... (Below threshold)
julie:

Sorry, I'm pro-choice -- as are a number of other people who hold similar views.

She should be fed until ... (Below threshold)
julie:

She should be fed until they figure out what to do, but this is extremely disturbing to me.

Which also made the appellate process in the Schiavo case rather suspect.

And if she is competent ... (Below threshold)
Mona:

And if she is competent to void her living will and consent to refusing medical treatment and food and water, she should be lucid and competent enough to memorialize it in some fashion beyond what ?????? So where is the evidence?

Again, we do not know whether, when she was still lucid, she stated a refusal to eat. That she may do entirely aside from, and without amending, her living will. So may I, or you. I've read several places that Mae evinced such a refusal, but I am wholly unwilling to claim that as a fact, based on an Internet posting.

Many have pointed to the fact that the probate judge who granted the granddaughter's emergency petition to be Mae's guardian, that this judge is not a lawyer and has not even been to law school. If that is true, it certainly raises my eyebrow, and I would think the People of Georgia might want to take a look at how one qualifies in their state to sit as a probate judge.

But if that is a proper issue, so is it proper to point out that lay people musing and speculating about procedurally and substantively complicated law on blogs, basically adjudicating the matter and building up an outraged frenzy at a granddaughter and the courts, claiming this is murder, and evidence of a "culture of death," these people are also wrong. We do not know what the granddaughter testified to in order to secure her guardianship appt. We do not know what doctors and/or nurses may have recorded (or not) that Mae was refusing food. But what I *do* know, is that the appearance of this not-unusual treatment dispute in the wake of Schiavo is not evidence of a slippery slide into a death culture; not unless we've been sliding there via our probate courts for *decades.*

We do not know the factual record, we do not know relevant Georgia law, and we do not know the character of the granddaughter. In light of all these things we do not know, much more calm and caution are in order. Enough, already, about evil courts and guardians murdering people.

And another thing: based on... (Below threshold)
Mona:

And another thing: based on media reports, Mae's living will allowed removal of artificial feeding and water delivery, if she entered a PVS. If so, her advance directive is like mine and like that of many, many others. In the wake of the Nancy Cruzan case, and the 1990 S. Ct. ruling on same, people all over the nation rushed to make sure legislation was passed allowing such provisions to be memorialized in legal documents. Cruzan generated overwhelming public sentiment that people would want the feeding tube removed, just as Nancy Cruzan's parents were trying to do for their PVS daughter in the absence of written evidence of her wishes (and eventually were allowed by the Missouri courts to do). (Are Mom and Dad Cruzan and the Missouri courts, like Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer, evil "murderers?")

I completely believe, given the high profile of Cruzan and the overwhelming sentiment it generated, that Terri Schiavo would have said the things her husband, brother and sister-in-law claim. I said them. Mae feels that way, if reports about her advance directives are accurate.

So the "starvation and dehydration murder" of Terri Schiavo is something that huge numbers of us -- including Mae -- have requested for ourselves in such an event as PVS. Are we requesting our execution in the event we are "disabled?" Did the Cruzans request that for their daughter?

Given Mae's living will and reported provisions for herself in the event of PVS, this latest near-"victim" of the culture of death is a member of it herself.

Again, we do not know wh... (Below threshold)
julie:

Again, we do not know whether, when she was still lucid, she stated a refusal to eat. That she may do entirely aside from, and without amending, her living will. So may I, or you. I've read several places that Mae evinced such a refusal, but I am wholly unwilling to claim that as a fact, based on an Internet posting.

Once again: We. Don't. Know. The only proof we have of her intentions is the living will. You caution others about speculation, yet, you do so to support your own position in the debate.

But if that is a proper issue, so is it proper to point out that lay people musing and speculating about procedurally and substantively complicated law on blogs, basically adjudicating the matter and building up an outraged frenzy at a granddaughter and the courts, claiming this is murder, and evidence of a "culture of death," these people are also wrong.

Sorry, Mona, this is still the good ole U.S. of A. and people can think, speculate, and discuss anything they want to, no matter what their profession or station in life.

The you-are-too-dumb-to-understand-something-so-complicated-that-only-us-lawyers-can-understand approach *never* goes over very big. Plus, because you may not agree with their opinions, does not make them contrary to law.

