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Mae Magouirk Update

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.
  • As of Monday she was asking if she could go home. She is (was) far from a vegetative state. The lack of food has however caused her to become "not lucid lately" as Ken put it. Earlier in the week she recognized and greeted all the members of her family who went to visit.
  • David Gives, who was the lead attorney in the Schiavo case, has volunteered his services.
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.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mae Magouirk Update:

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

» Right Wing Nut House linked with AMERICA'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

» Yippee-Ki-Yay! linked with Notice Who's Gathering Facts

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

» Legacy Matters™ linked with Living Will didn't Help

» The Politburo Diktat linked with Statement from Hospice LaGrange

» Sierra Faith linked with Culture of Death in Georgia and Belgium

» Catscape linked with Starving Miss Mae

» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy linked with Mae Magouirk out of hospice; at UAB Medical Center

» ISOU linked with Why Kevin Doesn't....


» UNCoRRELATED linked with Mae Magourik follow-up

» The SmarterCop linked with TERRI SCHIAVO REDUX?

Comments (29)

I think we should let Jesus... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think we should let Jesus decide when Mae wants to go home, not her grandaughter.

Also, this case points out what the pro tube pullers missed in the Schiavo case, which is about quality of life and who gets to decide what that is and whether or not they get to die.

The slope has gotten just a... (Below threshold)

The slope has gotten just a bit more slippery hasn't it?

another victim of 'greer's ... (Below threshold)

another victim of 'greer's law'

I'm still waiting for someo... (Below threshold)

I'm still waiting for someone to INDEPENDANTLY VERIFY that the nephew is a saint and the grandaughter is the daughter of Satan.

See, I'm always suspicious when someone gets so much media so quickly. I'd like to see an unimpeachable source walk in and actually talk to Mae and the granddaughter and find out precisely what is going on and do it VERY QUICKLY.

If it is as the nephew says...then the granddaughter is in fact a horrid human being. If it's not the whole story...

One should investigate more than one side before taking such a definitive stance IMHO. We don't accept when legacy media reports one side of a story.

Don't let this story fade. ... (Below threshold)

Don't let this story fade. Keep us abreast of all developments, please!

JimKWhy suspicion ... (Below threshold)


Why suspicion when all the avenues for exposure exist because of the Schiavo case?

And it's not like Schiavo was the first case of "putting down" a profoundly disabled person. Google "robert wendland" sometime and see where Cranford tried to off a disabled man who was able to operate a wheel chair but didn't have the "quality of life" Cranford deems necessary to have Constitutional rights.

What is it about Mae's documented wishes being ignored that you are not getting here? Mae doesn't qualify for a hospice, she should not be there and that fact alone is highly troubling.

Darleen, there is a report ... (Below threshold)

Darleen, there is a report out there that alleges Mae herself is refusing to eat or drink. Not exactly unusual among the elderly who are ill. I know, I watched a great-grandmother steadfastly refuse treatment and a judge declared her competent...and he was right she KNEW what she was doing. And she had a living will as well that specified "all heroic measures" and so forth.

Anyway I'd like to see that allegation looked at by an impartial third party. I'd like to see this INVESTIGATED before everyone chooses up a side and starts in with the rhetoric. I'd like to know we are getting the whole truth. What about that aren't you getting here?

JimK: it is important to d... (Below threshold)

JimK: it is important to distinguish behavior not based upon a person being "elderly" so much as their psychology. At whatever age.

Depressed persons often display behavior that is likely to reduce their likilhood of remaining alive. Not like it's something that's related to "the elderly" per se -- although I realize that many who live a long life also then have to contend with increased limitations and reduction in health status, but not inherently, just that many do -- so much as refusing to eat, drink, get up and move around, think good thoughts, laugh and seek out social support, these can all be indications of a depressed person.

I write this because there's this negative assumption going around that because a person is elderly, they're going to be depressed, not want to live, feel badly, be objectionable, etc., etc. (take your pick, is what I mean) while these are more an indication of social intolerance of the infirmities and limitations experienced by the elderly instead. As are also extended to the disabled...as in, many expect those with disabilities to be included in most of those negative prejudicial assumptions.

