By Terri LaPoint
August 23, 2019
The admission sounded like something out of “Logan’s Run” or other dystopian sci-fi movie, not an explanation one would expect to hear from legal associates. Nancy Scott and others who joined her in a peaceful prayer vigil for her mother’s life on Tuesday, August 20, were stunned when representatives from the court-appointed guardian’s office explained that the reason that retired Alabama schoolteacher Marian Leonard was on hospice was because she was old.
According to Medicare.gov, hospice care is supposed to be for people who are certified by a hospice doctor and the patient’s regular doctor that they are terminally ill with a “life expectancy of 6 months or less.” Hospice care is palliative, or “comfort” care, rather than curative care, and it is supposed to be a choice that the patient makes, not a decision thrust upon them without their consent.
That is not what has happened with Marian Leonard. When the state seized guardianship of Mrs. Leonard in February 2018 at the request of St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Department of Human Resources (DHR), she was forced into a nursing home, Diversicare of Riverchase, and forced onto hospice care, against her will and that of her designated Power of Attorney, her daughter Nancy Scott.
At that time, Marian Leonard pleaded with her daughter to get her out of there, saying she feared that they were going to kill her if she did not get out. Nancy Scott has been fighting ever since to free her mother from state custody. She has hired attorneys and gone to court, but has thus far been unsuccessful.
When Birmingham-area pro-life advocate Phil King saw Mrs. Leonard’s story, he called for a prayer vigil. A handful of supporters brought signs and prayers to the sidewalk in front of court-appointed guardian Sidney Summey’s office in downtown Birmingham Tuesday.
They were joined by a small group of people who stated that they worked for Summey’s office. Nancy Scott took the opportunity to explain to them that her mother had never been diagnosed with any kind of terminal illness, and thus should not be on hospice. The only “diagnosis” was a fraudulent statement on a medical report by a convicted felon named Lisa Fuller that Marian had “End Stage Alzheimer?s [sic] Disease.”
See that story here:
I told the representatives from Summey’s office that there are medical documents from Emory Hospital in 2016, the year before Mrs. Leonard was taken, which state that she showed no signs of dementia or Alzheimers.
Their response was shocking:
She is OLD.
Nancy Scott attempted to clarify, asking if they were saying that her mother’s old age was a reason to have her on hospice care. They said it was.
Marian Leonard is now 103 years old. She was 101 when Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King signed the orders for her Living Will and Power of Attorney documents to be set aside, and for her to be placed under the custody of DHR. She has been on hospice care for almost 18 months.
She was not terminally ill when she went into Diversicare. However, Real News Spark has learned through a source who asked to be unnamed that Mrs. Leonard is being given morphine much more frequently than every 6 hours. The source explained that dosage every 6 hours is what is given for pain, but when it is given more frequently than that, it is designed to be “part of the dying process.”
Civil rights activist and former Army medic Sherrie Saunders was present for the prayer vigil. She explained during a Facebook Live video that evening that the dosages of morphine that are being given to Mrs. Leonard are actually hastening her death. She called it “murder.”
Author Ron Panzer calls it “stealth euthanasia.” Panzer is a pro-life nurse, whistle-blower, and President of Hospice Patients Alliance. He authored a book called, “Stealth Euthanasia: Health Care Tyranny in America (Hospice, Palliative Care and Health Care Reform).” The book is available online here.
The term certainly seems to fit what is currently happening to Marian Leonard. No one in the Birmingham probate court is calling it euthanasia, but there is little doubt in the minds of her daughter and the advocates fighting for her life that her death is being hastened “under the radar,” with full approval by a judge, guardian, DHR, and hospice.
103. Is that the age where it is considered “too old” to live on one’s own terms? Is that the age that Constitutional and human rights cease to exist?
Interview with Witness Sherrie Saunders
Watch the Real News Spark Show with guest Sherrie Saunders as we discuss the shocking admission that “old age” is reason enough to force someone onto hospice, and its implication for the rest of us.
The following may be contacted on behalf of Marian Leonard:
Alabama Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner represents the district where Marian (Gregory) Leonard is currently being held. He may be reached at 334-261-0892 or contacted here.
Representative David Wheeler is the House representative for that district. He may be reached at 334-261-0439 or contacted here.
Representative Dexter Grimsley represents the Henry County district where Marian Leonard and her family are from. He may be reached at 334-261-0513 or contacted here.
Diversicare of Riverchase
2500 River Haven Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35244
Alabama Department of Human Resources
Adult Protective Services Division
50 North Ripley Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
Adult Abuse Hotline 1-800-458-7214
Jefferson County Adult Division of the Alabama Department of Human Resources
Also, a complaint may be filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources for violation of civil rights of an elderly person in a skilled nursing facility.
A complaint may filed online through this link: https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/smartscreen/main.jsf
Alternatively, a complaint may be downloaded from the above link, filled in with ink or typed, and mailed, or a letter may be mailed to the following address:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY:
Retired Schoolteacher Forced onto Hospice Forbidden to Have Visitors – Daughter Worried They Will Starve Her
Journalist Terri LaPoint first reported on this story last year at MedicalKidnap.com:
Other media have picked up on the story: