Mae Magouirk: is there a reporter in the house?

The people who made believe that Terri Schiavo was being murdered have identified another “murder” victim. But in this case, if the asserted facts are correct, something awful is indeed going on; it’s said the woman has an advanced directive calling for the maintenance of life support.

Jane Galt is right: if a judge in Georgia has ordered the removal of an old woman’s feeding tube despite the woman’s advanced directive calling for the maintenance of life-sustaining treatment, and has done so at the behest of the woman’s granddaughter and heir over the protests of the woman’s brother and sister (who qualify as “next of kin” in preference to a granddaughter under Georgia law), then what’s going on is an outrage and ought to be stopped right away.

The problem is that, as some of Jane’s commenters point out, so far no one is vouching for any of the “facts” above except for people who believed that a woman with a flat cerebral EEG was nonetheless aware, and who have a huge stake in the belief that there’s a vast “culture of death” plot to murder sick people by removing life support. When your only “news source” is World Net Daily, which in turn is basing its “reporting” on interviews with a single family member, you simply have no idea what’s actually going on.

It’s striking that while Jane carefully conditions her concern on the accuracy of the facts, the site she links to recites them as if they were known, based only on the author’s reading of the WND story and a phone conversation with the family member quoted by WND.

No, this doesn’t mean that Mae Magouirk’s plight should be ignored just because she has had the ill fortune to attract the attention of the feeding-tube fanatics.

It does mean that we need a real, live journalist to do some actual reporting on the case. If any reader knows a reporter in Georgia or the neighboring parts of Alabama, there’s obviously a story in here, one way or the other.

Update here. There seems to be some … gap … between World Net Daily and the truth. Quel surprise!

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: