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Magouirk's Family Denied Visitation

So much for Beth Gaddy being the innocent victim. An email from Ken Mullinax:

MY Aunt Mae is now being nourished and hydrated at UAB medical Center.

HOWEVER, BETH GADDY HAS ISSUED AN ORDER TO THE MEDICAL STAFF AT THE CCU-UNIT
of UAB WHICH PREVENTS MAE'S BROTHER (A. B. McLeod) SISTER (Lonnie Ruth
Mullinax) and nephews/any of the Alabama relatives FROM VISITING MAE
MAGOUIRK IN HER ROOM at the hospital. When we appeared today to visit Mae,
we were turned away by hospital staff!

It is ironic that my Mom is on the 7th floor and Mae is located on the 8th
floor of UAB but she is prevented from seeing her sister who is suffering
from the same heart malady.

I'm not actually sure what legal ground would be required to keep her own sister out, much less if Beth Gaddy has it. But it strikes me as classless at best and that she's hiding something at worst.

And for those of you who have bees in your bonnet over this, yes, until he is proven to be a fraud, I'm going to continue to take Ken at face value. I don't feel the need to ask your permission before I blog something. Get over it.


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Comments (38)

And Mona shows up in 5-4-3... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

And Mona shows up in 5-4-3-2-1.

I think if this allegation is true, it is going to be hard to do much defending of Gaddy.

And believe it or not that ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

And believe it or not that wasn't even aimed at Mona... Some people just took it upon themselves to play blogosphere truth cop...

And they had no more idea the "truth" than any one else.

Is Mae in the cardiac inten... (Below threshold)

Is Mae in the cardiac intensive care unit? Visitation in such units is often severely restricted.

It's possible Gaddy is angry at the relatives for the private and public accusations they have made and rationalized she has a right, as guardian, to prevent more troublesome "interference" by excercising what power she has to keep the thorns in her side away from her grandmother.

However, this could simply be a misunderstanding of the necessary limits on visitors in an intensive care unit...where patients are not allowed phones, where the family is asked to designate a single family member to get info and pass it on, and where visitation is limited to next-of-kin for brief visits.


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

Sarah: You're corr... (Below threshold)
julie:

Sarah:

You're correct in that visitation is restricted but not that restricted. I doubt they have it set up so only one person, Gaddy, can visit. I will assume that Gaddy is not happy about what happened. I will also assume Mrs. Magouirk would find comfort in seeing her family. I will unequivocally state that Mrs. Magouirk welfare comes first and that it is not right to prevent her family from seeing her if she wants to see them.

JustMe:

Stop tempting fate! :p

SarahW, how refreshing. A c... (Below threshold)
Mona:

SarahW, how refreshing. A commonsensical speculation that does not depict anyone as a villain, as negligent, evil, or part of the "death train." But there is not much fun to be had with such mundane thoughts. No. Then there is no one to "save!", and no grounds to get all inflamed and email judges, hospital CEOs, and generally feel a self-important sense of "saving!" a victim from the clutches of the death culture.

The blogosphere is a good thing, and I believe it was necessary to George Bush's re-election in '04. But it is not a good thing when it descends into Jerry-Springer like fascination with and judgment of families and probate courts, based on National Enquirer level postings and comments, often containing wild speculation and vicious accusations against private citizens.


Or it could be Ken is the r... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Or it could be Ken is the rotten apple here and is being prevented from seeing her for a good reason.

No one STILL has any objective facts here.

Or it could be Ken is th... (Below threshold)

Or it could be Ken is the rotten apple here and is being prevented from seeing her for a good reason.

Or it could be that Paul isn't automatically wrong about everything.

I didn't say he was wrong. ... (Below threshold)
JimK:

I didn't say he was wrong. I said no one has any OBJECTIVE facts yet, but some people have alread chosen a side. It's a shame, really...but expected.

Hey! I've been in a hospita... (Below threshold)
julie:

Hey! I've been in a hospital or two, including CCU. Unless UAB has visitation rules different from all the other CCUs in the country, it is an OBJECTIVE fact that visitation isn't that restrictive unless Gaddy is forcing them to keep the rest of the family out.

Mona:

Take a xanax already. The only thing Springereque is you.

Well, there is CCU, and the... (Below threshold)

Well, there is CCU, and there is CICU.

