Casey Kasem: Daughter implements end-of-life measures

June 12th, 2014 by Staff

The daughter of radio host Casey Kasem has chosen to withhold food, liquid and medication from her 82-year-old father, following a court ruling.

The DJ, who was also the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo, has been in a Washington state hospital in critical condition for the past week.

Kerri Kasem initially implemented end-of-life measures on 6 June.

Kasem’s care has been the subject of an ongoing family feud between daughter Kerri and her stepmother Jean.

Last week a judge ruled that Kerri, one of three children from his first marriage, should be in charge of his medical care, not her stepmother.

Jean, Kasem’s wife of 34 years, had opposed withholding food and water from her husband.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy had ordered the reinstatement of feeding and other care while a court-appointed lawyer consulted with Kasem and doctors.

However, Judge Murphy determined on Wednesday in Los Angeles that giving Kasem food and fluids would be harmful and cause more pain.

The judge said medical records had shown that the American Top 40 host was not responding to artificial nutrition and fluids, leading to painful complications.

“It would be acutely harmful for Mr Kasem to have nutrition and hydration restored at this time,” the judge said. “This was at the advisement of doctors.”

Kerri Kasem released a statement saying the court decision upheld her father’s own wishes.

She said the radio host had issued a directive which read: ‘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.’

“Transitioning our father’s treatment to comfort-oriented care was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make,” said Kerri.

Jean Kasem’s lawyer, Gregory Young, alleged the healthcare directive was out of date.

Last month, Jean Kasem moved her husband from a California nursing home to friends in Washington state, after courts in California awarded Kerri temporary conservatorship over her father’s care.

Court documents showed that Kasem’s daughters, Kerri and Julie, had accused Jean of “elder abuse”, by isolating their father from his children. Kasem and Jean also had a daughter together called Liberty.

‘Bed sore’

On Wednesday Mr Young, lawyer for Jean Kasem, said they would pursue all legal options and that Kasem was being “starved and cut off from medicine until he dies”.

Kasem suffers from Lewy body disease, a form of dementia. He was initially admitted to hospital last week with an infected bed sore.

The DJ, whose career took off in the 1950s, is a household name in the US.

He hosted the US chart countdown until January 2004 and voiced cartoon character Shaggy from the first series in 1969 until 1995 and again from 2002 until 2009.

He retired five years ago, and is reported to be worth $80m (£48m).

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment. You are free to voice your opinion but please keep it clean. Any comments using profanity will be rejected.