Elderly woman taken from family, forced onto hospice

“They’ve Killed Her” – Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Dies under State Guardianship

By Terri LaPoint
August 29, 2019

“She’s gone.” The call came in Monday from Nancy Scott regarding her mother, Marian Leonard, who had been taken from her family and placed onto hospice care against her will. Nancy was in tears when she told me that her mother died on Saturday, August 24, but nobody bothered to notify her until Monday.

Marian Leonard died in a nursing home that she was forced into by a judge in early 2018. Last month, her court-appointed guardian Sidney Summey restricted her from having any visitors except a token hour and a half visit twice per month from her daughter – the woman that Mrs. Leonard had designated as her chosen power of attorney, not just once, but 3 different times over a 30 year period.

She died alone. No family or friends were permitted to be with her in her final weeks. The guardian had even taken her away from her roommate, whom Nancy viewed as her mother’s “guardian angel.”

Nancy, who has been fighting the court since custody of her mother was seized by the state, is devastated.

It’s like being in the middle of a horror story.

All her mother’s planning to ensure that she would live out her elderly years on her own terms vanished with the stroke of a judge’s pen, at the request of social workers from the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) and St. Vincent’s Hospital. The simplest request, that her only daughter be with her at the end, was denied.

Nancy’s voice cracked as she cried:

I couldn’t save her. I tried so hard to get her out of there.

Marian Leonard was known to her former English students as “Mrs. Gregory.” Yearbook photo provided by family.

See previous coverage of this story:

Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Forced into Hospice Against Her Will

Retired Schoolteacher Forced onto Hospice Forbidden to Have Visitors – Daughter Worried They Will Starve Her

Daughter of Retired Alabama Schoolteacher: “They’re Killing My Mother”

Under Judge Alan King, Marian Leonard was forced onto hospice care, though there was never any diagnosis of terminal illness. The only “diagnosis” was typed into the records by woman later convicted of felony Tenn-Care fraud.

Lisa Fuller apparently posed as a nursing home nurse, and ER nurse, and ambulance service worker, as evidenced by her signature on documents from all three in Tennessee. Her notes in the records sent to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, later obtained by Nancy Scott, are the only record stating that Mrs. Leonard had Alzheimers. Other medical records show that, just the year before, she had been pronounced by medical doctors to be free of any dementia or signs of Alzheimers.

“Murdered by Hospice”?

Since her mother was taken from her family, Nancy Scott has complained that her mother was being drugged. She was increasingly being given psychotropic drugs and strong pain-killers, against her previously stated wishes and against the wishes of her daughter, the person that she wanted to be in charge of her care. Yet, the strangers appointed to care for her ignored her pleas to see her daughter, to go home, and to get out of the nursing home. Why would they pay attention to her thoughts on being drugged?

Before being forced into Diversicare of Riverchase nursing home in Birmingham, Mrs. Leonard’s typical go-to medication for occasional flair-ups of arthritis pain was a single Tylenol. Recently, Nancy learned that hospice was giving her mother morphine.

We also learned through a source who asked to be unnamed that Mrs. Leonard was 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.”

Marian Leonard, who was not dying, was being given drugs to “assist with the dying process.” The only “incurable condition” that Mrs. Leonard had was simple old age. She was 103. Nancy says that her mother’s age has been used many times by many people involved with her mother’s case to justify the treatment that her mother has received under state care.

See story:

Old Age Seen as Justification for Forcing Woman onto Hospice

Yet, in June, another 103-year-old retired schoolteacher set a record for the 50 meter dash in the National Senior Games in New Mexico.

See article by 10TV in Albuquerque:

103-year-old woman sets record in 50-meter dash at US Senior Games

Old age is not, and must not be, an acceptable reason to end a life. When a person who is not dying is drugged with morphine in dosages that are sufficient to “assist in the dying process,” what other term for this is there besides “murder”?

When Nancy called to tell me of her mother’s death, she made this chilling statement:

They’ve gotten by so far with literally committing murder.

Despite all of her daughter’s efforts to get her mother out of guardianship and hospice care, Marian Leonard died alone in a nursing home, forced onto drugs, isolated from loved ones. Photo by Real News Spark.

Are They Going After the Land?

Mrs. Leonard’s estate contains 300 acres of prime timberland in the wiregrass area of south Alabama. The property has been in the family for generations, and she wanted to ensure that it stays in the family. Several years ago, she deeded the land in a trust to her son and daughter.

Advocates for Marian Leonard have told Real News Spark that they fear that powerful people have been trying to get this land. Could this be what all of this has been about?

Funeral Arrangements

Marian Leonard’s funeral will be at 12:00 noon on Friday, August 30, at the Haleburg Baptist Church at 1239 Main St, Haleburg, AL. Visitation precedes the funeral, from 11 to 12.

In lieu of flowers, Marian Leonard’s wishes were that donations be made to the library which she loved – the Abbeville Memorial Library at 301 Kirkland Street, Abbeville, Alabama 36310. (Link to website).

