Thursday, June 12, 2014

Casey Kasem Has Life Support Pulled

After winning a ruling from a judge, the children of Casey Kasem have decided to take Casey off life support and will withhold medication, fluids and food from the legendary DJ. His wife, Jean Kasem, who used to sometimes appear on Cheers way back in the day was really upset by the decision and started screaming at the kids. Jean had been moving Casey from one medical facility to the next all over the western US to keep him away from the kids. This is just a horrible situation and a tragic ending to someone who was an icon for several decades. Before the internet, everyone listened to his show American Top 40 to find out what the number one song was in the US. It was so old school that each radio station would receive several records each week in the mail and then play the records in order. Usually. Sometimes someone would forget and they would play them out of order. I can't tell if the kids or the wife is doing this for money or if they really care. It is always tough to figure things out in cases like this, but it is expected that Casey will pass away in the next few days.

82 comments:

TalksTooMuch said...

Oh no! Well at least they found him. I hope he goes peacefully and isn't aware of all this drama with his family. Poor Shaggy, what an awful way to go.

OneEyeCharlie said...

Stories like these make a quick brain aneurysm at 80 not sound so bad.

Henriette said...

This whole thing was so weird and macabre.

sandybrook said...

Enty apparently the kids presented his living will into court and that took care of that. I hope none of you ever have to go through the living will process and let someone you love go.

sugarbread maker said...

Poor guy. Rip when it happens. Probably for the best. Time to just Let it go

Karen said...

I really only knew who he was when I was a kid because of the time he guest starred on Saved by the Bell as himself. RIP soon.

Renoblondee said...

Aww, I grew up listening to him. So sad.

Violet said...

I've told all my family just to let me go. No hanging around here. Poor chap and poor family. It all sounds such a mess and really not at like how end of life should be for any of them.

Henriette said...

Does anyone remember the Long Distance Dedications? They were always so sad and it seemed every girl was named "Beth" because every dedication seemed to be "Beth" by Kiss.

caydian said...

If he wrote his wishes in a Living Will, why is this a bad thing? I guess as humans, we want to prolong life as long as possible but the writer is making it sound like borderline murder. Sads all around: Casey's wife doesn't want to let him go...Casey's children trying to fulfill Casey's wishes...Casey's fans (myself included) wanting to turn back the clock. I hope I never have to make this decision.

nora nader said...

My only question and concern would be if the rumors are true: the daughter w/ the PoA is a hard-core Scientologist. If this is the case, then my heart breaks for everyone involved especially Casey and his wife (she must have known that once the kids got a hold of him, they would kill him and give all his money to scientology). Not sure if this is true, but it would explain why the wife kept moving him around. At first I thought she was the crazy one, but the more I read about it, seems like she loved Casey more than life itself and just wanted to protect him. Has anyone else read anything like that?

MISCH said...

Can't believe she managed to get him to cut all his kids except the one with her out of his will…

Seachica said...

A living will is a great thing, and now that I knowKasem had one, I can say that I side with the kids and shame on the wife for not following through on his wishes. I wonder if she is that sad to lose him out of love or money. Either way, no one' swishes should outweigh those of the person who is sick.

Vera Christina said...

he's 82, it's a good run. RIP and may your family find peace with one another

Frosty said...

A friend of mine just went through something similar with her MIL -she just couldn't let her husband go, despite his expressed desire. Unfortunately he never put it in a directive. At least Casey's kids had it in writing so the judge could enforce it. I hope Casey's too far gone to grasp what's been happening. RIP

Terri said...

Reach for the stars,Casey!

aemish said...

Assisted suicide has been legal in Switzerland since the 1940s

Angela said...

The wife may have succeeded in her plans, if it weren't for his meddling kids.

TalksTooMuch said...

I don't think you're supposed to make us snort on a sad post, but you totally did, Angela

fancyscreenname said...

((sad face)) for Kasey.

AND...

Tehehheh @Angela

Steven O said...

They replay his old Top 40 shows on Sirius every weekend. And I still enjoy listening. RIP, Shaggy.

OneEyeCharlie said...

Oh, Angela. I choked on my lovely French Vanilla with Half & Half

BeckyMae said...

+1 on getting a Living Will....as someone who had to decide on ceasing care for my Dad, it was so much easier having had a conversation with him about it. In his own words "Just switch me off and burn me up!" Which is what happened after 11 days in ICU....

Orvilla Bedinbacher said...

Caydian and Nora Nader I'm with you.

This is extremely sad. I don't think the wife did it for money. I think she truly loves him and is having to reconcile letting him pass on.

Casey Kasem was totally my DJ. I remember listening to him on Y107.5 and I would record my favorite songs and make my own radio show.

He was the voice to so many of the characters in Hana Barbara cartoons that I love.

