Miss Mae Hits Birmingham News!
Sunday, April 10, 2005
News staff writer
An 81-year-old Georgia woman who went without nourishment and water more than a week was airlifted from a LaGrange hospice to UAB Hospital Saturday to begin treatment, relatives said.
Ora Mae Magouirk suffered from a heart ailment and a LaGrange hospice was preparing her to die under orders from her physician and her grandchildren, Beth Gaddy and Michael Shane Magouirk, said nephew Kenneth Mullinax of Birmingham.
The grandchildren fought efforts to have her moved from the hospice. The dispute has divided the family, and Alabama relatives have begun to contact supporters and attorneys of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman who died last month after 15 years connected to a feeding tube.
Ora Mae Magouirk was awake and not in a persistent vegetative state, nor was she terminally ill, and her living will specified that she only wanted a feeding tube removed if she was in a coma or vegetative state, Mullinax said.
A LaGrange probate judge on Monday ordered three doctors, including one UAB cardiologist, to decide her future. They decided late Friday that the heart condition was treatable and had her airlifted Saturday morning, Mullinax said.
Mullinax said he is thrilled that his aunt is at UAB receiving care.
"Hospice is only for the dying, and my aunt has many more years to live," he said. "A crime was being committed by having a person in a hospice who was not terminally ill. I hope that this never ever happens again."
Grandson Michael Shane Magouirk, contacted in LaGrange Saturday night, declined to comment.
E-mail: email@example.com News staff writer Lisa Osburn contributed to this report.