Straight Up with Sherri

Friday, April 08, 2005

Kenneth Says This Story Gets the FACTS Right.

I just talked with Kenneth. He is very thankful for all those helping him fight for his Aunt Mae. He was pleased with this story. He sent it to me via email, I have yet to find a link- so if anyone wants to find it- please do!! This story was posted in the LaGrange Daily News. (now I got the link!)

Woman, 81, at center of feeding tube feud

By Joel Martin
Senior Writer

LaGrange has its own feeding tube controversy, with family members at odds over medical care for an 81-year-old woman at Hospice LaGrange.

Ora Mae Magouirk has been in hospice since March 22, suffering from what granddaughter Beth Gaddy described in court papers as dementia, an aortic aneurysm and a blood clot.

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 don¹t 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.”

“I think all of Mrs. Magouirk's family has her genuine best interests at heart, but unfortunately they disagree on what they believe would be best for her,” said Jack Kirby of LaGrange, attorney for the patient¹s brother and sister.

“She (Gaddy) said, "I think it¹s time she (her grandmother) goes home to Jesus, that¹s 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 thing¹s going national.”

On Thursday, the Probate Office, West Georgia Health System and attorneys in the case were inundated with phone calls and e-mails.

“We need people surrounding that place (hospice), we need some activity,” one caller from Oregon told the Daily News, adding that she had called the governor¹s office and attorneys in the case.

The probate office got an estimated 50 calls from people saying things like, “I understand y¹all are murdering people in Troup County” and “You¹re euthanizing people.”

“We¹re taking the posture of refusing to deal with those people because they¹re not representing the responsible parties,” said West Georgia Health System President Jerry Fulks. “We¹re focusing on taking care of the patient and her family.”

Fulks said he could not comment on an individual patient, but the health system¹s policy calls for nourishment and hydration for hospice patients, sometimes through a feeding tube because of throat cancer or some other condition that prevents the patient from swallowing.

He said there is a “reverence for life that our staff and our physicians and our volunteers all adhere to in doing the jobs they do.”

Mullinax said his aunt does not have a terminal condition, which is a requirement for admission to hospice.

Danny Daniel of LaGrange, the attorney for Gaddy and another grandchild, said doctors made the decision to admit Magourik into hospice.

Gaddy has been taking care of her grandmother for 10 years, he said.

“They¹re following the doctors¹ recommendations and they want to do what¹s in the best interests of their grandmother,” Daniel said, adding that hospice is providing “excellent care” for Magourik, a widow with no children.

Gaddy could not be reached for comment.

“The doctors can make her very comfortable again and give her a normal life,” Mullinax said. “That¹s all we want for Aunt Mae ... My aunt can¹t live much longer without substantial fluids or nourishment.

“I want the world to know that at Hospice LaGrange you have people who are not terminal being denied nourishment as a matter of course. This national debate has reared its head in Troup County, Georgia. It¹s the damndest thing I¹ve ever seen.”

He said he will “pursue every available avenue” to get treatment for his aunt.


  • 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."

    I guess he means that the story is correct in that she did testify this in court... but that she doesn't/didn't actually do this?
    (I assume the answer is "yes")

    It is also my understand that Mae is now too weak to eat/drink without assistance due to her being drugged up and already dehydrated?
    (I assume the answer is "yes")

    I think I see a pattern here with the pro-deathers... incapacitate the otherwise lucid patient (if only by withholding standard medical treatment)... buy some time... then say, "well she is welcome to eat/drink on her own, but she can't"... (as if anyone could after being dehydrated for so long)... then refuse to give the proper medical treatment to revive her and blame the lack of treatment in the final days on the patient's final condition, acting as if it were not preventable (which it was) and not caused by the hospice's previous treatment (which it was).

    When you think about it, a very similar sequence of events could be used on a perfectly healthy and young person as well.

    By Blogger Rob McEwen, at 11:18 PM  

  • Let me make sure I understand this:

    1. Mae suffered a sudden medical emergency and was hospitalized and given a feeding tube.

    2. Her granddaughter had her shifted from the hospital where she'd been getting care for her emergency, and into a hospice, where she's presumed to be dying.

    3. Mae is medicated and fragile due to her medical emergency; it is unknown how well she would recover were she given treatment for this.

    4. She is not getting treatment for her medical emergency.

    5. Due to Mae's medical emergency, she is too weak and muddled to eat enough to survive.

    6. Her granddaughter had the feeding tube removed by court order.

    7. Her granddaughter is allowing her to eat whatever pathetic bits of Jello and ice chips this drugged and sick woman is able to eat.

    8. The rest of the family wants Mae to be put back in the hospital and given medical care for her current crisis, and given a feeding tube to get her through the crisis.

    9. Mae's written directives demand food and water unless she's PVS. Mae is NOT PVS.

    10. Unless the judge lets the family move Mae back to the hospital, she's going to die.

    Have I got this right?

    By Blogger GrannyGrump, at 12:03 AM  

  • In a story published Saturday at 1:00 am (edt), World Net Daily stated that "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.'"
    The story also reports "Ken Mullinax hoped that publicity about the case would result in a feeding tube being inserted so she could begin receiving nourishment, but he told WorldNetDaily this has not happened."
    Under the terms of an April 4 court order, La Grange cardiologists James Brennan and Thomas Gore, and Dr. Raed Aquel, of UAB Medical Center, Birmingham, are to evaluate Magouirk and decide what treatment would be best and where it should take place.
    Their decision is expected at any moment.

    Any moment?What is taking these doctors so long?