Safe journeys Kasem.

Susan said...

Love Casey Kasem.

This whole thing is a mess.

Sherry said...

OMG Henriette. We must be close in age. That is so true.

Sherry said...

Oh yeah listened to The Casey Kasem countdown. Mom was in radio and may have been working at the station on Sundays. Would drag us along and let us drive in the empty parking lot to get practice.

Honestly Jean has been married to him for 30 years. She had to have known about the end of life directive he had.

Good for the kids following his wishes. She's probably hanging onto some hope. It's hard to say good bye. Sometimes it's the least cruel thing to do.

astra worthington said...

The worst thing about "pulling the plug" is that they remove all liquids and don't feed you, so you basically starve and dehydrate to death. That's horrible. If you're going to basically kill someone, at least give them a huge dose of morphine or something. We don't treat animals this badly, but it's OK to do it to people. It's just chicken shit, do it the right way or not at all.

OK rant over. RIP Casey, whenever you do end up going.

Topper Madison said...

This is all just so heartbreaking for all.

Its just U said...

This makes me sad. When I was a kid we would listen to his show every Sunday and hear all the cool American Top 40 hits. I heard so many bands I never would have gotten to hear if it wasn't for his show.
He was very popular over here.
Rest well Casey. You made me smile.

chopchop said...

I remember falling asleep to his voice on Sunday nights, listening to the countdown. Not a fan of 70s music (I'm an 80s gal) but husband and I will turn on the 70s Sirius channel on weekends just to hear him.

Godspeed, Casey. :-(

Rob Horine said...

@chopchop, there is several over the air stations that play "American's top 40" from the 70s and 80s in syndication. There are web sites for each decade's shows.

And remember, Keep your feet on the ground. And keep your hands where I can see them.

Zoe Cialite said...

Agree with you, @Sandybrook., after having gone through it at the start of the year. The worst time of my life. I'm just curious though. What condition/s did Casey Kasem have that made the enforcement of his living will necessary?

auntliddy said...

I had to do this for mom and dad. Not fun, but at least all three sibs in agreement. The older children did the right thing. The wife lost alot of sympathy from me with the moving him around, throwing chopmeat in the street and falling to her knees in courtroom hallway, shouting," dont let them kill my husband!" She had no dignity at all. And oldest daughter is NOT a cos. She once studied it along with other religions.

auntliddy said...

He has lewy body dementia. Using catherter, feeding tube, oxygen. Poor guy.

Gayeld said...

More like kid. Singular. His daughter, Kerri, the Scientologist, who daddy cutting off because he didn't want his money going to the "cherch."

Gayeld said...

@Nora. They're true. There are pictures and testimonials over at Tony Ortega's blog.

Jillian said...

@astra worthington: Perhaps you've never had anyone in hospice care go through the death process. You eat to live. You don't eat to die. When your body is starting to shut down you no longer can process food, and get little hydration from water because your body can't use it. It's not starvation and dehydration whatsoever.

As to Jean's motivations: I have to wonder if there is something in the will that leaves everything to to his kids and her nothing - so it is in her best interests to keep him alive for as long as possible.

figgy said...

I don't get this: the spouse has total control over life/death/medical decisions. When my father in law died, my mother in law INSISTED that they keep "working on him" even though he was clearly gone. It was utterly macabre, but the spouse has the last say.

Is Jean Kasem a giantess or is Casey extremely wee? Anyway, they were married for what, like 30 years? This is a pretty dedicated marriage.

Brenda L said...

No....actually the will leaves everything to the wife. I think this is more about control than about money.

Hammer_Girl said...

I dealt a lot with Hospice, I know this sounds cruel and unjust but it isn't.

During the end stage solids and fluids can do more harm than good. They can cause fluid retention which leads to bed sores, he could aspirate, the IV's usually hurt, there are many reasons. I'm sure they are swabbing his mouth so it doesn't get dry, that is the uncomfortable part.

Studies have shown that a "dry death" is less painful and easier on the loved one passing, it's the loved ones that have a hard time denying such basic needs.

Gayeld said...

@AuntLiddy. There are pictures of her in a Scientology "volunteer minister" shirt in Haiti, which a bunch of other Scientlogist, who were handing out "Way To Happiness" brochure, not bottled water or food or anything useful. Lost of pics of her hanging out with Grant Cardone, notorious Scientologist. All of which are suddenly being pulled off the net to hide her connection. Check out both of Tony Ortega's blog posts on this. Kerri is a Scientologist.

surfer said...

The children have always said this was never about money. Apparently Jean has prevented them from visiting their father for many months; his brother was also barred.

And Jean's behavior - moving him around, throwing meat (WTH?) at the daughter, making a huge spectacle of herself, over and over, sure doesn't put her in a good light.

AJ said...

