Skip to comments.Casey Kasem's Wife Wins Court Order to Restore His Feeding and Fluids as He Clings to Life
Posted on 06/09/2014 11:22:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Casey Kasems eldest daughter broke down in tears Monday over news her estranged stepmother won a court order to restore feeding and hydration to her dying dad.
Kerri Kasem has been with the American Top 40 star at a hospital in Washington State for nine days and said the decision to stop her dad's nutrition and fluids was the hardest one she's ever had to make.
We have tried everything to keep him alive. We did put him back on fluids, but we had to take him off again because his lungs were filling up. It sounded like he was drowning. It was excruciating to watch, Kerri, 41, told the Daily New Monday. The feeding was backing up because he cant digest, she said, her voice choking with emotion. This is breaking my heart. Were been trying for nine days to keep him alive. Theres nothing we want more than for our dad to be here with us.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Judge Daniel S. Murphy made his surprise order Monday morning after Jean, 59, traveled from Washington State to make a personal appearance in court. Before the hearing, Kerri along with her brother Mike, 40, and sister Julie, 38, released a statement saying theyve been keeping vigil at the radio icons hospital bed since June 1 and wanted Jean to join them.
They urged Jean to return to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor so all the relatives could be together for their beloved dads last moments.
Its very important to set everything aside and focus on my dad, Kerri told The News last Friday. We will set aside our differences to be with my father, all of us, because if he opens his eyes and sees us standing there together, I know it will give him so much peace. I pray to God we can do this.
In his order, Judge Murphy said the broadcasting personality should be placed back on pro-active nutrition and hydration while a court-appointed attorney travels up to see him in person and meet with his doctors.
The judge set a follow-up hearing for Friday.
Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy on the TV cartoon Scooby Doo is in the late stages of Lewy Body Disease, a progressive form of dementia that robs many patients of the ability to walk and talk.
He was admitted into intensive care June 1 in critical condition with an infection related to a serious bed sore, the hospital said in a statement last week.
"Only God knows when to take someone," Jean said in court Monday, according to the Associated Press.
She expressed a desire to regain her role as her celebrity husbands caretaker and dropped to her knees in a courtroom hallway wailing over and over, Please dont kill my husband, according to NBC News.
A judge granted Kerri a temporary conservatorship over her dad last month upon learning that Jean left the state with her sick husband of 34 years without any warning to the court or his three kids from a previous marriage.
Before arriving at a friends home in the Seattle area, the couple were on a strenuous road trip that made stops in Nevada and Arizona, Kerri said outside a Washington State courtroom last week.
Jean denied the travel claim Monday.
Upon learning her dad was outside California, Kerri filed a missing persons report and challened Jean's claim her dad was on a voluntary vacation.
Kerri arrived at a private Washington State residence to transport her dad to a hospital via ambulance June 1. In a bizarre twist, Jean threw a pound of raw meat at Kerri while quoting scripture.
He was in that house for three weeks with no pain medication. When we got to him, he had severe leg contractures. The doctor said the pain is like having your legs broken all over. The bedsore on his back was infected and huge, bigger than my hand," Kerri told The News on Friday.
This vacation was torture for my father, she said.
This is cruel. When a persons body is shutting down, feedings and fluids will just back up into the lungs. This judge should not be making medical decisions. He’s going to die a horrible death of drowning and possibly pneumonia.
Starving someone to death is cruel. I’ve seen this stuff firsthand.
Why are people so quick to want to euthanize the elderly. Is money that important?
If you are dying, and your organs are shutting down, pushing fluids via IV or feedings through a tube is cruel. Its not starving them to death. You are putting them into fluid overload and they will drown.
I’m not talking about withholding nutrition and causing death. This is regarding someone who is already dying.That is what his daughter is describing.
You are being dramatic. Read the article again. The daughter stated they were trying to give him tube feedings but his body will not digest it.
I’ve seen it first hand. There’s always an excuse. The daughter is so concerned for his $$$$.
The “loving” daughter denied this man quality of life for his end times by barging in this way. Imho. She wanted the money sooner and denied the wife of 30+ years the opportunity to have a quality end of life experience with her husband by injecting such ugliness into the mix. Judges. Media. All that shows judgement on stepmom but no love for the father. Disgusting. $80 million? Always about the money.
