FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT:
Ron Panzer, President
Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc.
http://www.hospicepatients.org
(616) 866-9127
 
 
The Mae Magouirk Case
 
Hospice Patients Alliance Confirms that Families Report Similar Cases
of Misusing Hospice to End the Life of a Family Member
 
 
by Ron Panzer, President HPA
 
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - April 8, 2005  -   Hospice Patients Alliance has contacted the attorney in the Mae Magouirk case, who is working through the court system. We are not directly involved in the legal proceedings of this case.
 
It has been reported that Mae Magouirk has a living will specifying that she does want treatment, is not ready to have her life ended (she wishes to live), and would not wish to be dehydrated within a hospice! It is striking that the court has chosen to ignore the express wishes of Mae Magouirk in her living will, and appointed as guardian, a granddaughter determined to assure the death of Mae Magouirk. This "wielding of hospice" to end the lives of the vulnerable elderly is a complete violation of Mae's rights as a US citizen and resident of Georgia. The hospice, though apparently following the orders of a court-appointed guardian, has no obligation to participate in the imposed death of a non-terminal patient. In fact, accepting a non-terminal patient into hospice is a violation of the federal regulations governing hospice.
 
And the resolution of the case, if it is to come in time to save Mae, will come through the courts since the granddaughter has been awarded guardianship by the courts, which trumps any power of attorney for health care that other family members have had all along!
 
We at Hospice Patients Alliance have not been able to verify whether the facts reported are disputed by the other side in the case, but we do receive regular reports of family members "wielding" hospice (like a gun) to kill off a family member, often when there is money involved or because the individual with power of attorney believes the patient is "better off dead." Those who wish to cause the death of a family member through hospice know that some hospices are more than willing to terminally sedate a patient, inappropriately, and never allow the patient to recover from that terminal sedation, thereby causing their death through dehydration and circulatory collapse.
 
There are easily thousands of similar cases going unreported, all over the USA, whether in hospices or nursing homes using hospices.
 
The misuse of hospice to end the life of a vulnerable person, against their wishes is an abominable violation of everything hospice stands for and is illegal. We hope that the perpetrator of any crime is prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However, where there have been obvious so-called "mercy killings" in the past, the courts have let the killers off with a slap on the wrist. Our nation is fast entering into a full-blown implementation of the Nazis' policies of killing the mentally incapacitated, the disabled, the very elderly and chronically ill.
 
The courts, and especially those courts involved in guardianship hearings, are regularly not recognizing the Constitutionally guaranteed principle that citizens have a right to live, free of coercion, and free to live until death comes in its own natural timing.
 
Terrorizing the Disabled in America
 
The practice of enrolling chronically disabled patients into hospice endangers all disabled citizens of the United States and directly violates their Constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The disabled are not so much afraid of getting anthrax or being shot; they are afraid that society will toss them away like a used tissue and kill them. The disabled are terrorized by those holier-than-thou self-proclaimed bioethicists who have no morality and no sense of humanity and proclaim, like Adolf Hitler, that the disabled are "better off dead."
 
Adolf Hitler summarily executed the mentally ill and developmentally disabled "for the greater good of society." The utilitarian philosophy which promotes the killing of patients in order to save health care resources for others has plunged the US health care system to a depth which calls for shame and disgust. If hospice is to become a killing center for the disabled, then hospice agencies that do so are no different from the gas chambers in Nazi Germany.
 
Adolf Hitler had his program of euthanasia going on throughout World War II. He relished the opportunity that wartime gave him to carry out his agenda to kill the disabled:
 
    Wartime, Adolf Hitler suggested, "was the best time for the elimination of the incurably ill." Many Germans did not want to be reminded of individuals who did not measure up to their concept of a "master race." The physically and mentally handicapped were viewed as "useless" to society, a threat to Aryan genetic purity, and, ultimately, unworthy of life. At the beginning of World War II, individuals who were mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or mentally ill were targeted for murder in what the Nazis called the "T-4," or "euthanasia," program.
 
    The "euthanasia" program required the cooperation of many German doctors, who reviewed the medical files of patients in institutions to determine which handicapped or mentally ill individuals should be killed. The doctors also supervised the actual killings. 2
 
A Hospice that enrolls Non-Terminal Patients Commits Fraud
 
The United States Office of Inspector General has issued its warning to the public about questionable hospice agency practices and stated that some hospices have been found to engage in, "practices which ... have inappropriately maximized their Medicare reimbursements at beneficiary expense. These practices include: Making incorrect determinations of a personís life expectancy for purposes of meeting hospice eligibility criteria."3 A hospice that bills Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurer for a non-terminal patient is violating the contracts which allow hospices to provide services for the terminally ill.
 
Hospices are not licensed to care for the chronically ill. In order for a patient to be admitted to hospice, the physician must "certify" that the patient is likely to die within six months due to a terminal illness. Because Mae Magouirk has no terminal illness; the only cause of death in her case would be her intentional murder by those intent on ending her life.
 

Original Hospice Mission Violated

 
The original hospice mission is to care for, support and manage the symptoms of the terminally ill until a death occurs in its own natural timing. Every hospice nurse and physician knows that hospice is supposed to neither hasten death nor seek to cure the terminal illness. Hastening the death of a patient goes against everything hospice stands for.
 
 
   1. See Nazi Murder of the Handicapped
 
   2. See Office of Inspector General Publication of the Medicare Advisory Bulletin on Hospice Benefits ; Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 212 / Thursday, November 2, 1995 / Notices
 
   3. See 42 Code of Federal Regulations ch iv, part 418
 
   4. See Misuse of Terminal Sedation to Kill
 
      Research indicating euthanasia is more widespread than commonly thought and that some euthanasias are clearly done without patient knowledge or permission:
   5. JAMA at http://jama.ama-assn.org 1998 and search from the JAMA site for the following article: Aug 12;280(6):507-13 entitled "The practice of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States: adherence to proposed safeguards and effects on physicians." written by Emanuel EJ, Daniels ER, Fairclough DL, Clarridge BR done at the Center for Outcomes and Policy Research, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Control, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass 02115, USA.]
 
   6. Archives of Internal Medicine - AMA at http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/v160n1/full/ioi81180.html where one must register to get the full article online. Once at the AMA - Archives of Internal Medicine site, search for Vol. 160 No. 1, January 10, 2000, "Attitudes and Practices Concerning the End of Life - A Comparison Between Physicians From the United States and From the Netherlands" (by Dick L. Willems, MD, PhD; Elisabeth R. Daniels; Gerrit van der Wal, PhD; Paul J. van der Maas, PhD; Ezekiel J. Emanuel, PhD)
 
   7. See Survey of Physician Ethics Medical Economics Archive: Oct. 11, 2002
 
The Hospice Patients Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity acting to preserve the original hospice mission, promoting quality end-of-life services and offers free information and assistance to hospice patients, families and caregivers nationwide. For more information, visit Hospice Patients Alliance online or call [616] 866-9127