Tuesday, April 12

ONE BLOGGER'S RESPONSE TO PROBATE JUDGE DONALD W. BOYD

BlogsforTerri has published an email received yesterday from Probate Judge Donald W. Boyd, who has been directly involved in the Mae Magouirk case, from which I quote a particular excerpt (his final paragraph) below and to which I feel compelled to respond. The judge wrote in his concluding paragraph:

It concerns me that people and so-called news agencies will print things that are not true or half-true and not bother to seek the truth. Please consider this in the future before you jump to conclusions you need to verify the story.

Mr. Boyd takes a pretty broad stroke with his brush here and I'm not sure who, exactly, he's scolding, but I find the comment nervy regardless. If all hell broke loose on "the Internet" last Thursday, as he claims, alluding to a pro-life blog swarm, than why did it take him until yesterday to respond to a number of queries with regard to the Mae Magouirk issue?

As for "seeking the truth," you cannot get a hospice in the state of Georgia (or most anywhere in this country) to reveal the status of or treatment for a patient. Indeed, you cannot even confirm admittance. And I for one called and spoke to the News Editor of a local newspaper (a pertinent local newspaper) who should and could have been helpful in discerning and confirming FACTS for me with regard to this matter, but when I identified myself by name and indicated I was a blogger who was interested in separating the grain from the chaff, he came unglued over the telephone and told me that I could not quote him or paraphrase him, and were I to do so, he'd deny ever having had a conversation with me. Even afterwards, I wrote a courteous email to the man asking if he could at least confirm for me that Mrs. Magouirk had been air-lifted to the UAB Medical Center and the only reply I received back was confirmation of his having received my email. He just stonewalled me -- pure and simple.

So just how does one go about verifying FACTS in what had been portrayed as (and still seems to have been) a serious and potentially imminent life and death matter in LaGrange, Georgia? Ken Mullinax -- the nephew -- was providing compelling information that his 81-year old aunt was not being provided adequate food and water at a hospice there and should not be in that hospice in the first place, and bloggers were hard-pressed to find corroboration, particularly in the so-called MSM, where countless Google searches I performed came up empty, time and again. I even exchanged emails with a fellow blogger who is well-grounded in journalism over my frustration (and his, as well) that alternate sources with which to verify facts were so hard to come by.

All I know is that Mae Magouirk is now being reported as out of a hospice, in a hospital bed, alive, being hydrated, fed, and medically evaluated, and that to me is all good. If Judge Boyd had his feathers ruffled a bit by earnest bloggers trying to help save a woman's life, too bad. Had Ken Mullinax sat on his hands and had "BlogsforTerri" bloggers waited until the MSM waded in, Mae could be dead or in seriously compromised health at the moment.

Hospices, judges, and those with or claiming medical power of attorney, need to know we're perched out here in the blogosphere and that we'll descend if something is or appears to be untoward. Remember, folks, George Felos stood in front of television cameras and a bank of microphones and told the world that Terri Schiavo died serenely, peacefully, and appearing ever beautiful. And, of course, there's the likes of Dr. Ronald Cranford. These are the kinds of people that we're oftentimes dealing with when the surplus population is being suspiciously culled. These are the kinds of people who get all huffy when someone challenges their claim to being the font of irrevocable truth.

If we errored, Judge Boyd, we errored on the side of life!