Casey Kasem, the 82-year-old ailing DJ whose initial claim to fame was a radio show called American Top 40, will no longer receive food, hydration, and medicine per a decision made by his daughter Kerri Kasem on Wednesday. According to a judge’s ruling earlier in the day she was granted permission to put these measures in place in an effort to switch their father’s care to a comfort oriented regimen.
“Transitioning our father’s treatment to comfort-oriented care was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make,” Kasem’s children–Kerri and her brother and sister–said in a statement. The statement also included excerpts from their father’s heath directive which stated that he desired no form of “life-sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration.”
Casey Kasem suffers from Lewy body disease which is a form of dementia displaying symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. In addition he has a large infected bedsore that Kerri Kasem maintains he acquired when wife Jean Kasem removed him from the country.
The Kasem children and Jean Kasem have been in an ongoing battle over the care of Casey Kasem for quite some time. Jean Kasem long held power of attorney over her husband’s care. Kerri Kasem and her siblings sought a court order after being disallowed visitation with their father. Following the incident whereby Jean Kasem removing her husband from the country, Kerri Kasem was given authority by a judge to handle his medical affairs.
Casey Kasem is in a Washington hospital under hospice care.
Withholding food and water may sound cruel for people in Casey Kasem’s condition, but it isn’t. Instead it can actually prevent a patient like Kasem from developing pneumonia.
Jean Kasem and her attorney are reportedly exploring their legal options regarding this decision made by Kerri Kasem and her siblings. They both believe that Casey Kasem is being “starved and cut off from medicine until he dies.”
Casey Kasem clearly doesn’t have many days left on earth. It sounds like his children want him kept comfortable until he dies. If he developed pneumonia at this stage his end days would be very uncomfortable. It seems more cruel to consider a fate like that.
Image via Wikimedia Commons