[snip two “We do not know[s]”]

But what I *do* know, is that the appearance of this not-unusual treatment dispute in the wake of Schiavo is not evidence of a slippery slide into a death culture; not unless we've been sliding there via our probate courts for *decades.*

Well, you are the one who brought up it may be inappropriate to have a non attorney sit as a probate judge. So, something slipped in Georgia. Plus, again, because-this-is-the-way-we-have-always-done-it is another approach/rational that doesn't sway many minds.

[snip three “We do not knows]”]

In light of all these things we do not know, much more calm and caution are in order.

I'm calm. I'm cautious. I feel neither hopelessness nor despair. :-)

Enough, already, about evil courts and guardians murdering people.

You can not dismiss every argument on the basis that any disagreement may upset the status quo or is a slap in the face of the judicial system. They're a tough group. They can take it.

. . . based on media re... (Below threshold)
julie:

. . . based on media reports, Mae's living will allowed removal of artificial feeding and water delivery, if she entered a PVS.

Are you now relying on media reports -- something you once viewed as merely speculative? And since she is not in pvs, it is not relevant.

(Are Mom and Dad Cruzan and the Missouri courts, like Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer, evil "murderers?")

Who's talking about the above? My goodness, 5 red herrings all in a row!

I completely believe, given the high profile of Cruzan and the overwhelming sentiment it generated, that Terri Schiavo would have said the things her husband, brother and sister-in-law claim. I said them. Mae feels that way, if reports about her advance directives are accurate.

As to Schiavo, other people believe and testified to the opposite. And again, it is a red herring since the discussion is about Mae's – not Schiavo's wishes. And are you asserting Mae is in pvs? Otherwise, that too, is not relevant. Plus, since that is expressly stated in her living will, it is not an issue, is it? Oh, and you better look at the Zogby polls before you interpret public sentiment.

So the "starvation and dehydration murder" of Terri Schiavo is something that huge numbers of us -- including Mae -- have requested for ourselves in such an event as PVS.

What Schiavo requested is debatable. (Red Herring) What you requested is irrelevant. (Red Herring) And Mae did not request a "starvation and dehydration murder" when she is NOT in pvs.

Are we requesting our execution in the event we are "disabled?" Did the Cruzans request that for their daughter?

Don't know, don't care. It's irrelevant what others may want and Mae is not in pvs.

Given Mae's living will and reported provisions for herself in the event of PVS, this latest near-"victim" of the culture of death is a member of it herself.

Given one, that Mae is not in pvs, and two, that there were no living wills in the other incidents you keep trying to interject, it's irrelevant and another red herring.

Julie writes: You can n... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Julie writes: You can not dismiss every argument on the basis that any disagreement may upset the status quo or is a slap in the face of the judicial system. They're a tough group. They can take it.

Perhaps I am not expressing myself clearly. The issue is not whether the judicial system can "take it." At least not in the way you mean. Neither is it that I wish to hold out lawyers as a priesthood who should preach to the dumb masses.

Latter point first: I assume many posting here and around the 'net are reasonably bright, and most are likely even professionals.But that does not suggest they could intelligently comment on a listserv for neurosurgeons, archeologists, or...lawyers. I respect my limitations of knowledge, and I would hope others would do so as well, and encourage them to do so especially when they are fomenting public lack of confidence in a crucial institution. Which brings me to the former point:

Our country is not run by arrogant judges intent on murdering people via probate courts.We are a nation of laws, and that is a critical aspect of what has made America peaceful and prosperous. (I'm an unapologetic patriot who chokes up at the National Anthem, and who voted for Bush in '04.) We literally could not be who we are without our judiciary and the public's willingness to resort to it for peaceful dispute resolution.

There is a reason people go to law school. There is also a reason why newly-minted lawyers should not handle any but the simplest cases alone, much less be seated as judges. I cannot -- no lawyer can -- in a blog set forth the enormous amount of fundamental knowledge of legal procedure and substantive law, and understanding of how these two areas function together, necessary to grasp why aevery decision that may arouse anger or suspicion in a non-lawyer might be, in fact, entirely proper.

An example. All during Schiavo, I kept reading how outrageous it was that Greer allowed "hearsay." Without googling, could any of you give its legal definition? What do non-lawyers know of the rules of evidence -- which permit some hearsay, or which define some out-of-court statements as non-hearsay -- or of what the Florida legislature may permit or disallow in a case such as Schiavo's? What did any of you posting here, who are non-lawyers, know about any of that before you began swarming against Greer and/or his decisions?

