April 08, 2005

Mae Magouirk: Murder Victim

The elderly Mae Magouirk has glaucoma and an aortic dissection. Normally, either one of these would involve treatment or hospitalization. Mae Magouirk has been sent to a hospice, however, and has been denied food and water since March 28. This violates her living will, which explicitly says water and food are to be withheld only in the event she is comatose or terminal.

She is not comatose. She is not vegetative. She is not terminal. In fact, nobody even suggests that she's any of those three things.

The lack of treatment was ordered illegally by her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, who holds financial power of attorney, but not medical power of attorney for Mae Magouirk. Under Georgia law, where no medical power of attorney is given, the default authority goes to the closest living relatives. For Mae Magouirk, that means her brother and sister.

Both the brother and sister opposed the transfer to hospice, which was allowed after some damn-fool probate judge (rumored to lack any law degree at all) gave an emergency guardian appointment to Gaddy.

Beth Gaddy, the granddaughter of Mae Magouirk, is purported to be the sole heir in the will. Said Gaddy: "She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?"

Apparently, according to her stated wishes and her living will, Mae Magouirk would want to live like that.

Let's just remember: this is like a much simpler version of the Terri Schiavo case. Mae Magouirk has a living will; she is not terminal; she is not comatose; she is not vegetative; most importantly, it is not disputed whether she's terminal, vegetative or comatose.

Unfortunately, she's elderly and has been denied food and water for a week and a half. Assuming she lasts as long as Terri did, Mae Magouirk will be dead by Monday.

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