The latter is for the sickest patients needing the most intensive cardiac care. (Not every hospital has both.)

Jim K writes: I didn't s... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Jim K writes: I didn't say he was wrong. I said no one has any OBJECTIVE facts yet, but some people have alread chosen a side. It's a shame, really...but expected.

Sensible position. And let me emphasize that I have tried to be very careful not to take any firm position where I have no sufficient basis to reach a conclusion. There are, however, two facts that appear to be established and uncontradicted, and they cause me to be very suspicious of Ken Mullinax.

First, he appears to be a well-connected political operative -- in this case a Democratic one, but the actual party affiliation is irrelevant. As such, he is neither unsophisticated nor unresourceful, and also as such, publicity as a stalwart fighting the "death culture" could help his aspirations.

Second, in every probate jurisdiction of which I am aware, it is possible to file an emergency motion alleging that a guardian is violating a court Order and harming the ward. Ken did not do that; or at least I've read no statement from anyone that he did.

Instead, he contacted a high-profile activist apparatus that had just managed a huge media controversy. This gets him much attention, but only at the cost of depicting Mae's granddaughter -- a private citizen who sought no publicity -- and a probate judge, as evi or grossly negligent.

So, anyway, I have attempted to hold myself to the same standard I am arguing that others should adopt, and to not opine on matters definitively when I simply have no access to crucial facts. But the fact of Ken's failure to file an emergency petition, without fanfare and publicity, in the probate court, and instead activating an in-place media machine, does, in my strong view, raise proper questions about his motives and allegations.

Sarah:You're corre... (Below threshold)
julie:

Sarah:

You're correct. However, different hospitals use different acronyms. My earlier post as to visitation practises was based on those of Cardiac Intensive Care Units, and not to step down units.

The email from the nephew refers to CCU. And considering her condition, CCU, not CICU would make sense.

Mona writes: Instead, he... (Below threshold)
TomT:

Mona writes: Instead, he contacted a high-profile activist apparatus that had just managed a huge media controversy. This gets him much attention, but only at the cost of depicting Mae's granddaughter -- a private citizen who sought no publicity -- and a probate judge, as evi or grossly negligent.

Let's not get too involved in ourselves. Even today, google news doesn't bring up any MSM stories on the case. I doubt if more than a few thousand (if that many) people have any idea what is going on. The fact that some of these people have called the judge and/or Ms. Gaddy and said cruel, vile and threatening things doesn't mean there aren't important issues raised by the case. Such as, once a hospice has admitted a patient with terminal condition "X", can it hasten the patient's passing by not noticing that she is slowly dehydrating due to an inability to take sufficient nourishment by mouth.


But the fact of Ken's failure to file an emergency petition, without fanfare and publicity, in the probate court

As I understand it, that's what the Monday hearing was about. The judge said he expected Mae would be put in a nursing home, not a hospice, which is why he wanted the doctor's exam expedited. I'm not sure what would have been the point of petitioning for another emergency hearing while the exam was still pending.

Now that Mae is in another state, I'm sure the court issues get even more complicated. (Does Ms. Gaddy's guardianship cross state lines? Maybe her POA is sufficient in AL where it was insufficient in GA? Can judge Boyd retain jurisdiction across state lines?)

But the fact of Ken's fa... (Below threshold)
julie:

But the fact of Ken's failure to file an emergency petition, without fanfare and publicity, in the probate court, and instead activating an in-place media machine, does, in my strong view, raise proper questions about his motives and allegations.

You mean his motive not to see his aunt continue to receive improper medical and nursing care? Evil!

And yeah he was a smart man for going public as opposed to going back into court to his aunt's detriment.

Only Mona would think trying to provide proper medical and nursing care to your sick aunt was politically motivated and evil.

I said no one has any OB... (Below threshold)

I said no one has any OBJECTIVE facts yet, but some people have alread chosen a side.

Heaven forfend that people have opinions before every last fact has been dug up and studied. Pray forgive the rest of us, O Perfect One, for being merely human.

Now that Mae is in anoth... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Now that Mae is in another state, I'm sure the court issues get even more complicated. (Does Ms. Gaddy's guardianship cross state lines? Maybe her POA is sufficient in AL where it was insufficient in GA? Can judge Boyd retain jurisdiction across state lines?)