I believe in the rule of law, and it cannot exist without a judiciary and a public that respects it. In my view, it is un-American to go on a virtual jihad against the judiciary without sufficient knowledge of how it operates. Disagreeing with, say, Roe v Wade (as I do) is one thing, but joining a cyber-mob denouncing our judiciary as corrupt at the lowest levels of trial judges, is quite a destabilizing other.


Jaysus on a Pony, Mona... (Below threshold)

Jaysus on a Pony, Mona

You're a lawyer? Then you MUST know the old saw about "Yes, oral contracts are legal and about worth the paper they are written on."

One wants to avoid the worst of dragged out legal cases? Then have it in writing. NO ONE has disputed the salient points of Mae's LW. And NO ONE has disputed that granddaughter Gaddy did NOT have the legal authority to put Mae in a hospice. and NO ONE has disputed that hospices have strict guidelines that must be followed for admittance and that MAE DIDN'T MEET the criteria. NO ONE disputes that Mae was eating jello and ice chips but wasn't receiving proper nutrition on that fact.

A baby DDA (or ADA depending on what you county calls 'em) would be leaping up and down presented with those facts.

And this isn't just the nephew, but Mae's own brother and sister who visited her, heard her tell them she wanted OUT of the hospice and tried to get her transferred.

I never called the Schiavo case "murder". It was a "killing" because if her wishes had been known to want to be euthanized then we wouldn't call that same act "murder."

But it was an IMPOSED killing at odds with her rights in a culture where assisted suicide is accepted and euthanasia even of non-terminal people is being pushed under the gooey rubric of "quality of life."

If that doesn't scare the deewaddiddle out of you, then something besides warm human blood runs through your veins.

Julie writes: Are you n... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Julie writes: Are you now relying on media reports -- something you once viewed as merely speculative? And since she is not in pvs, it is not relevant.

I issued repeated caveats that this might not be true. However, folks like you and Paul are arguing that the terms of her living will are not being followed. YOU are accepting, as a given, that she would "starve and dehydrate herself" if she were in a PVS, per her living will. So, you necessarily include Mae in the "culture of death."

And I can understand why you do not wish to engage my points about Nancy Cruzan, the case, and her parents; they make all this talk of murder, murderers and a "culture of death" quite a bit harder to sustain. if Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer murdered Terri, so did Nancy Cruzan's parents murder their daughter. And, if what you take as a given is true, Mae would have herself murdered if she were "disabled" by PVS.

(This "disabled" point, btw, explains Zogby. Obviously if you ask people, as that polldid, whether a "disabled" person should be denied food and water delivered artificially, any decent person will say no. But most of us do not think that if we were PVS we would merely be disabled, and that is why so many -- like Mae, if your givens are to be believed -- would have our artificial feeding removed if we were to become PVS.)

Darleen, you are confused; ... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Darleen, you are confused; the matters under discussion are not within the domain of contract law. To see why oral rejections of medical tx may contravene even a living will, go: here.

"But what I *do* know, is t... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"But what I *do* know, is that the appearance of this not-unusual treatment dispute in the wake of Schiavo is not evidence of a slippery slide into a death culture; not unless we've been sliding there via our probate courts for *decades.*"

Actually, I think that is exactly the condition we are in.

The Terri Schiavo case I am sad to say, probably isn't the start of the slippery slope, but the revelation that we have already started down that slope.

I have seen too many arguments in favor of offing this granny, because "hey, she is going to suck dollars out of the coffers." It is a sad day, when we justify killing the disabled, because they are too costly.

Perhaps I am not express... (Below threshold)
julie:

Perhaps I am not expressing myself clearly.

I think you did. You stated: Enough, already, about evil courts and guardians murdering people. The only way I can interpret it is that you take exception to the criticisms being leveled . The majority which are not to the extreme you portrayed them as.

I assume many posting here and around the 'net are reasonably bright, and most are likely even professionals.But that does not suggest they could intelligently comment on a listserv for neurosurgeons, archeologists, or...lawyers.

Unless they are neurosurgeons, archeologists, or...lawyers. You have doctors, nurses, attorneys and even an archeologist posting on this blog. Any neurosurgeons – I'm not aware of. And no need to assume that those who are not, are any less intelligent. Not a shabby group. So, maybe they are not fomenting public lack of confidence, as you phrased it but giving valid opinions and asking valid questions.

