Another Terri Schiavo Story?

Supposedly there’s another “Terri Schiavo story” out there unfolding in Georgia. It involves a woman by the name of Mae Magouirk. The round-up from WorldNetDaily makes it sound almost like premeditated murder:

“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.

Her nephew, Ken Mullinax, told WorldNetDaily that although Magouirk is given morphine and ativan, she has not received any medication to keep her eyes lubricated during her forced dehydration.

“They haven’t given her anything like that for two weeks,” said Mullinax. “She can’t produce tears.”

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.

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?”

…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.

…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.

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

…Mullinax said he has begged Gaddy to let him take on full responsibility for his aunt’s care.

“If she would just give us a chance to keep Aunt Mae alive, that’s all we ask,” he said. “They [Beth and her husband, Dennis Gaddy] have a family and Beth is a teacher, and it was just getting to be a lot of trouble. But I’m the caregiver for my mom, and Aunt Mae could move in with us. We’ll buy another house with a bedroom and we’ll take care of her. She can move in with us once she can leave the hospital.

But her health becomes more precarious by the hour. Her vital signs are still good, but since admission to hospice she has not been lucid – “but who would be since nourishment and fluids have been denied since March 28,” Mullinax remarked.”

What’s being descibed here is nothing less than murder with the help of the court system….however, something about the story just doesn’t seem right to me.

I tried doing a little follow-up on my own but couldn’t reach Ken Mullinax and oddly enough, although I reached the Hospice-LaGrange, they denied having a Mae Magouirk on the premises. I then called back and spoke to the admissions to verify. They also denied that they had a Mae Magouirk there.

Given that, I’m keeping my powder dry on this issue until there’s more confirmation of what’s happening.

*** Update #1 ***: BlogsforTerri has multiple articles on this.

*** Update #2 ***: From LaGrange News:

“Kenneth Mullinax, the patient’s nephew in Birmingham, Ala., said a hospice nurse told him that Magouirk had not received substantial nourishment since March 28. He wants a temporary feeding tube inserted until she can be evaluated for treatment at the University of Alabama Medical Center. A living will states that nourishment should be withheld only if she were in a coma or vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

Mullinax and the patient’s brother and sister – Lonnie Ruth Mullinax of Birmingham and A.B. McLeod of Anniston, Ala. – came here last Friday to arrange for a feeding tube and take her to the Birmingham hospital. That same day Gaddy received emergency guardianship in Troup County Probate Court.
At a follow-up hearing Monday, the parties reached a settlement that awarded guardianship to Gaddy provided three cardiologists – James Brennan and Thomas Gore, both of LaGrange, and Raed Aquel of Birmingham – evaluate the patient, who would receive whatever treatment two of the three recommended. A final decision had not yet been reached.

“They were all hugging necks when they left court,” said Probate Judge Donald Boyd. “I don’t know what happened.”

Boyd said Gaddy testified at the hearing that she feeds her grandmother Jello, chips of ice and “anything else she’d be willing to eat.”

This still leaves a lot of basic questions unanswered…

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