Beth's powers as guardian carry to Alabama, by virtue of the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.

If Ken thought Beth was violating the Court's Order, and was starving/dehydrating Mae to death in the absence of any justification from Mae's stated wishes, he should have filed an emergency motion, quite regardless of whatever other matters were pending. Wouldn't you?

julie declares: And yeah... (Below threshold)
Mona:

julie declares: And yeah he was a smart man for going public as opposed to going back into court to his aunt's detriment.

Another unsupported premise; you have no basis, none at all, to claim that Judge Boyd would have ruled to Mae's "detriment." Your assertion is based on nothing more than your conspiracy-theory notions that the Court, Beth Gaddy, and the medical team treating Mae had "marked" her for death.

Civil and civic-minded individuals do not play so fast and loose with accusations against their fellow citizens and our judiciary.

"Heaven forfend that people... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"Heaven forfend that people have opinions before every last fact has been dug up and studied. Pray forgive the rest of us, O Perfect One, for being merely human."

Paul's backside taste good?

See, I can resort to childish flames too. One would think that if one was interested so much in the truth, one could try to find out of there is another side to the story and one was being jerked along for publicity's sake. Again, for the hard-of-reading: I AM NOT SAYING THAT THEORY IS THE TRUTH. I'm suggesting that the current "known wisdom" is by no means complete and before we get all uppity, maybe we should get some facts before we start calling people murderers.

It never hurts to be accurate AND truthful.

Beth's powers as guardia... (Below threshold)
TomT:

Beth's powers as guardian carry to Alabama, by virtue of the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.

I wonder about that. An awful lot of child custody cases seem to involve conflicting custody orders from different states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause certainly doesn't apply to things like gun permits, or even the breed of dog you're allowed to own in certain places.

You try living on a jello c... (Below threshold)
julie:

You try living on a jello cup and ice chips for up to three days, the time it takes to get back into court. Do it for even one day. See how you like it. Your total lack of compassion is demonstrated by your inability to fathom that it is cruel and detrimental to the health of an 81 year old woman with a heart condition.

You're the conspiracy nut, not me. Conspiracy is your word. I said three individuals were individually not doing their job.

Civil and civic-minded individuals do not play so fast and loose with accusations against their fellow citizens and our judiciary.

So, you finally admit you are neither civil nor civic minded, do you?

Undisputed assertion 1:<... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Undisputed assertion 1: Mae had a heart problem and needed medical attention.

Undisputed assertion 2: Mae was admitted into a hospital for said heart problem.

Undisputed assertion 3: Mae was not diagnosed as being in a terminal condition after her treatment.

Undisputed assertion 4: Mae has a living will that states she wants treatments to continue if she's not in a terminal condition or vegetative state.

Undisputed assertion 5: Mae still ended up in a hospice after her medical treatment.

Ken's story makes the most sense so far given these assertions.

There may be other facts that haven't come out yet, but they still have to fit the above facts since they've been vetted by numerous independent sources.

You can make up whatever scenario you want, but if it doesn't fit the facts I listed, then it's wrong.

Sue: my maternal grandfathe... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Sue: my maternal grandfather lived for more than 10 years in a hospice, when the Parkinson's became more than my grandmother could handle (St. Anne's in Winona, Minnesota, run by nuns). It is actually not out of the question for an ill person, who is not terminal, to end up, at least temporarily, in a hospice -- no one tried to kill my non-terminal grandpa just because the family had him in a hospice.

Now this was in the late 60s and early 70s, and perhaps it has become more rare since then for non-terminal people to be placed in a hospice. I don't know.

I wonder about that. An ... (Below threshold)
Mona:

I wonder about that. An awful lot of child custody cases seem to involve conflicting custody orders from different states. The Full Faith and Credit Clause certainly doesn't apply to things like gun permits, or even the breed of dog you're allowed to own in certain places.

The FF&C clause does not apply to statutes; those do not carry over from state-to-state. (There would be no point to the 10th Am., federalism and state sovereignty if they did.)

So, if IN allows permits to carry, and MI does not, an Indiana resident had better check his gun before going over the border into Michigan. But, an Indiana divorce judgment will be respected in Michigan. A guardianship order, too.