Our country is not run by arrogant judges intent on murdering people via probate courts.

Nobody said we are. On second thought, a number of judges can be rather arrogant. And, in the eyes of a lay person, extremely arrogant. And, I don't think you can blame that perception on the lay person.

I cannot -- no lawyer can -- in a blog set forth the enormous amount of fundamental knowledge of legal procedure and substantive law, and understanding of how these two areas function together,

I *totally* agree. However, as I stated earlier, there are a number of attys who read, comment, and blog. And even though some matters may require a professional knowledge of legal procedure and substantive law, it doesn't mean a lay person is incapable of getting it right.

All during Schiavo, I kept reading how outrageous it was that Greer allowed "hearsay." Without googling, could any of you give its legal definition?

An out of court statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted.

What did any of you posting here, who are non-lawyers, know about any of that before you began swarming against Greer and/or his decisions?

I can attest that they knew a lot. However, the real arrogant and ignorant ones were those who argued on behalf of killing Schiavo – not the other way around.

I believe in the rule of law, and it cannot exist without a judiciary and a public that respects it. In my view, it is un-American to go on a virtual jihad against the judiciary without sufficient knowledge of how it operates.

So, no court opinion can ever be challenged? Wow! No need for appellate review in your world. How un-American! And respect must be earned – it is not necessarily an entitlement.

but joining a cyber-mob denouncing our judiciary as corrupt at the lowest levels of trial judges, is quite a destabilizing other.

Unless it's true, of course.

So, you necessarily incl... (Below threshold)
julie:

So, you necessarily include Mae in the "culture of death."

I accept that Mrs. Magouirk has expressed that nutrition and hydration be withheld only if she were in a coma or pvs with no hope of recovery. Anything beyond that is a projection of your own opinion – not mine. And, once again, she is neither in a coma or pvs.

And I can understand why you do not wish to engage my points about . . .

Well, obviously you don't. Your points are one, irrelevant, and two, strawmen arguments.

if Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer murdered Terri, so did Nancy Cruzan's parents murder their daughter. And, if what you take as a given is true, Mae would have herself murdered if she were "disabled" by PVS.

May I suggest you take a course in logical fallacies?

( But most of us do not think that if we were PVS we would merely be disabled,

And your statistical evidence to back that up is what?

like Mae, if your givens are to be believed -- would have our artificial feeding removed if we were to become PVS.)

But, she is not in pvs or a coma, is she? Why you have such a hard time with that beats me. Then again none are as blind as those who will not see.

Julie, you are clearly quit... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Julie, you are clearly quite angry, and I truly don't wish to inflame you. Maybe you did know the definition of hearsay without googling and before Schiavo, but most non-lawyers do/did not. Certainly most do not know the usual exceptions, or where rules of evidence have defined out-of-court statements as outside of hearsay, OR where FL law requires consideration of hearsay. Could you at least agree that it is dangerous for lay people to be indicting judges based on a blog reading and uninformed opinion?

Cannot you not set aside your partisanship and try to understand what I am begging for? Namely, that so many of my fellow citizens not rush to indict our judiciary based on Internet frenzy in the absence of any understanding of the procedural and substantive law that guide our various courts?

Julie, because of this hysteria that has arisen, Judge Greer now lives with death threats and must be under armed guard. Is that American?

Stop being so reasonable, M... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Stop being so reasonable, Mona. Socrates was put to death by vote of an ill-informed crowd, and you know, using the best technology of the time. And how much easier it is now to follow the mob when you don't have to assemble in an Agora.

Mae Magouirk safe for now. ... (Below threshold)

Mae Magouirk safe for now. See Tekgnosis for further details.

Tell the Media to report the REAL Schiavo polls!

http://capwiz.com/sicminc/issues/alert/?alertid=7351686&type=ME

http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/4/emw226586.htm

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/prweb/20050408/bs_prweb/prweb226586_3

My account, etc. of Terri Schindler's Funeral Mass:

http://tekgnosis.typepad.com

Julie, you are clearly q... (Below threshold)
julie:

Julie, you are clearly quite angry, and I truly don't wish to inflame you.

Angry? In your dreams, Mona! Yours is a lame and transparant tactic.

Maybe you did know the definition of hearsay without googling and before Schiavo, but most non-lawyers do/did not. Certainly most do not know the usual exceptions, or where rules of evidence have defined out-of-court statements as outside of hearsay, OR where FL law requires consideration of hearsay.