These incidents are more about showing where and why our social assumptions about others under circumstances that are not fully fit and youthful adults than about anything. And about societal assumptions about who should maintain life and who 'should' not.

Many good points...the neph... (Below threshold)

Many good points...the nephew may not be a saint, the granddaughter may not be a moneygrubbing Jesusfreak, further investigation by competent independent authorities is certainly advisable. None of which matters if she STARVES TO DEATH in the meantime.

The real problem as I see it is that the hospice wants her to die. That's their job, in fact, they are legally prohibited from providing rehabilitative care or treatment. There are three options here and only 2 are being discussed:
a) her dissection could be treated and she should be flown to UAB;
b) she is too fragile to move and should remain in hospice where she will be "made comfortable" until she dies.

What about c) move her to a skilled care facility for such non-surgical rehabilitation as might be possible.

Remember, hospices are legally barred from providing anything other than end-of-life palliative care.

Let me be clear: I believe ... (Below threshold)

Let me be clear: I believe she should be treated according to her wishes and no one else's as long as she is mentally competent.

If she says feed me, then FEED HER! Regardless of the granddaughter, the nephew or anyone else. If she wants medical treatment, then she should get it ASAP.

Someone, however, needs to actually visit her and her doctors to make that determination.

-S- I spoke from experience, and did not make a reference to ALL elderly people. I mentioned it because it's a possibility that should be examined rather than ignored in favor of some political agenda.

I'd like to see this INV... (Below threshold)

I'd like to see this INVESTIGATED before everyone chooses up a side and starts in with the rhetoric.

You mean like what Paul's doing?

When the elderly are not ac... (Below threshold)

When the elderly are not acting themselves, often they merely need to have their meds and dosages re-evaluated. Your ability to tolerate certain meds, interaction between meds, and dosages changes over time.

Was Ken Mullinax really the... (Below threshold)
Ron Atkinson:

Was Ken Mullinax really the campaign manager for democrat Bill Fuller's failed bid against Mike Rodgers in Alabama for Congress last year?

I remember when this stuff ... (Below threshold)

I remember when this stuff was first debated 30 years ago, about the time when the legal brouhaha erupted over removing a comatose woman, Karen Ann Quinlan, from life support (not just feeding). The point made by those of us who had doubts about pullng the plug was that if this is allowed, then that will surely lead to relatives offing rich old uncles in order to get his money and things of that nature. The response, as I recall, was "oh no, there will be legal procedures in place to make sure that never happens" as well as a stern lecture concerning the invalidity of 'slippery slope' arguments.

Mae has a living will and h... (Below threshold)

Mae has a living will and her wishes are not being followed. She has a living will that specifies that she not be denied food or water unless she were in a coma or vegetative state.

Gaddy claimed to have a medical power of attorney, but only had a financial power of attorney. Once the hospice became aware of the situation, it prepared to have the feeding tube inserted. But before they could have Magouirk transported to a hospital, Gaddy obtained emergency gardianship over her grandmother from Probate Court Judge Donald W. Boyd (who didn't know about the other relatives!). There are closer living relatives, two siblings, that want to take care of Magouirk, but Gaddy will not consent.

If you thought a medical power of attorney would protect you, it seems that it is not worth the paper it’s written on in some Probate Courts. It looks like low grade euthanasia via denial of food and water to non-terminal patients, regardless of wishes, is becoming "normal".

This probate judge is not a lawyer.

A note about hospices (I wa... (Below threshold)

A note about hospices (I was a hospice Medical Director for over five years).

They can do anything they want to for palliative care - even surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy - but they have to pay for it on the meager daily amount allowed by the insurer (usually Meidcare) and "eat" (forgive the pun) the rest. Food and water is certainly palliative care, and well within the cost/payment equation here. But the treatment delivered can be high tech or expensive if the hospice is willing to foot the bill.