And now, back to the countdown.
I would suggest you read the case... The daughter inherits nothing, but cares for her Dad...wife took him on a trip to Washington from California to control him! Assessment in Washington gave control to daughter from looney wife! Bedsore infection a major issue!
He is passing on, daughter accepts and sees to his comfort... Wife is an imbecile.
If his wife says it’s cruel to deny him the feeding tube, it’s not your call to say otherwise. I suspect the daughter wants dad’s dough.
It sounds to me like his body is shutting down, not like a case where he is still in relatively good condition and someone wants to hasten his end by starving him.
Hopefully, the doctors caring for him will be able to accurately explain the situation to the judge. And then whatever needs to be done so that Casey Kasem can pass in peace will be done.
That has always stayed with me, and is worth thinking about in all of these cases. Sometimes we should, sometimes we shouldn't. It's not easy and is a decision that should never be taken lightly.
This Kasey Kasem case has become clear.
His wife, of decades, is trying to keep him alive.
Kids want to euthanize him.
It would be interesting to know when he changed his will. The last wife often likes to screw the kids over. It’s always hard for me to understand why men let this happen. Of course, it also happens with a mother but it seems not so often.
“I’m not talking about withholding nutrition and causing death.”
Yes you are.
Who are you, Satan’s Little Helper?
It wasn’t clear before what was happening in this case.
It is now. Daughter is a piece of work.
That picture of the wife as imbecile was definitely painted the the drive by media.
And her former roles probably prejudice people to think of her in that way, as a ditz.
But it is clear now, you are wrong.
Utter carp you are talking.
“Body Shutting Down”.
It’s just excuse and rationalization.
Perhaps you are ignorant and believe the pseudo medical swill you are spewing. I hope that’s the case at least.
I still blame the wife cause in her care he deteriorated. The Courts should’ve intervened sooner.
Kaseem Kasem - N.I.O.N.
My husband’s Parkinson’s (and probably Lewy-Body dementia) progressed exactly the same way as Casey Kasem’s.
Even with special inflating-deflating devices, bed sores are hard to control, because the person is unable to even shift his weight a fraction of an inch. The base of the spine is where my husband’s was the most difficult to manage.
What some of you may not know, or understand - with this illness, the autonomic nervous system slowly fails, and eventually begins to shut down. This means the bowel, bladder, digestive tract, etc. stop functioning.
At the end, my husband lost any desire to eat, and then to drink. He knew he was dying, and didn’t want to go back to the hospital. The sounds and unpredictability of that environment upset him.
His doctors suggested hospice, and they taught me all about the dying process. Feeding tubes would have made my husband worse, not better. They taught me how to keep his mouth moistened with special swabs when he refused to drink.
Very low doses of morphine, a dissolvable tablet placed inside his cheek, helped to relieve his muscular pain, and they taught me to recognize the signs of pain when he could no longer speak. He only got the little 10 mg. tabs when he needed them.
He died peacefully, without pain, and without tubes, etc.
Many of you do not understand that there are times when extreme measure will save or prolong lives, and when they will only torture a dying person.
But, I know you all mean well.
“He knew he was dying...”
You’re saying he had normal mental function?
Could he talk and communicate with you?
If so, that’s apnot anage related dementia.
I don’t disagree that you can euthanize a Parkinson patient relatively painlessly with use of opiates (although how painlessly we can’t know).
But your claim of torture when treating people rather than killing them is irresponsible and hubristic.
Yes, he had lucid moments, but had lost executive function. He had episodes of hallucinations, particularly when hospitalized during a Parkinson’s crisis.
The noises, the crying out of others in neighboring rooms, a constantly changing staff - all were extremely disruptive to someone who couldn’t move at all, was easily confused, and felt defenseless.
These hospitalizations led to weeks in rehab, to try to help him regain the functions he lost because of a crisis. Hospitals and Rehab facilities are not equipped to deal with the particular needs of Parkinson’s patients.