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 3:13 AM  

  • Keep us updated Sherri and Right Wing. A little delay is all that is needed to finish Mae off.

    By Blogger Alnot, at 7:22 AM  

  • I don't want to take any momentum away from this case assuming it is legit...and that audio interview of Ken Mullinex was way convincing, but we need to get this question answered first thing this morning...

    Are you the Ken Mullinax who did press relations for Democrats Ike Hilliard and Bill Fuller?

    See this possibly related story...

    Hmmm...a Ken Mullinex...PR guy for democrats [and showing up on AARP story pimping his role in the civil rights movement - if he's the Alabama Ken Mullinex in the AARP story]...involved with a hoax involving an Addie Mae...things that make you go hmmmm.

    Have we gotten enuff evidence yet confirming this story? What feedback are we getting in calling authorities on this? Are they confirming the particulars at all? The local paper has looked into this and confirmed it?

    By Anonymous Baldwin, at 9:49 AM  

  • I talked with Kenneth last night.

    YES- He used to be a Conressional Aid. Now- tell me, please- what does THAT have to do with anything?

    Because of thet- then kick Mae to the curb?

    YES the story is LEGIT!

    I have talked to the Judge- I have talked to the Hospice, etc.



    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 10:46 AM  

  • I found that the local paper did run the story and you would think they are in the best position to verify the story.

    By Anonymous Baldwin, at 10:51 AM  

  • Please don't get me wrong Sherri. I just love the work you have done here. Some of the best on the web if not THE best on the web. My advice to everyone is to keep as much pressure on these officials as possible.

    We have had so many obstacles. Terri’s story was in competition incredibly with 2 huge school shootings. Then the story immediately got buried by the Pope’s death. My concern is how much damage it would do to those who are new to the anti-euthanasia movement if we bit on a hoax.

    I am reassured that you have done your due diligence on this by calling the judge and hospice personally. They can’t all be in on a hoax, they and the local paper? I don’t think so.

    Another discouraging obstacle I have run into lately is some people’s argument that pro-life doctor’s testimony can’t be used to back Terri’s fight for life or anyone going forward. As if the testimony of doctors who make their living falsely certifying anyone who can’t outrun them for euthanasia, like Dr Cransford, should be given the slightest credence. They all took a Hippocratic oath. They should all be pro-life. If judges are going to rule out pro-life doctors from making these decisions or if they are going to deliberately weight these panels in favor of pro-euthanasia doctors then we are all doomed.

    I certainly hope those who have been energized by the horrendous Terri Schiavo affair can blast thru any early setbacks and snowball into a movement that the institutions and power structure cannot ignore.

    Hospice Patient’s Alliance has convinced me that this problem is far more serious and longstanding than any of us could have guessed. I believe that we cannot count on anyone in power doing the right thing. Only massive grassroots pressure from a coalition of everyone right, left and center who do not which to be strapped down against their wishes and starved to death, can overcome the institutional bias towards euthanasia and overcome the resistance to prosecuting these crimes against humanity.

    By Anonymous Baldwin, at 11:47 AM  

  • Baldwin


    We have a HUGE battle ahead of us!

    I think it awesome that you brought up the Hypocratic Oath!

    I was thinking the other day of an editorial on that very thing!

    I am too busy to work on it right now! The urgency for Miss Mae is more pressing. If you would like to right one up- please do!

    Email it to me- or RWNJ-- and we will publish it- (as long as the basis is proper- of course)

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 12:34 PM  

  • The original Hippocratic Oath has two vows of interest here: pledges never to participate in euthansia or abortions.

    However, the vast majority of pledgers omit those vows.

    As of 1993, only 14 percent of such oaths prohibited euthanasia, and only 8 percent prohibited abortion.

    From: Orr RD, Pang N, Pellegrino ED, Siegler M. Use of the Hippocratic Oath: a review of twentieth century practice and a content analysis of oaths administered in medical schools in the U.S. and Canada in 1993. J Clin Ethics 1997;8:377-388

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM  

  • The misuse of hospice to end the lives of the vulnerable is in epidemic proportions all across America. Get a power of attorney and push the vulnerable into hospice. They will take care of the rest.

    However, not all hospices do this, nor do all hospice staff. Enough do, and that is the problem. They do NOT screen patients as being terminal or not, because they accept the physicians' referral for the patient as being "terminal." Patients = business = revenue.

    Hospice's original mission is to serve the DYING, relieve suffering and allow a natural death in its own timing.

    However, there has always been a major element in American hospice, as an industry, that see hospice as a way to "backdoor" legalization of euthanasia into American society.

    Terminal sedation is appropriately used with patients who are extremely agitated at the end of life (terminal restlessness). When MISUSED to non restless, non-agitated patients, it places the patient in a medically-induced coma, from which they are not allowed to recover, their circulatory system collapses due to dehydration and they die.

    The Euthanasia Society of America changed its name several times, became Choice in Dying in the 1960s which gave us the living wills, advanced directives and DNRs, all seen BY THEM as incremental steps toward full legalization of euthanasia.

    Choice in Dying merged in the late 1990s with Partnership for Caring a major hospice industry coalition/lobbying group, which later merged with Last Acts, an even larger hospice coalition to form Last Acts Partnership.

    Having completed its mission to get all the incremental steps in place, they now have basically taken over the entire national policymaking teams at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.

    Mae Magouirk's inappropriate placement in hospice is just one of many thousands of cases where the very elderly, chronically ill, severely disabled and other vulnerable are placed in hospice and killed off.

    Hospice Patients Alliance

    - Ron Panzer, Pres/Founder Hospice Patients Alliance

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