Mona, Hospice care a... (Below threshold)
TomT:

Mona,
Hospice care as defined for Medicare and Medicaid purposes requires a doctor's certification that the patient is terminal with less than 6 months to live. (The regulations recognize that uncertainty exists and some people will live longer but 6 months is the definition.) Medicare and Medicaid also cover respite care, where someone who basically lives at home with a caregiver can go into a hospice-like setting for a few days to give the caregiver a break. But it is in fact entirely out of the question for a non-terminal person to be admitted to hospice care. See for example here.

Sue wrote, Undisputed as... (Below threshold)
TomT:

Sue wrote, Undisputed assertion 3: Mae was not diagnosed as being in a terminal condition after her treatment.

This is false. Admission to hospice requires certification by a doctor that the patient's illness is terminal. Without that certification, medicare and medicaid won't pay for it.

However, there certainly seems to be a significant disagreement among the doctors, as at least 2 of the 3 consulting cardiologists recommended treatment.

TomT, I will certainly defe... (Below threshold)
Mona:

TomT, I will certainly defer to your superior knowledge; as I wrote, my last experience of a hospice ended in the mid-70s, when my non-terminal grandpa (well, until he actually became terminal) was in one. Much could have changed since then.

TomTNot false...si... (Below threshold)

TomT

Not false...since the hospice accepted Mae's admittance without verifying that Gaddy had the legal right to admit her, the possibility of them being as lax on a certificate ("honeybun, don't worrah 'bout the paperwork..plenty o'time for doin' that") is better than even odds.

JimK

Gaddy has had ample opportunity to tell her side of the story. If she has a mouthpiece, s/he has been conspicous by absense. Gaddy hasn't said a thing but has allegedly barred Mae's own sister from visiting her.

That is not hospital SOP even in an ICCU.

Darleen writes: Gaddy ha... (Below threshold)
Mona:

Darleen writes: Gaddy has had ample opportunity to tell her side of the story. If she has a mouthpiece, s/he has been conspicous by absense.

And she should just plunk down a thousand bucks to a lawyer to be her "mouthpiece" and expose herself to further Internet attack because it amuses you for her to do so, and then have more fodder to play with? Would you want to be forced into such a position?

"you have no basis, none at... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"you have no basis, none at all, to claim that Judge Boyd would have ruled to Mae's "detriment.""

There is enough evidence to consider it.

At the very least the judge apparantly didn't know what type of establishment she was in (as has already been noted multiple times, there is a huge difference between hospice care and nursing home care), and he didn't make his order clear enough obviously when he ordered the doctors to evaluate her condition-since the woman was living on jello and ice chips-hardly adequate nourishment and fluids.

Now I will agree that it is more than possible that Gaddy was not fully honest with the judge, during the hearings, but if that is the case, then why in the world are you defending Gaddy?

The crux of the issue here is that this woman was being starved/dehydrated, while doctors decided whether or not she was terminal. No matter what the judge should have made certain that she was adequately nourished/hydrated while they awaited the decision. To not do so, is to presume that she is terminal and presume that she wanted to die-neither of which were clear at that time (if they were clear, then she wouldn't be at UAB right now), and that is absolutely wrong.

People should not be starved/dehydrated while judges and doctors get their acts together. As I have said multiple times, it isn't that difficult to insert an NG tube, and if it is determined that the person is terminal and doesn't want a feeding tube in those circumstances, the NG tube isn't that difficult to remove, but in the mean time, they should not be living on jello and ice chips. That is unethical and inhumane.

"you have no basis, none at... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"you have no basis, none at all, to claim that Judge Boyd would have ruled to Mae's "detriment.""

There is enough evidence to consider it.

At the very least the judge apparantly didn't know what type of establishment she was in (as has already been noted multiple times, there is a huge difference between hospice care and nursing home care), and he didn't make his order clear enough obviously when he ordered the doctors to evaluate her condition-since the woman was living on jello and ice chips-hardly adequate nourishment and fluids.

Now I will agree that it is more than possible that Gaddy was not fully honest with the judge, during the hearings, but if that is the case, then why in the world are you defending Gaddy?

The crux of the issue here is that this woman was being starved/dehydrated, while doctors decided whether or not she was terminal. No matter what the judge should have made certain that she was adequately nourished/hydrated while they awaited the decision. To not do so, is to presume that she is terminal and presume that she wanted to die-neither of which were clear at that time (if they were clear, then she wouldn't be at UAB right now), and that is absolutely wrong.

