Elder Law

Judge says 'Top 40' radio personality Casey Kasem must be fed, hydrated and medicated

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In the latest twist in an ongoing family battle over medical care for a radio personality renowned for his “Top 40” programs and the voice work he did for Scooby-Doo cartoons, a California judge has ruled that Casey Kasem must be fed, hydrated and, at the discretion of his doctors, medicated.

The Monday ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy followed a decision by Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, who was appointed his conservator after raising questions about his care, to implement end-of-life measures, reports the Ministry of Gossip page of the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).

Her lawyer, Troy Martin, told the judge that Kerri Kasem and the 82-year-old’s doctors had stopped nutrition, hydration and some medication after deciding the process was too painful for her father, who has a form of dementia with effects similar to Parkinson’s disease. A lawyer for Kasem’s wife, Jean, says Kasem wants to live.

“He never was in a coma. He’s not a vegetable. When Jean talks to him, he understands her and she can ask him questions and will communicate through blinking,” said attorney Steve Haney. “He’s coherent, but he just can’t verbalize things. Jean feels that he wants to live as long as he could.”

A spokesman for the hospital told CNN last week that Casey Kasem was alert and receiving antibiotic and blood pressure support medication and care for bedsores.

The judge has set another hearing for Friday, at which a court-appointed attorney is expected to report what he learned this week from visiting with Kasem’s doctors in Washington state, where he was hospitalized by his daughter June 1, the Times reports. Until last month, he was at a facility in Santa Monica, California. Then Jean Kasem moved him to a friend’s home in Washington without disclosing his whereabouts, prompting a decision by Murphy to appoint Kerri Kasem as his temporary conservator, which a Washington judge upheld after a hearing.

A spokesman for Kerri Kasem told the newspaper that her father can’t eat on his own and his body “rejects” food. Jean Kasem has accused her of trying to hasten her father’s death to expedite distribution of $2 million that will be split between his children.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Daughter of hospitalized Casey Kasem, rather than his wife, will make medical decisions, judge rules”

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