Parkinson’s meds, in order to work, must be given within very controlled parameters. Too close before or after a meal, and they will not be absorbed properly, and will not work.
Hospitals and rehab facilities find it almost impossible to co-ordinate meals and meds for these patients, particularly when they have to take their Parkinson’s meds 5 or 6 times a day, on a rigid schedule to control the symptoms.
I was his care-giver for 10 years, and knew how to manage this all with the help of a timer app. I could prepare his favorite foods, drinks, and could play his favorite music and tv shows. I did have some help - a dedicated young man who would help me with shaving, changing him, and repositioning him to prevent bedsores was available in our senior living facility, and could come when I needed his help.
A 10 mg morphine tablet to control pain is a minimal dose, and it was only given during episodes of pain, not on a regular schedule. Dying cancer patients require doses 10 to 20 times higher then that. I know because I was afraid of giving him morphine, and asked.
If you haven’t had direct experience with a loved one dying from this horrible disease, (even worse than Alzheimer’s, in my opinion) you have no right to judge how they “should” be treated.
You obviously have a strong opinion, but I do not think you have a very well-informed one. To suggest that my husband was “euthanized” is extremely insensitive, if not cruel.
I don’t know what is going on in this family anymore than you do. I’m going strictly by this particular article and the description of his condition.
If they are withholding nutrition to hasten his death that is immoral, unethical, and illegal. The article states they did give him tube feedings and his body will not digest it. If that part is true, they can feed him all day long and it will do nothing but put him in fluid overload and that will kill him. I’m sorry some of you don’t seem to understand the way a body functions when a person is dying but as a hospice nurse I deal with this every day.
Your post was really appreciated.
Parkinson’s is very different than Alzheimer’s or other age related dementias.
I think that each individual end of life is different and you used yours to advocate for a euthanasia solution (euthanasia is the proper term for it and ought not have negative connotations if you have no problems with it).
I think you crossed a line in your post in to advocacy, beyond just sharing experiences.
I don’t think anyone should do that, and perhaps you didn’t mean to advocate euthanasia as first or only moral choice, but what you wrote sure did seem demeaning and insulting to those who choose to treat loved ones and spend as much time with them as possible.
It’s not torture.
“If they are withholding nutrition to hasten his death that is immoral, unethical, and illegal.”
I’m curious what planet you live on.
This is pushed by Doctors now.
Yes,I completely agree. I hope to be excused on this thread for a bit of a ramble. It was only yesterday that I glanced at the local paper up in Ontario, Canada. I just sloughed off a column titled.
Make end-of-life decisions while you still can
I take the liberty of quoting a paragraph. "But unconscious patients, or those with Alzheimer's or dementia, can present difficult issues for families and health care providers with regard to consent to medical treatment". Much detail is provided about the ramifications of complicated legal actions and so on. This of course, must be of great stress to all concerned. Not to speak of the legal costs. A specific case was also written about in depth. (Alan Shanoff. The Sault Star (Sault Ste Marie).
Ok. Your post had me hike out the section from the recycle box. I have read it over as it deserves to be read. I am 82 years old and my wife is 76 years. We both seem to be "with it" except for some memory lapses. I admire your compassion and careful thought. I understand also anyone that will rebut your decision.
I looked across at my wife and informed her of what we must do. We HAVE to talk, I said. Thanks to what you have posted.
No I’m not “satans little helper” and I can’t help that you are completely ignorant. I am a Christian and a hospice nurse of many years.
How would you like to be held under water because you’re thirsty. How would you like for someone to force food down your throat if you can’t swallow or if its going to just sit in your stomach? Imagine someone forcing so much food into you that it backs up your esophagus and goes into your lungs?
When a persons body is shutting down naturally, you can pump feedings into their g tube and its going to sit in their stomach until it is full, then its going to back up into their lungs because their body will not digest it!
I will be happy to private message you my phone number so we can have a rational discussion about the natural dying process, unless of course you’d rather call me names and accuse me of being an evil murder.
Clearly I’m trying to have a rational conversation with a child.
Go back to your mothers basement and google natural dying process.
Sorry for the rhetoric. It was obviously not meant literally.