People should not be starved/dehydrated while judges and doctors get their acts together. As I have said multiple times, it isn't that difficult to insert an NG tube, and if it is determined that the person is terminal and doesn't want a feeding tube in those circumstances, the NG tube isn't that difficult to remove, but in the mean time, they should not be living on jello and ice chips. That is unethical and inhumane.

oops sorry about that doubl... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

oops sorry about that double post, don't know what happened other than I got an error message.

MonaEver get nose-... (Below threshold)

Mona

Ever get nose-bleeds on that high horse?

Y'all seem to think Ken and HIS mouthpiece are out for publicity for some nefarious reason (um... did it ever cross anyone's mind he's doing it first of all FOR HIS MOM?? Mae's SISTER?)

Ya think Gaddy filed the "emergency" papers with the Judge in pro per??

Ya think there aren't enough "right to 'die'" people around that would give Gaddy a sympathitic hearing?

Come on, people .... Gaddy is not too shy to put Mae in a hospice illegally, not too shy to try to frustrate efforts to have may in a hospital for evaluation, not too shy to ignore the instruction that the Judge did give her (Mae ends up in the hospital severely dehydrated inspite of the boilerplate 'we don't starve or dehydrate ANYONE' bloviating by the hospice), she's not too shy to keep every relative from Mae's brother & sister's family away

But Gaddy is TOO SHY to issue a press release or to make a public statement??

Geez, Mona... don't do criminal defense law, ok? I'd even feel sorry for your defendants.

But Gaddy is TOO SHY to ... (Below threshold)
Mona:

But Gaddy is TOO SHY to issue a press release or to make a public statement??

Of course, all of us who have to deal with the sad burdens of caring for ill grandparents know how to issue press releases and can afford to hire a lawyer to speak for us to the press. All of us, to whom such things eventually happen, want to step up to the plate and speak slick PR and invite the world into our family situation. It happens every day, in middle America, where grandparents fall gravely ill and the Internet jumps on us.

If Beth Gaddy cannot hack that, then F her.

Obviously, Darleen, Mona is... (Below threshold)
julie:

Obviously, Darleen, Mona is unfamiliar with the practise of simply telling the truth.

Yes, Mona, Gaddy was very u... (Below threshold)

Yes, Mona, Gaddy was very upset and concerned with the "well being" of Mae

Which is why Mae was airlifted to the hospital with severe dehydration.

Sweetcheeks, you seem to have neither fact nor law on your side...so you're here pounding the table.

Please don't offer your services to Gaddy pro bono...she's got enough troubles of her own making.

So JimK -- you got any fact... (Below threshold)

So JimK -- you got any facts yet that contradict what Paul's posting?

Absent those, all you;re doing is showing off a bad case of Paul Derangement Syndrome.

Mona-You're a voice ... (Below threshold)
passerby:

Mona-
You're a voice of reason among a group of people who seem to want to believe the worst about a person without waiting to hear the facts. Sure, they know the skeletal facts; but in their unimaginative world they can't fathom the possibility that the same combination of facts could flesh out an entirely different scenario than the one they pose here. It reminds me of those tv shows where they give you a little bit of info about a crime and the audience overwelming votes that the accused is guilty--until they give you the rest of the story, and the audience votes overwhelmingly the other way.
I appreciate your effort, and am glad to see the comments from you and others who understand that you can advocate a position without having to assign motives to every player. If one disagrees with the actions of Ms. Gaddy, they could advocate for a different course of action without making Ms. Gaddy out to be the devil. Perhaps, one could charitably say, Ms. Gaddy is well-intentioned but misguided. But some people apparently don't want to do that. In order to condemn Ms. Gaddy, like some have done here, one must assign a motive based on very little factual information. I see that as cruel, and I suspect you do too. At the very least it really doesn't get the elderly woman any closer to getting treatment. At the worst, it drags a good person's name through the mud. (As was done, in a series of amazingly mean-spirited displays across a number of blogs, to Mr. Schiavo, who has officially been cleared by investigators of the variety of actions of which he was accused.) One thing is certain. Such speculation accomplishes nothing positive. But some people like to do stuff like that anyway. Go figure.




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