Update: No matter the arguments, Mae is out of the hospice and on her way to UAB. I spoke to Ken for about 12 seconds and he promised an update when it was available.
Multiple people have made the argument that this case just doesn’t add up. That we don’t know all the facts. So, I’m presenting the contrarian arguments as best I can find them. (WIth my opinion of course.)
The Commissar, emailed the hospice where Mae Magouirk was admitted and they emailed back a reply I had seen elsewhere. I had not run it before mostly because I did not realize it was complete. The Commissar says that this is the full reply and for the sake of discussion, I’ll keep the Commissar’s bolding.
Federal (HIPAA) regulations prohibit us from speaking publicly about the treatment or records related to individual patients. However, we can say that we do not deny nutrition or hydration to any patient.
The staff of West Georgia Hospice/Hospice LaGrange provides compassionate and quality care to each of its patients, which includes offering food and water at frequent intervals.
Perhaps I lived too long in the Bill Clinton “non denial denial” era but that seems like completely worthless legal doublespeak to me. What is most telling is that they have steadfastly refused to confirm or deny repeated inquiries as to whether Magouirk is on a feeding tube.
They say they can’t because of patient confidentiality. OK, fair enough. But certainly the granddaughter can give them the right to make a statement. Hospitals make statements to the media every day. All they need is permission from the guardian. In this case, the granddaughter, Beth Gaddy. Apparently Gaddy has not given them permission. Further, Gaddy has refused to talk to the media herself. This is itself probably significant.
But let’s look at the bolded sections of the statement:
we can say that we do not deny nutrition or hydration to any patient
OK, but if there is on order on the chart, do they remove feeding tubes? I think we all know the obvious answer. It’s a well crafted line from an attorney who gets paid well to say nothing.
which includes offering food and water at frequent intervals
OFFERING food and water to someone who requires a feeding tube? Come on. If you want to believe that statement means something to anyone other than the lawyer who wrote it, OK, more power to ya. I don’t think it’s worth the paper it’s printed on.– And it was emailed.
The other bit of “contrarian” news I have concerns the judge. From NBC News11
Mullinax says Gaddy has withheld nourishment and fought further treatment saying Magouirk needed to be with Jesus. He also charged that the judge went along though Magouirk was hardly comatose. …
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’ve read this quote 6 or 7 times and I’m not sure what exactly the judge is denying. Nobody disputes that a 3 Doc panel is still(!) deciding what care this woman should receive. Ken and his side of the family have said that many times. And it is quite possible that almost a week ago all sides did agree… But the report was due on Monday. We are approaching a week. As I understand the problem, Ken and his side of the family are concerned that she is not receiving nourishment during this time.
POTENTIALLY the judge is saying that she IS on the feeding tube and/or receiving adequate nourishment…. But that’s not what it sound like when he talks about the family agreeing and “hugging necks.”
As I understand the issue the problem Ken and his side of the family are having is that while the Docs take almost a week to decide what to do with the woman, she is not being fed. (and was not being fed prior to that) IF that is NOT the case, then Ken will look foolish indeed. It is possible this is a hoax but the odds seem long.
The answer I want is simply whether this woman is being fed while the doctors contemplate their collective navels. [How long does it take to make a diagnosis on one patient?] Ken and his side of the family say she is not. Nobody on the other side will give a definitive statement. I’ve taken some flack for believing Ken. At this point, absent a simple denial, it seems the most plausible.
For better or worse, I’ve given you both sides (with my current opinion) you can draw your conclusions who is telling the truth.
BTW- There was a far more compelling “contrarian argument” I saw but can not verify. Supposedly, the judge ordered Magouirk be fed. If this was the case, either Ken’s story falls apart or somebody is in big, big trouble. Unfortunately, the person who cited the ruling provided no link and not even a direct quote to google.
If one of my hyper-informed readers knows anything about this, I’d appreciate a link in the comments. I’ll promote it to the front page. That would be for more impressive than the stuff quoted above. I’ll be checking comments every hour or so.