Every decision medically is made by a physician, usually the hospice medical director unless some other physician desires to remain the primary care doc. Decisions are usually made with input of an entire team of social workers, nurses, chaplain, aides and so forth along with the patient/family input.

The medical workers are prevented by Federal legislation (HIPPA) from discussing the case - fines well over 15,000 per offense - which is why you are not going to hear anything from the folks who know the real story.

I think you probably mean t... (Below threshold)

I think you probably mean that the condition which predisposes her to aortic dissection is hereditary--not the dissection itself.

I don't know of anyone that is born with a dissection that would then live 85 years...but you could be born with a few conditions that predispose you to a dissection.

Just a clarification--I read the nephew's transcript--but he's too vague in his discription. She clearly wasn't born with a dissection.

Just so ya know...

good catch Jeremy- I posted... (Below threshold)

good catch Jeremy- I posted on the fly even had to call Kevin from the car and ask him to proof read me.

Thanks, I'll go back and word that more betterer.


My father died from this, a... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

My father died from this, and it is hereditary, but it is the condition that is hereditary, and it generally will start to develop in the mid to late 40's or later.

Doc's generally recommend that people with close relatives start getting screened each year for the condition once they reach their late 40's (think it is done with an echo, but can't remember for certain).

Looks like 'hear we go agai... (Below threshold)

Looks like 'hear we go again' ;-/

Interesting how the left and media emphasized the lesson learned from Terri's murder was the need for a 'Living Will'. Notice thier silence on the matter when the 'Living Will', not to mention the medical POA, is overridden and ignored.

There truly is a split in this country, there are two cultures....one is a culture of death and the other is a culture of life.

Unfortunately, the culture of death has thier advocates within the judiciary and, increasingly, within the medical field.


Paul:1. Your origi... (Below threshold)


1. Your original story and the WND thing reference glaucoma as the rationale the granddaughter is using. It's not. I don't know enough about the heart condition issue and its implications to assess the remainder of the claim. My father had a heart condition, too, and was able to get a triple bypass to fix him up. Of course, he wasn't 85.

2. I'm not arguing that the POA much matters. Indeed, I'm saying it's inconceivable that a POA would be allowed to go against the wishes of someone who, according to the nephew's version of events, was lucid and able to actually verbalize her wishes as recently as Monday.

3. I say the hospice and the judge deny that version of events because, as noted in the story I excerpted, they do. The hospice does indeed deny that they are withholding food and water. The judge says the nephew is a liar and implies that he's a loon:

Judge Boyd called Mullinax's charges completely false and said all relatives agreed to let three doctors decide what was next for Magouirk. He said that everyone was happy with the compromise. “They were hugging necks, and, as far as I knew, the family was fine,” the judge said. “I'm just asking anyone who believes in life to help us, and to get involved in this,” Mullinax said.

And folks have gotten involved. Just a few years ago, the most that would normally happen would be a few letters to the local paper and that would be as far as it went. But now, bloggers can get hold of a story, and instantly galvanize opinion worldwide. Bloggers from the Schiavo case heated up the Internet and swamped the judge's phones and computer with what he said are wildly false charges. “I've even been accused several times of murder and I've had, I would say, close to a hundred e-mails,” Boyd said.

The CEO of the West Georgia Health System told 11Alive News, "No patient at our hospice is denied food or water." Beth Gaddy could not be reached for comment.

Just what are these three d... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Just what are these three doctors deciding? IF it is how to treat the heart condition-great, but if it whether or not she should be starved to death, then they are ignoring the woman's wishes.

The heart condition she has is not a terminal illness. It is one you can live with. It is one you can work with. It is difficult to impossible to operate on (the surgery is often just as likely to kill you as the condition), but the condition isn't exactly like the last stages of cancer, or even a heart attack. You can live for years an not even know you have it, but when it is your time to go, it will just rupture and you go fast. My dad died within a few minutes when his aorta ruptured, but I would have been horrified if my mom had suggested we just kill him outright to hasten it along, because he had it.