13 thoughts on ““They’ve Killed Her” – Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Dies under State Guardianship

  1. It is so sad that this lady Marion Leonard was not permitted to live her life until it was her time and not be drugged into oblivion. It is unconscionable that a guardian was given jurisdiction over someone that had a daughter perfectly willing and able to care for her! And to limit the daughter’s access to be with her Mother during her last days and hours is totally inhumane! This acceptance of hospices overdosing patients with opioids and antipsychotics had become the norm. What a terrible state that human life is devalued that it is ok to hastened people’s death because they aren’t considered of value. I am sick at heart for this lady and her daughter Nancy. Sad times..

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  2. I am always stunned by the fact that even when these serial killers are exposed, they continue on with their deadly intentions. Of course…why not? It’s not like anyone is going to hold them accountable especially when the state itself is raking in a few million a year running this human harvesting machine.

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  3. The bible says life expectancy is up to 120 years .and regardless Hospice shouldnt be permitted unless the patient And personof power of attorney agree upon it Together. Hospice will always kill the patient by drug overdose.

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  4. So very sorry for this family’s loss! Absolutely disheartening at this tragedy that obviously did NOT have to happen! Hospice make think they’re getting away with this, however their is a God in Heaven they WILL have to stand before and give account for their horrible actions. This is so so SAD AND NEEDS TO BE addressed and stopped immediately, so that NOT one other person patient, or daughter has to ever go thru again!!! Such a Disgrace to our State! God have Mercy!!!

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  5. This is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY and the people responsible for this outrageous “crime” needs to be held accountable and do time in prison! Also – this establishment should definitely be shut down “permanently” – for violation of HUMAN RIGHTS!

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  6. man this really burns me up to be forced by a court to be put in a nursing home and not allowed to have visitors and her roomate taken away from her public guardianship ” I do have stupid public guardianship I do hope they do not do this to me “

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  7. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know you are heartbroken and I can’t imagine what you are going through. I pray that you will have peace sometime in this life. It’s awful the way the elderly are done and I pray you find a good lawyer that will take everyone involved be fired and that you can sue the state and break them over our elderly. We all want to be treated good when we go to a nursing home and we do not want anyone to interfere with our wills. God bless you in all you do and what you do for the elderly.

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  8. My heart aches for the horrible ordeal the court system put you through. My heart aches for you mother knowing she was lonely, depressed and confused after you did the right thing by taking her to the hospital when she had a fever. I want to share with you a personal story. Mostly to let you know that this type of power and control by the courts and corrupt people happens far too often. My mother’s own sister filed an elder abuse case against me after my dad passed away and my mother, of her own free will, was living with me and my family. My mother was as happy as could possibly be as she was grieving and recovering as a newly widowed woman after 56 yrs of marriage to my amazing father…and we worshiped her at our home. Fortunately after the abuse complaint by my aunt, it was determined by authorities that the abuse claim was frivolous. My mother realized her sister was trying to be in control and get ahold of her small fortune (which truly is small and just enough to help her get by financially through her future). My mom was alarmed and while in denial she was able to clearly see her sister’s manipulation. After it was determined my mom was safe and happy, my aunt tried to recruit our family members against me and my family and it resulted in my mother and I stopped all contact with many family members after this happened. At the advice of our local police department a few days after the frivolous abuse report, we consulted an attorney and my mom agreed to file a motion to give me guardianship and be her conservator. It was explained that was the only way to keep my aunt from returning and trying to take her out of the state. They said if she leaves with her sister, there will be nothing anyone can do to help. I was already her full financial and medical POA (and had been for years, just like you). For a brief time my aunt had POA—-just long enough to survey my parent’s estate and then she worked on manipulating my mother. Her sister was malicious and would call my mother and make her cry and feel terrible. My aunt protested my mother’s decision to assign me as her guardian and because she lived out of state she was permitted to call into the hearing. My mom was able to speak for herself, had a long documented report from a licensed counselor who she met with several times after the frivolous claim and also her neurologist appeared for the hearing. My aunt knew she was out-smarted and her greed was exposed. During the hearing she got angry and told the judge she didn’t care about her sister anymore and was tired of dealing with her crap and promptly hung up! Under pressure my aunt showed her true colors. She even went as far as going to my mother’s house and stealing my mother’s inherited family heirlooms. Anyway, long story short, my mother has Parkinson’s and her illness has progressed. Thank God I have been able to be with her daily to provide her companionship, direct her care and placement in rehab and nursing facilities. The elderly nursing home situation is awful and caregivers and institutions are commonly rude and uncaring. I hired independent caregivers to be with her to basically babysit the nursing homes, but that is expensive and taxing. I am happy to say that 4 years later my mother lives very close to me and I have been able to visit with her multiple times a week (at least prior to Covid-19). She is no longer able to communicate, but she is always looking beautiful, healthy and it obvious she is being taken care is well. She is living in a caring residential home with amazing caregivers who are experience and do a great job. I am so fortunate my aunt didn’t take her away from me and my family. My dad and mother saved for their retirement and her little fortune is still available to pay the monthly cost of her special care, because we decided to go outside of what Medicare provides.

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