Oh, gee, how dare they ever express an opinion not being a lawyerwoman like you and all!

Could you at least agree that it is dangerous for lay people to be indicting judges based on a blog reading and uninformed opinion?

Sure, when you stop pretending that everyone but you has an uninformed opinion, which is safe to say, will be never.

Cannot you not set aside your partisanship and try to understand what I am begging for?

Partisanship aside, your arguments were some of the worse I have ever read. Most any one here could demolish them easily. You can yell, scream, and even beg, that you must be deferred to -- but it's not going to happen.

Namely, that so many of my fellow citizens not rush to indict our judiciary based on Internet frenzy in the absence of any understanding of the procedural and substantive law that guide our various courts?

Once again, people have a right to form and express their own opinions whether you agree with them or not. Just because you paint them in a negative way does not make it so. And again, it is you who automatically and erroneously assumes that people lack intelligence to understand legal issues because they are not, gasp, a lawyer like you.

Julie, because of this hysteria that has arisen, Judge Greer now lives with death threats and must be under armed guard. Is that American?

The only hysteria I see is yours, Mona. And, I find your undeserved elitism extremely un-American.

The only hysteria I see ... (Below threshold)
Mona:

The only hysteria I see is yours, Mona. And, I find your undeserved elitism extremely un-American

I've done a bad job. You see me as elitist. The issues I raise are lost in that fog. Julie, you win.

Haha, very funny Mona. I t... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Haha, very funny Mona. I think you know that you won the argument. The presentation and questions you raise are excellent and substantive.

McCain writes: Haha, ver... (Below threshold)
Mona:

McCain writes: Haha, very funny Mona. I think you know that you won the argument. The presentation and questions you raise are excellent and substantive.

If that is all anyone takes from this exchange, I have lost. Julie is obviously not an idiot, and some of her points are spot on. All I want to stand for is the rule of American law, which remains decent.

Yes Mona, Julie is a young ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yes Mona, Julie is a young and bright person, but she lacks depth of reason. Do you really consider the collective words from her last post to be a meaningful response to the important issues that you raise?

"Angry? In your dreams, Mona! Yours is a lame and transparant tactic. Oh, gee, how dare they ever express an opinion not being a lawyerwoman like you and all! Sure, when you stop pretending that everyone but you has an uninformed opinion, which is safe to say, will be never. Partisanship aside, your arguments were some of the worse I have ever read. Most any one here could demolish them easily. You can yell, scream, and even beg, that you must be deferred to -- but it's not going to happen. Once again, people have a right to form and express their own opinions whether you agree with them or not. Just because you paint them in a negative way does not make it so. And again, it is you who automatically and erroneously assumes that people lack intelligence to understand legal issues because they are not, gasp, a lawyer like you. The only hysteria I see is yours, Mona. And, I find your undeserved elitism extremely un-American."

Let's be serious. Your main point that the judiciary is under attack is one of the most important lessons of the Schiavo case. It deserves more than snippy sarcasm in response.

I've done a bad job. You... (Below threshold)
julie:

I've done a bad job. You see me as elitist. The issues I raise are lost in that fog.

I see you as an elitist because you are an elitist. The fog you are lost in is your own.

If that is all anyone takes from this exchange, I have lost. Julie is obviously not an idiot, and some of her points are spot on. All I want to stand for is the rule of American law, which remains decent.

God, you are so full of your self. You only want to stand for “the rule of American law” when you think it supports your personal position. When it goes the other way, you are more than willing to run roughshod over it.

Haha, very funny Mona. I... (Below threshold)
julie:

Haha, very funny Mona. I think you know that you won the argument. The presentation and questions you raise are excellent and substantive.

No, McCain, what is really funny is you thinking you know what is or is not substantive. Now, that is a real hoot!

Yes Mona, Julie is a young and bright person, but she lacks depth of reason. Do you really consider the collective words from her last post to be a meaningful response to the important issues that you raise?

Wow, how patronizing of you! Apparantly, you're still too sore to sit down. You and mona make a great team, by the way.

Let's be serious. Your main point that the judiciary is under attack is one of the most important lessons of the Schiavo case. It deserves more than snippy sarcasm in response.

No, Mona, the self-described hopeless, despairing, begging lawyer, increasingly off the wall and obnoxious statements deserved a lot more sarcasm than I ever directed towards her.

