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TS Radio Network: Terri LaPoint of Real News Spark

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Old Age Seen as Justification for Forcing Woman onto Hospice

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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. More

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