I am not sure you can have a rational discussion. You are quite emotional in this and present pseudo-medical misinformation.
You are conflating things.
And your rhetoric meant to evoke visceral reaction does not help.
People with age related dementia can be kept alive many years with feeding tubes in the side. This is after medical advice is to let them die, a euphemism for starvation induced euthanasia.
It’s true the Church teaches no one is under obligation to take extraordinary measures to preserve life. The nun you spoke to was correct.
It sounds like, sadly, Mr Kasum is in such a state. It would be best if those who know him best (and don’t stand to gain anything) be the ones to make such a decision now.
It seems the daughter will gain nothing by her father’s death. If that’s true and his wife gains by keeping him alive (I don’t know if that’s the case), then that seems to be the answer right there.
Sorry Lil Flower,
You don’t make any sense.
Your hubris doesn’t help.
You seem quite committed to euthanasia in any and all cases. Why?
He and his wife gain time together.
That’s worth more than anything else in this world.
At least for some people, the lucky blessed ones.
Please, read this carefully!
I was NOT, and do NOT, advocate euthanasia. Alleviating the pain of a person who is in the process of dying is NOT euthanasia.
I deeply resent those who refuse to understand the difference between hastening death, and relieving the someone’s pain, when nothing can be done to prevent the death process.
Take this opportunity to understand the difference.
For your information, my husband had the best of care, including a several week long stay at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, to try to find a way to prolong his life.
As that song from the 80s goes, “There comes a time”.
I truly hope you will never suffer from a similar incurable illness.
Its not pseudo-medical. I’m a trained professional.
You are absolutely correct. You can keep a personal alive with a feeding tube. I had a patient a few years ago who lived with a feeding tube for five years. Her daughter lived 2 miles away and for a year and a half, she never came to visit her once. But that’s another story.
I got a phone call one morning that the patient want responding. When I got there, she was mottling, had a high temp, and was gurgling. I took a syringe and withdrew the contents of her stomach, a procedure that you do before each tube feeding. You would not believe the copious amount of tube feeding in her stomach.
She was dying even with regular tube feedings. Because her body was shutting down, her body could no longer digest the feedings. The tube feedings were stopped becauseat the point that she was dying they were no longer a benefit to her.
I don’t know what more I can say to make you understand this.
You are the one who is being emotional and it is causing you to be irrational. I have been on both sides of this; as a health care professional and as a cargiver to several family members. It its clear you have no idea what you are talking about and are not interested in being educated.
My offer still stands to send you my phone number and we can talk. Otherwise, good day.
I don’t mean to, or want to trade insults. My original post was quite pithy, I acknowledge and I apologize for that.
My point, though, is valid and I don’t know that you are understanding it.
You are conflating issues of eminent death with concomitant organ failure with quality of life issues that many families face, when there is no issue of eminent death.
Very often, and I think it is the norm today, there is pressure to “just let him/her go”. This is often couched under the palliative care umbrella.
Yet supportive care such as a simple feeding line in to the stomach can end the issues of pneumonia and poor nutrition that age related dementia patients have. These patients can live years this way. It’s quite unobtrusive and simple and does a world of good for their physical health.
My grandfather had a condition where the valve that separated his esophagus from his trachea was “mistiming” due to neurological problems. He also had “silent aspiration” which complicated things.
In addition, he had a malfunctioning LES valve in the esophagus. What would happen is that food/water would back up and into his bronchial passage then into his lungs.
He essentially starved/dehydrated to death because the caregivers couldn’t feed him for fear that the food/water would go into his lungs. There was little the caregivers could do except make him comfortable.
A staunch Christian, he understood that his time was up and chose to go meet his Maker the best way he knew how. The caregivers did their level best to help him. That doesn’t make them minions of the devil...
See my prior post to you.
I have been accused of not making sense, of being an advocate of euthanasia, and a worker of satan. That I am offended would be an understatement. You understand what others refuse to. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Caregivers have a very special place in my heart. One more reason I love being a hospice nurse. To take care of the patients and to be a support to their families and caregivers. God bless you.
Please have the talk with your wife.
The toughest part of the discussions my husband and I had was figuring out the DNR issue, in case either of us had a heart attack.