Sad all around.
We lost my mom to cancer within 9 months of her diagnosis. The last 3 weeks were in ICU and we had to make the decision to pull the plug.
It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do but at least I was there with her when she went. It was the last thing I could give to her.

Procrastibator said...

So sad. Psycho wife. American Top 40 4evs.

astra worthington said...

I didn't know that but it makes sense. Still, why would they not just give the dying and suffering person a shot to put them to sleep, like they do with animals? Hopefully when all this is going on, they are at least heavily medicated so they feel nothing. It just seems cruel to drag it out.

astra worthington said...

Sorry if those are dumb questions. I know absolutely nothing about hospice care or really any sort of illness related issue, which is probably very obvious. I do have immense respect for the people who do it, that can't be a pleasant job so thanks to them for doing it.

G said...

This decision wasn't arbitrary in the least. The medical records from his last facility clearly showed that he wasn't tolerating the food/fluids. The fluids actually put him into fluid overload because he couldn't process them. Dehydration actually helps with the pain management.

Also, it looks like Jean is being investigated for elder abuse. Anyone in healthcare knows that a bedsore is due to major neglect over a period of time. Jean caused this to him. So, so, sad.

G said...

Caused the bedsore, not his dementia, of course.

G said...

Caused the bedsore, not his dementia, of course.

timebob said...

The first marriage kids came forward months ago and said they are not in the will and will receive no inheritance. They accept that they just wanted to see their dad and honor his wishes.

I don't give a shit she is a scientologist she just wants to let her dad pass in peace. He is suffering greatly.

For a judge to hand over power to an estranged daughter over a wife of 34 years something horrible was going on. You don't schlep an 82 y/o man state to state to avoid court orders. I feel horrible for Jean and her daughter for their loss but sometimes you have to put your loved one first over your need to keep them alive.

and shout out to @Angela good one girl lol.

Evil Kumquat said...

Hell, I'm over 40 and never even knew he was the Top 40 guy growing up.

He was always just Shaggy and Robin and Merry to me.

Hammer_Girl said...

@Astra-depending on his care plan, he may very well still be getting pain meds. Also, the brain releases endorphins as a type of self pain med when they don't take fluids.
The only dumb questions are those not asked. Before I started working closely with the elderly and in turn Hospice, I felt the same way as you about withholding fluids and food.

Pogue Mahone said...

Starving him to death is cruel and inhumane. I can't help but wonder if his kids are trying to hurry him along to get their inheritence money.

Gayeld said...

Per Wikipedia: Within 2 hours, this shortage of blood supply, called ischemia, may lead to tissue damage and cell death. The sore will initially start as a red, painful area.

There are reports out there that the actual medical reports say there were no bedsores, that those are just stories coming from Kerri's camp. Let the CoS Dead Agenting begin.

I don't agree with everything Jean has done. When my sister tried to ignore our Dad's DNR, I made damn sure the hospital enforced it. But what Jean did appears to have been done out of fear of losing her husband of 34 years.

Kerri, who borrowed $600,000 from her dad and never paid it back, who has an upside down mortgage, who is taking Scientology course, who is hanging out with prominent Scientologist and gushing about them on her radio show, who is going on Scientology missions, may be enforce her father's living will, but she's also trying to set up a case for suing her step-mother for wrongful death.

Gayeld said...

@Pgoue. There's a 2 million dollar life insurance policy that's split among his 4 kids. The bulk of his estate goes to his wife, Jean, the one who's trying to stop the plug from being pulled. I think his son and other daughter from his first marriage are truly trying to enforce their father's wishes and not prolong his suffering. I think Jean is a little overly prone to histrionics, but loves her husband and isn't ready to deal with his death.

Kerri is a Scientologist and shouldn't be left alone in the room with the plug.

Slothy said...

Whomever said Kerri isn't a scientologist is wrong. She is. A hardcore one. She used cos tactics like picketing to get control of her father's care. Not that the picketing helped, but in her deranged clamhead mind she thought it would. Casey was very upset that she was a clamhead and would not have wanted her making life or death decisions. But all of you just keep blaming his wife, who just wanted to protect him from the evil clams. *sigh*

crila16 said...

How is the wife doing this for money? The wife is trying to keep him alive and keeps moving him away from the kids, who want him to go. Either way it's a tough situation for all. No one wants to see him die, but they also don't want him to suffer.

JJ said...

Question: Why does Scientologist Kerri have anything to do with her father or the rest of the family? Wouldn't they be considered 'suppressive people' and thus she is forbidden to interact with them?

So sad that Casey is ending up this way.

Gayeld said...

@JJ. I can give you 80 million reasons. They all have George Washington's face on them.

NJ FireFighter said...

