Mae Magouirk, the 81-year-old Georgia widow over whose medical care a family tug-of-war reminiscent of the Terri Schiavo case has been raging, has been transported from the hospice in LaGrange, Ga., to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center, according to her nephew, where “she is receiving food, fluids, cardiac care and neurological help.”
This morning, Magouirk’s nephew Ken Mullinax, who had been fighting to have his aunt removed from Hospice-LaGrange in LaGrange, Ga., where, he said, she had not been properly fed or hydrated, contacted WorldNetDaily with this phone message:
Because of your articles and all of the friends of Terri, my Aunt Mae Magouirk is now in the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center and is receiving food, fluids, cardiac care and neurological help. We are overjoyed.
Praise be the name of the Lord, praise be all of the friends of Terri Schindler [Schiavo]. We could never have mobilized public sentiment and pressure on these people in LaGrange, Ga. – at Hospice, the LaGrange, Ga., doctors or the probate judge – unless the friends of Terri and the wonderful media of WorldNetDaily.com had become involved. Thank you all.
Under the terms of an April 4 court order, Magouirk’s medical treatment was to be decided by three cardiologists tasked with deciding what treatment would be best and where it should take place.
Pending that decision, Mullinax, 45, has contended that his aunt had been without substantial food or hydration for 10 days at the hospice.
In her living will, Magouirk stipulated specifically that fluids and nourishment were to be withheld only if she were either comatose or “vegetative.”
However, as WND reported, Magouirk was not terminally ill, comatose, nor in a persistent vegetative state, when Hospice-LaGrange accepted her as a patient upon the request of her granddaughter, Elizabeth (“Beth”) Gaddy, 36, of LaGrange. Also upon Gaddy’s request, the hospice began withholding food and water from the patient.
When she learned of this, Magouirk’s sister Lonnie Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, and her brother, A.B. McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ala., protested and attempted to have their sister removed from the hospice and transported to UAB Medical Center for treatment. However, Gaddy and her brother, Michael Shane Magouirk, obtained an emergency injunction from Troup County Probate Judge Donald Boyd to prevent the planned air transport.
In her petition Gaddy argued that “irreparable harm” would occur to Magouirk if she were removed from Hospice.
In his order, Probate Judge Donald Boyd permitted Gaddy to continue as Magouirk’s temporary guardian, but in a formal letter attached to the order stated that her powers were limited. One of the conditions of her guardianship is “To see that the ward [Magouirk] is adequately fed, clothed, sheltered and cared for, and receives all necessary medical attention, including placement in a nursing home, if appropriate.”
Today, saying he “just got the call from Dr. Raed Aquel, the University of Alabama-Birmingham cardiologist,” Mullinax said Aquel “told me she had been air-transported.”
Asked to confirm that Magourik had indeed been admitted to the UAB Medical Center, hospital spokesman Bob Shepard, citing federal HIPA privacy regulations, told WND he “could neither confirm nor deny” it.
WorldNetDaily has attempted numerous times to reach Beth Gaddy, but she reportedly has changed her telephone to a non-listed number.
Danny Daniel of LaGrange, the attorney for Gaddy and another grandchild, Michael Shane Magouirk, said doctors made the decision to admit Magouirk into hospice, according to a story in the local paper, the LaGrange News. He noted that Gaddy has been taking care of her grandmother for 10 years.
“They’re following the doctors’ recommendations and they want to do what’s in the best interests of their grandmother,” Daniel said, adding that hospice was providing “excellent care” for Magouirk, the paper reported.
The LaGrange paper also quoted local attorney Jack Kirby, representing Magouirk’s brother and sister, as saying: “I think all of Mrs. Magouirk’s family has her genuine best interests at heart, but unfortunately they disagree on what they believe would be best for her.”