Terri LaPoint

“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, Columbia, AL 36319. Visitation precedes the funeral, from 11 to 12.