Terri Schiavo Activists Move On to Mae Magouirk
Several bloggers have jumped on the story of Mae Magouirk, a Georgia woman who they charge is being starved to death despite her wishes. Oddly, the only reports I can find on this case [See Google and GoogleNews] are on personal websites or other sites (FreePress, WorldNetDaily) with an agenda. The lone exception is this News 11 story:
Last month’s fight over Terri Schiavo energized an Internet army and it has now jumped into a Georgia family tragedy. Unlike Terri Schiavo, this patient had a living will, but her case is still tangled.
Ken Mullinax’s aunt, Mae Magouirk, suffered aorta damage in late March. She entered the Hospice LaGrange and in a living will, Magouirk said she wanted nourishment and fluids unless she went into a coma or a persistent vegetative state. Mullinax and MagouirkÃ¢€™s granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, fought in court over who should be her guardian. Probate Judge Donald Boyd appointed Gaddy.
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. Ã¢€œThis woman has a lot more years to live,Ã¢€ Mullinax, the womanÃ¢€™s nephew, said. Ã¢€œShe recognized us and she looked at us, and said, please, please help me go home.Ã¢€ Asked what he thought that to mean, Mullinax said, Ã¢€œIt sure didnÃ¢€™t mean home to Jesus, and it sure didn’t mean starve me to death.Ã¢€
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. Ã¢€œThey were hugging necks, and, as far as I knew, the family was fine,Ã¢€ the judge said. Ã¢€œI’m just asking anyone who believes in life to help us, and to get involved in this,Ã¢€ 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. Ã¢€œI’ve even been accused several times of murder and I’ve had, I would say, close to a hundred e-mails,Ã¢€ 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.
We clearly don’t have all the facts here. What we do 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.
For the record, I oppose the killing of grandmothers with glaucoma or, indeed, pretty much anyone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime and has a functioning brain and consciousness. My gut tells me that isn’t what’s happening here. 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. Perhaps I’m wrong, though.