BTW...looks like Mae was <a... (Below threshold)

BTW...looks like Mae was airlifted to Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center. WND is still trying to confirm that but hospital spokespeople cannot confirm or deny at this time.

James concluded his post wi... (Below threshold)

James concluded his post with: "It's unfathomable that a judge would simply allow someone with power of attorney to order that an otherwise healthy person be denied food and water contrary to their written wishes as expressed in a living will."

The latest from WND would suggest that James' judgment may be correct --

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."

Either someone got (part of) the story wrong, or there's an attempted murder investigation to be conducted.

I've got a lot of questions... (Below threshold)

I've got a lot of questions about the facts of this case, so I'm withholding judgment for now. However, I did a post that touched on the living will issue, among other things. The bottom line is this: I think the charge that Mae Magouirk's living will is being ignored is highly suspect..

As I read the relevant Georgia Code provision, a living will does not mean, as a legal matter, "do not withhold life-sustaining procedures from me unless I am in a coma or a PVS, or have a terminal condition." Instead, what it seems to mean is, "you must withhold life-sustaining procedures from me, if I am in a coma or PVS, or have a terminal condition."

In other words, as I read the Georgia Code, a living will does not mean that the plug cannot be pulled under circumstances other than those outlined in the document. Rather, it guarantees that the plug will be pulled under those circumstances. I infer that the Georgia Supreme Court would agree, or at least would have as of 1989: "the Living Will Act does not apply where the patient, as here, does not have a 'terminal condition.'" State v. McAfee, 259 Ga. 579, 581 (1989). In that case, a quadriplegic who was on a respirator, but not terminally ill, sought to have the respirator turned off (which would kill him). (Back then, the statute only permitted living wills for terminal conditions. PVS and coma were added in 1992.) The court took the view that the Living Will Act only applied to a person who was terminally ill -- just as the text of the law seems to say.

Caught this on the Terrisfi... (Below threshold)

Caught this on the Terrisfight.org boards....looks like things have taken a turn for the better:

Mae Magouirk--Airlifted out of the Hospice

THANKS TO THE SUPPORT OF ALL OF THE FRIENDS OF TERRI, MY AUNT MAE MAGOUIRK HAS BEEN AIR LIFTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA-BIRMINGHAM MEDICAL CENTER ... and receiving IV fluids, nourishment and some of the finest medical care available in the United States! Praise be the name of the Lord GOD... Thanks to Terri's friends... It would NEVER ever have been possible without bloggers who love life , and the truth!! I am racing from my home to UAB now and will type a detailed update after I see my Aunt Mae! Thanks guys, your calls, emails, blogs and prayers did it ALL!!! I so love you guys!!!!!!!!!! Ken Mullinax, nephew of Mae.

Perhaps Life will win one for a nice change.


The Declaration of Independ... (Below threshold)

The Declaration of Independence states,
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What part of "unalienable" do they not understand?

NAG THE U.S. SENATE TO DEATH (202)224-3121 about restraining these judges that have gone mad. Toll-free numbers are (866)808-0065, (888)355-3588, and (877) 762-8762.

Tell your U.S. Senators that the courts are killing us with forced, involuntary euthanasia. We fought World War II to stop the Final Solution; you don't want us to fight it over again!


If the granddaughter thinks... (Below threshold)

If the granddaughter thinks THOSE THINGS ARE DISABILITIES, I'm glad she isn't related to me.


Mae Magouirk is a human bei... (Below threshold)
Willie Kay:

Mae Magouirk is a human being. I would not starve a dog or cat. How can a "loving" Granddaughter do that to a human being and her Grandmother?
With holding food and water from any human being is MURDER. As I recall Karen Ann Quilan's feeding tube was never removed even though other medical devices were. If I remember correctly, Miss Quilan's mother said in an interview that she would never remove her daughter's feeding tube because that would be murder.
How many more Terri Schiavos will we be murdered by so called loving family members and black robed tyrants before we take action to end this "legalized" murder?






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