Tuesday, April 12

MAINSTREAM MEDIA FINALLY WEIGHS IN ON MAGOUIRK CASE

Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free registration required) -- the first indisputable "mainstream media" publication to publish an article on the Mae Magouirk controversy that I am aware of -- had this to say (in part):

A granddaughter who has been deemed her legal guardian placed her in a hospice, without food. Other family members disagreed, saying the woman is not beyond recovery and has not lost her ability to think.

Now a panel of three medical specialists, commissioned by a Troup County probate judge, has ruled that the woman's heart ailment is treatable.

On Saturday, the widowed cancer clinic retiree was airlifted to UAB Medical Center in Birmingham after a week without food.

Unlike Schiavo, who died last month, Magouirk was neither comatose nor in a vegetative state, say the relatives who want her alive. She was simply drugged with morphine, they said.

Magouirk's will dictates that a feeding tube be removed if she is in a coma, said nephew Kenneth Mullinax of Birmingham.

The hospital declined to release information, citing federal privacy law.

Magouirk got sick March 13 and was subsequently moved to a LaGrange hospice, which began preparing for her death. The order had come from her physician and grandchildren Beth Gaddy and Michael Shane Magouirk, Mullinax said. He is against letting his aunt die without treatment.

Gaddy could not be reached for comment Monday. Messages left for her and her brother at their mother's home were not returned.

Now someone tell me if "AJC" reporter, Charles Yoo, brought anything more material to the discussion than the pro-life bloggers who in some quarters are being roundly criticized for failing to confirm facts from multiple sources before publishing posts on this controversy. According to Mr. Yoo, Mae had not received any food whatsoever. The blogosphere has reported that she was at least offered some Jello (and ice chips).

Mr. Yoo puts almost exclusive reliance for his story on statements from Ken Mullinax and has been unable to secure a statement from UAB Medical Center or, it would appear, from Hospice-LaGrange (sound familiar?). And, as he indicated toward the end of his report, Gaddy has refused comment.

Frankly, there's been better coverage than this (and more journalistic digging) at "BlogsforTerri" (and it came much earlier than this MSM piece).