Casey Kasem's children were given the go-ahead by a judge Wednesday to withhold medication, food and fluids, as well as take their father off of life support — if the time comes.
The decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy reversed a ruling he handed down on Monday, ordering the continued feeding of the ailing entertainer, at the request of his wife Jean Kasem, while he is in hospice care in Washington state.
Murphy said he changed his mind after receiving medical records from St. Anthony's Hospital in Washington, indicating Kasem was not responding to artificial nutrition. “It would be acutely harmful for Mr. Kasem to have nutrition and hydration restored at this time,” the judge said.
The radio icon's daughter Kerri Kasem praised the judge's latest decision in a statement released by her publicist. “The court's decision today upheld our father's explicit wishes as expressed by him in his health directive: ‘If the extension of my life would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning, then I do not desire any form of life sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration,'” the statement said.
“Transitioning our father's treatment to comfort-oriented care was one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make,” added Kerri Kasem.
However, Casey Kasem is not on life support, he is in hospice care, where he's been since Friday, Kerri's spokesperson told TheWrap. There, he's been with his family — minus his wife Jean, with whom the kids have been publicly battling to control their father's medical treatment.
“For the last 11 days, our father has been surrounded day and night by love and care by his daughters Kerri and Julie, his son Mike, his brother Mouner and sister-in-law Mary, and his dear friend Gonzalo Venecia,” Kerri continued in the statement. “We continue to hope that Jean and Liberty will come join his family during this time.”
Steve Haney, an attorney for Jean Kasem, slammed the judge's decision in a statement given to CNN, calling it ”the functional equivalent of a death sentence.”
Jean has been in a heated battle with Kasem's children over visitation rights and care for the 82-year-old. Ultimately, his daughter Kerri got the legal system involved, and was granted conservatorship over his medical care and daily visitation rights. This came after Kasem's children reported him missing in May, and he was found at a residence with Jean in Washington state.
Casey Kasem is suffering from Lewy Body Disease, a progressive form of dementia, which has left him unable to speak, eat, or move on his own.
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