The Shiavo Slippery Slope?

I didn’t cover Shiavo. I didn’t need to.

But Paul at Wizbang notes the bizarre case of Mae Magouirk, an 81-year-old woman checked into the Hospice-LaGrange in LaGrange, GA by her granddaughter.

Mae Magouirk was neither terminally ill, comatose nor in a “vegetative state,” when Hospice-LaGrange accepted her as a patient about two weeks ago upon the request of her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, 36, an elementary school teacher.

Also upon Gaddy’s request and without prior legal authority, since March 28 Hospice-LaGrange has denied Magouirk normal nourishment or fluids via a feeding tube through her nose or fluids via an IV. She has been kept sedated with morphine and ativan, a powerful tranquillizer.

They’re giving her morphine but not food.

And get this:

The dehydration is being done in defiance of Magouirk’s specific wishes, which she set down in a “living will,” and without agreement of her closest living next-of-kin, two siblings and a nephew: A. Byron McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ga.; Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ruth Mullinax’s son, Ken Mullinax. Magouirk’s husband and only child, a son, are both deceased.

In her living will, Magouirk stated that fluids and nourishment were to be withheld only if she were either comatose or “vegetative,” and she is neither. Nor is she terminally ill, which is generally a requirement for admission to a hospice. [emphasis mine]

This story is quite something. Go read. The granddaughter appears to be totally crackers.

She must be a swell teacher.


  1. I don’t understand how this represents a slippery slope. What you have here is a crazy grandaughter and a hostel that is not following the law. In Shiavo’s case everything was done according to state, federal, and constitutional law (at least according to every court — conservative and liberal — that reviewed the case). Yours is the same argument that anti-gun lobby uses: ‘People sometimes misuse guns so they should be illegal’ [is equivalent to] ‘People sometimes misuse death with dignity legislation, so it should be illegal’. So I will use the same argument the gun-lobby uses: ‘Enforce the existing laws and this won’t be a problem’.

  2. Chuck: You’re absolutely right that this is not necessarily a ‘slippery slope’ and that it may not be one in any way at all. Hence the question mark in the post title. I don’t really know. I agree that the granddaughter is acting nuts and that the hostel is apparently out of their mind. What I don’t really understand is why that judge backed them. I imagine that there’s a lot more going on here than the coverage indicates. And it’s funny that you equate my argument with that of the anti-gun lobby, since I have made no argument about either this case or the Shiavo case…

  3. There’s an update on this case. The grandma was moved to a hospital and is receiving hydration and nutrition, cardiac and nuerological (sp?) help. Great news for her family. The Judge ordered that the grandaughter (guardian) must provide basic care like nutrition and hydration. Update at WorldNetDaily.