Now, really try to be serious: Whether you like it or not, people are allowed to disagree and challenge the judiciary. Their right to do so is both constitutionally and statutory based. Because you do not agree with the opinions expressed does not give you, mona, or anyone else the right to abrogate those rights. hth

Mona writes All I want t... (Below threshold)

Mona writes All I want to stand for is the rule of American law, which remains decent.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the crux of the problem of Mona's total argument.

Mona, dear, you've been writing about procedure without giving much thought to the moral questions involved. I, too, have great respect for the Rule of American Law ... as a tool. When the Law is the vehicle of moral good, it is doing its job; when it is the vehicle of a immorality or injustice, it is Bad Law. And judges, lawyers or lay people who use the justification "But according to the law, the "i"'s were dotted and the "t's" were crossed!" to excuse injustice at the hands of Bad Law betray their own religiousity that has substituted Legality for Morality. Such people "worship" the Law and look at judges and lawyers less as people attempting to serve their fellow citizens with the goals of justice than as the bishops and priests of The Law, steeped in the nuances of its ritual practices and the only conduit to explaining to the uninitiated masses the Great Mysteries therein (they even have their own ritualistic language).

That is not how American Law was/is supposed to operate.

As a lawyer, Mona, you can explain from your own experience the way the law operates and the differences that exist between jurisdictions. Indeed, GA law may differ from FL law as it does from CA law (ie CA law is not common law based, but statutory) But you should not, cannot claim some religious insight into The Law that us "uninitiated rubes" just can't possiblely understand. If us rubes cannot understand it, than the Law is wrong.

BTW..I'm a halfway rube ... I'm not a lawyer, but I've worked as a clerk in a DA office for over 7 years (and several of my attorney's are urging me to take the LSAT and get my JD and a barcard). How the law works and doesn't work is something I deal with on a daily basis. I've been blessed with working with very dedicated people who look more to justice first, law second, when they are reviewing cases to file and prosecute. But I also realize, that's not the way all offices, lawyers or judges operate.

And that is something that needs to be challenged, even if the challenge comes from rubes.

Even when the “i”'s are dot... (Below threshold)
julie:

Even when the “i”'s are dotted and the “t”'s crossed and the procedural standards applied, it is still legally wrong if it violates fundamental guaranteed protections.

Over the past few years, very naughty attorneys and citizens who-don't-know-their-places attacked the judiciary repeatedly. They were so out of control they openly disagreed with the opinions of the people-they-shd-have-recognized-as-their-betters. As a result, the USSC held that a number of procedural standards employed by the states were unconstitutional, in that they violated fundamental constitutional rights. Oh, the horror!

I would like to see the same thing happen with the clear and convincing evidence standard in contested cases of this nature. As a certain atty who shall go nameless (xlrq) says:

“[W]e all know what "clear and convincing" means: three affidavits from three guys named Schiavo.”

Darleen: Being a native rube, I'm sure you remember when Prop 28, the Victim's Bill of Rights was on the ballot. At the time, I didn't have a clue as to what it was about. A professor of mine lectured our class that it was dangerous, it was evil, that under no certain terms if it passed we were doomed. When another student asked, “Why?'” He was told that it was way-y-y too complicated for even bright rubes (us) to understand. I muttered under my breath a little too loudly, “Oh, give me a fucking break!” Which, of course, did not endear me to the prof or the majority of my fellow classmates. I voted for it. And the rest was, as they say, history. Yeah!

Do you suppose this new wav... (Below threshold)
JBCasper:

Do you suppose this new wave of "right-to-die" progressives will soon be reconsidering their previously negative view of Third Reich euguenics policy?

Not "progressives", no, th... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Not "progressives", no, the true conservative position to get government out of the personal realm. There is an old word for those who want the steely arm of govenment to interfere with the sovereignity of individuals: liberals. Where is Barry Goldwater when you need him?

Julie, a passive man and lovely children will cure your anger problem. Meanwhile, deep reading.

Uh, McCain?When th... (Below threshold)

Uh, McCain?

When there is a dispute would you rather "interference" via the government in settling it?

Or just have family members fall on each other tooth and nail or ala Tony Soprano to settle this "personal/family matter."

Funny how your line about "gubmit stay out of MY bizness" is the same tact abusive parents or spouses say when justifying themselves about a "private family matter."

And at one time, the Law deferred to that.

