I just spend 20+ minutes speaking to Kenneth Mullinax, who is the nephew of Mae Magouirk.
Let’s start with the latest. Ken and his family are still(!) waiting for a panel of 3 doctors to determine if she should be removed from the hospice and brought to the University of Birmingham cardiac care center for medial treatment. They were supposed to report their findings by Monday, but still have not.
Now for some background. Mae Magouirk has a condition called an aortic dissection. This is a small leak in her aorta. It runs in their family, both of Mae’s siblings have (had) the same condition. Two years ago, Mae’s sister had a problem and spent 30 days in a coma. She is fine today… or she was… the stress of seeing what is happening to her sister has apparently caused her to have some sort of heart attack and now she is also hospitalized.
For an excellent further background, I’d suggest the audio of the interview Ken did with Glenn Beck and read along with the transcript. I’m going to do a large story tonight but I have some commitments this morning. Follow those links in the mean time.
Here are some things you probably don’t know unless you have followed the story closely.
- Mae Magouirk can (could) eat on her own. (to a point) Ken and his family have been feeding her Jello and she can swallow water. The problem is that she can not get enough nourishment to heal without the feeding tube.
Here is the crux of the argument between the two sides of the family. Ken’s mother went through this exact problem 2 years ago. She was treated at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is considered the 5th best coronary hospital in the nation. The docs at UAB treated her without surgery and the dissection sealed itself.
Ken’s side of the family want Mae brought to UAB for treatment. They had arranged for a life flight from Georgia to Alabama and UAB had accepted Mae as a patient. When the granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, heard they were going to do this, she went to the local judge (who has never been to law school or passed the bar) and got herself named guardian.
The granddaughter says, “Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus. She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?” so she is content to let the woman starve to death.
And while 81 might seem old, but as Ken put it, “the women in the McCloud-Magourik family live to be ancient. My aunt May Magourik is 81. Guess what, her aunt is still living. The one she was named for, Aunt May Oliver, and she is 95. Maya’s mother lived to be 90 and she had two aunts that were 100 and 104.“
At the risk of oversimplifying this, Mae has a condition that, with treatment, would potentially mean she could live another decade or more. That treatment is being withheld along with food and water. (Again) She has a living will and this specifically goes against her wishes in her living will. The panel of 3 doctors might find that she can not be treated… but it is crime against humanity to starve the woman in the mean time. Give the woman food and water while the docs decide what they can due for her. How hard is it?
I’ll be following this case and posting updates as I get them. There is an updated story in the local paper.
1 Update below the fold:
James Joyner says it is only Schiavo activist getting involved. A point I completely reject. For starters, I only posted about the political implications of the Schiavo case, I’m far from an “activist.” And James goes way off base with 3 things he claims we “know.”
1. This is not simply a case of some crazy granddaughter trying to kill a conscious woman because she’s old and has glaucoma. The woman has a serious heart condition.
2. Powers of attorney are revokable, so it’s absurd to suggest that someone with a piece of paper could subvert the expressed, known wishes of a conscious person.
3. A judge and the hospital officials deny the nephew’s story.
We don’t know any of these.
#1) That’s not what the granddaughter says. So the woman has a “serious” heart condition. A serious heart condition that her sister and her brother both managed to live thru. What are we to do, let anyone with this heart condition starve to death? My father had a “serious” heart condition too. With proper care he lived almost another 20 years. I don’t think James thought that thru.
#2) I know James did not follow the myriad of links but the granddaughter never had MEDICAL power of attorney, she had financial power of attorney. When she heard Mae’s family was going to move her, she went to the local judge.
#3) I not sure how the “judge and the hospital officials deny the nephew’s story.” There is nothing to deny unless this is a hoax. Is James suggesting the woman is really getting food and water? The nephew’s story is that while a 3 judge panel is taking their own sweet time to decide whether to treat the woman, they are not giving her proper nourishment. There is nothing to “deny” here unless those facts are wrong… which none of them are denying… The judge and the hospice officials (not hospital officials) might not LIKE the story but there is nothing to deny.
Finally James implies that the fact the story is still in the blogosphere and few MSM stories have picked up on it means something….
I shouldn’t have to tell James, a well seasoned blogger, the silliness of that idea.