We did our homework. We researched how hard CPR had to be done to restore heart rhythm, and we were shocked to discover that to be done effectively, our ribs would probably be broken, and that the resuscitation statistics in the elderly weren’t very promising.
In younger people, it is different, of course.
He decided against it, considering how his Parkinson’s would complicate a recovery. Even though I am in better health than my husband, I have decided to make my end-of-life wishes very clear, so our children will not end up arguing about these matters.
I am very afraid of one or another of the children trying to keep me alive at all costs. I pray to go quickly, but only God knows.
Yes the issue of aspiration always comes forth. It is due to the neurological degeneration. The timing is not right to keep food or liquid out of the lungs. A body normally does this unconsciously, autonomically.
Usually this is near the end because of the associated pneumonia.
But there is no problem at all with eminent death at that time or organs shutting down.
A simple feeding tube in to the stomach solves the problem completely.
But medical professionals, in general, are resistant to doing that and will not suggest it and will try to have the family opt for the starvation euthanasia you describe.
But this simple feeding tube to the stomach causes them to never need to take anything by mouth ever again. Allows them excellent nutrition and makes them physically more healthy than they have been in years as their Alzheimer’s or other age-related dementia disease progressed.
They can live years quite physically healthy with this simple supportive care.
My goodness you are exasperating!! Please understand, I just agreed with that. I even gave you an example of that very thing.
Let me state again. I would never advocate, our be a part of euthanasia anymore than I world work for Planned Parenthood!! I am a Christian and believe with ask my being that life begins at conception and should end at natural death.
I fear with Obamacare they may begin to push for euthanasia, and that will be the day I no longer practice as a nurse. But it isn’t here yet. I’ve never worked for a company, a Dr., or with other nurses who would even consider it. In fact, you would be surprised to know there are many hospice companies that have been created by Christians.
I think Comes a Time is from the 70’s.
As for this.
I was NOT, and do NOT, advocate euthanasia. Alleviating the pain of a person who is in the process of dying is NOT euthanasia.
I deeply resent those who refuse to understand the difference between hastening death, and relieving the someones pain, when nothing can be done to prevent the death process.
Alleviating pain does not cause death.
Withholding nutrients does. That is euthanasia.
If you are talking about the final hours or days when the body is shutting down and nutrients make no difference, then that is a different topic and not relevant.
Also, an incurable illness is quite different than age related neural degeneration, which what this topic was about.
I have noticed a lot of conflation on this thread. That causes problems of understanding on all sides.
We can only respond to what people write, not what is in their head.
ifinnegan, if you were one of my children, I would be running to my lawyer as fast as my old legs could take me, in fear that you would try to keep me alive for many years, with an advanced case of dementia.
and, Lil Flower, please know how much I respect and appreciate hospice care, and how much it meant to me and my beloved.
Our care here was from St. Croix, a wonderful Roman Catholic hospice, and you are right, ifinnegan is completely wrong in all he believes.
I can only guess that many who have such uninformed beliefs about end-of-life care have little or no experience or understanding of how complicated these matters can be, and also do not know that Hospice, in many cases, actually prolongs life, compared to current hospital care.
Our family had no say in the matter as my grandfather was coherent, had a living will and a DNR...he accepted the doctor’s prognosis and made his own choice.
My grandfather’s situation was what it was...not all are the same.
God is in control of all things. Not doctors.
excuse me, ifinnegan, this thread is not about age-related neural degeneration.
It is about Casey Kasem’s Parkinson’s, and probable Lewy Body dementia, not Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias. Kasem’s symptoms sound very like my husband’s at the end of his life.
If I am correct, Kasem would do much better in Hospice care, not in a hospital.
Here is the quote from the article:
“ We have tried everything to keep him alive. We did put him back on fluids,but we had to take him off again because his lungs were filling up. It sounded like he was drowning. It was excruciating to watch, Kerri,41,told the Daily New Monday. The feeding was backing up because he cant digest, she said,her voice choking with emotion. This is breaking my heart. Were been trying for nine days to keep him alive. Theres nothing we want more than for our dad to be here with us.
Please read this and try to comprehend.