I guess I'm the modern conservative who believes women have the right NOT to be beaten even in the "privacy" of their homes, and grandmas have a right to have their right to life via their own written wishes upheld by da gol-durned meddlin' gubmint.

silly me!

Oh, I'm not the one with th... (Below threshold)
julie:

Oh, I'm not the one with the anger problem, McCain. The one with the anger problem is the person with the sore ass still holding a grudge. Now, who could that be? Hmm, oh I know . . . YOU. Get over it.

Darleen, I don't want the f... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Darleen, I don't want the federal legislative branch interferring in the rights of states, families, and individuals. That is what happened in the Schiavo case.

And your last paragraph is a good example of what is actually supposed to happen: when you get beaten in your home, that becomes a matter of state law to be settled by the state judiciary. Congress doesn't need to pass a law for your problem, or for grannies problem. It is a routine matter for courts to follow long-standing precedent and law. A right to die was not invented three weeks ago.

Get over what exactly? Wha... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Get over what exactly? What grudge? I am actually growing more and more amused with each new narcissitic post that you place on this thread. What are you talking about, girl?

McCainHello?? [tap... (Below threshold)

McCain

Hello?? [tapping the monitor screen] Hello? is this thing on??

The Schiavo case ended up in the courts because there was a dispute. That wasn't interference, that is what courts are FOR.

argh.

And with Mae, it wasn't a right to die, but a wish by a granddaughter to "let her return to Jesus" by sticking her in a hospice that she had no business being in and denying her food and water IN VIOLATION OF HER OWN LIVING WILL.

BTW... if you think the Feds have no bizness in state law... explain Roe v Wade and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Brown v Board of Education.

[tap tap tap] I hope this thing was on ...

Yes Darlene, tap tap. Dis... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yes Darlene, tap tap. Disputes are for the courts, which is where things would end if the zealots were content to let the courts figure things out. But that wasn't what happened in the Schiavo case, now was it? Remember the grandstanding Congress passing a law for ONE PERSON, and the leader of the free world gleefully/solemly participating?


And I didn't say the Feds have NO business in state law. They have little business in state law. The Supreme Court has already ruled for a right to die, by the way. The state courts are following that guidance. Shouldn't be a big deal to let them do their jobs.

And in the end, that is exa... (Below threshold)
McCain:

And in the end, that is exactly what happened in both the Schiave case and this case. The local courts did their job.

The Supreme Court has al... (Below threshold)

The Supreme Court has already ruled for a right to die

Oh? And that case would be ...? Got the case handy? Link?

The local courts did their job

Good lord, that's so obviously lame as to be beyond comment.

Oh, McCain, you're so cute ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Oh, McCain, you're so cute when you play stupid! What? You mean he's not pretending? He really is stupid?

Darleen,1990 Cruzan ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Darleen,
1990 Cruzan case.
1997 Wash/NY challenges which leaves law up to the states.
1997 declines hearing on Oregon law.
2005 declines hearing on Schiavo.


About my comment -->The local courts did their job.
And your response-->Good lord, that's so obviously lame as to be beyond comment.

How would you change things? Since you apparently don't believe that the state courts are the proper adjudicators, provide your well-reasoned alternative to our judicial system please.


Julie, it is really unfair to be entertained so wonderfully at no cost. Please send bill.

McCainAs you know,... (Below threshold)

McCain

As you know, none of the things you have cited above..especially a SCOTUS refusal to hear a case...translates into a SCOTUS confirmation or discovery of a "right to die" which is a misnomer because such advocates are pushing for a right to physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.

And the failure of Greer to examine exculpatory evidence and the failure of the judge in Mae's case to even confirm the facts before he granted guardianship to Gaddy (he has been directly quoted that he thought Mae was IN a nursing home or was to soon BE in a nursing home...which is why he issued care directives without every having any testimony they'd be carried out) speaks directly to a Congressional responsibility to define (as is their consitutional right) jurisdiction of the Federal courts in these instances.

The first case actually did... (Below threshold)
McCain:

The first case actually did find a right to die, and the opinions expressed in that case are well worth reading. The second, although different, found states have the right to determine physician-assisted suicide on their own. And this is consistent with refusing to hear the Oregon law. End of life issues are clearly up to the states, and I am saying that is a good thing.

Gaddy was granted guardianship appropriately. Someone gets to be guardian. When the court found she wasn't following the intent of the court, he clarified his instructions for her. Seems like this process worked well.




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