Loved Casey Kasem and American Top 40 growing up. Always sounded so professional. I can also never forget that someone taped one of his tirades that he had while making the show:

Casey Kasem Loses It In The Studio

Fifinella Jacobson said...

I was coming here to say this. And in some cases suffocate them.

Gayeld said...

@NJ Firefighter. That was awesome.

delete account said...

This is the downside to wealth that lots of us po' ones never think about.

Employee News Week 2 said...

this is a good reminder to all of us to make your final wishes known to family or loved ones and have them in writing. No healthcare facility would ever let you execute a living will unless the patient was terminally ill or in a permanent vegetative state. Otherwise it would be against the law. Soe, the daughter regardless of her religious beliefs is merely executing her fathers final wishes. A good hospital would also ensure that hospice is called who will in fact medicate a patient with morphine to ensure there is no pain.

auntliddy said...

Gay, I stand corected.

Carol said...

He left instructions he didn't want to be kept alive. The kids didn't just decide to stop feeding him. They are following his wishes.

sugarbread maker said...

nj firefighter awesome!!

astra worthington said...

Thank you, Hammer Girl!

Cee Kay said...

Nothing I've read about Jean so far puts her in a sympathetic light. She seems quite unstable, actually. You do NOT move someone WHO'S DYING around from place to place just because you don't like his kids. Get over yourself; now's not the time. And it has been said - many times that Keri (sp?) had looked into Scientology a long time ago along with many other religions. That does not a Scientologist make. Heck, I've read Dianetics too. But in any case, even if she was, she gets whatever he's given her in his will and that's it. Same with Jean. Her husband is dying, but his children are losing a father too. She really just needs to stop.

Unknown said...

As noted before, Tony Ortega's Underground Bunker (www.tonyortega.org) has articles and oodles of comments on the Scientology aspect of this case. It led me to go look at what might be one of the cheesier sites ever: Kerri's page for the Kasem Cares Foundation (www.kasemcaresfoundation.org). "Help by Attending Celebrity Fundraisers!" (none are scheduled, mind you). If you go to the shop it basically says "Oh we're not selling anything now, but your donated dollars are what will help the most." Oy.

Unknown said...

And I forgot to mention: Kerri's site uses GoFundMe--not what I'd expect of a charity we're supposed to think is legit.

Groovy said...

Withholding meds and advanced life support I get.. withholding food and water is murder.

Missyrocks53 said...

Sadly, sounds like he had no quality of life nor did he even know what was going on for a while. That's not living. I also always thought this was like so many times where the kids are only popping in from time to time never part of a oarent's life and it's the 2nd wife who took care of him and did everything for years until it was time to start figuring out how to screw the wife out of money . Always thought that. The Scientology thing makes sense as well why the daughter is in the picture. Sad.

Me2 said...

not read the other comments yet but when someone says in a living will as specifically as casey did that if they are not going to be viable mentally or in any other way to with-hold water, food then it needs to be carried out per their wishes.

no idea about his wife except if she genuinely cared about him then she would carry out his wishes.

and yes I've had to do that. its horrible but if you truly love someone you don't want them to suffer. you want to do what YOU KNOW they want for themselves.

Fiona said...

I haven't read all the comments... but I do know that in California if someone is being kept alive with fluids and a feeding tube, that is considered life support and it is legal to discontinue that, under the law it's not considered killing the person though of course it results in their death. I went through this with my mother, and couldn't bring myself to withhold hydration and food, but I did research it at the time, and a doctor told me that there had been a study done of terminal cancer patients who were lucid, in other words they could communicate how they were feeling, who chose to stop eating and drinking in their final days ... they said that there was no sensation of hunger or thirst. They do wet the lips so that they're not burning dry, but that's all.

Unfortunately it is not legal to give an overdose of a drug to cause someone's death, but it's certainly legal to give them pain meds to ease any discomfort (not from withholding food/hydration, but from the underlying disease process, if any).

Fiona said...

And the legal distinction with the food and hydration is that the person is unable to eat or drink on his own, which was the case with my mother, she had a massive stroke and could not swallow properly, she would have aspirated into her lungs and gotten pneumonia if she had tried ...usually there's a tube that delivers the food directly into the stomach. That's considered life support so it's legal to discontinue it.

It REALLY helps if the person has an advanced directive and lets his family know what his wishes are. But in any event, the family member who has the medical proxy has the final say.

I'm pretty sure that if Casey Kasem was getting that kind of life support he was probably pretty out of it to begin with, and his passing will be peaceful. If he does have an advanced directive that spells out his wishes ... then that's what his family should do.

It's a pretty emotional situation with someone you love ... so if his wife was hiding him and keeping him alive, it might just be that she couldn't let him go, emotionally. I can't fault her for that.

MadLyb said...

This makes me sad. He really was an icon, especially for those of us growing up in the '70s and '80s. So many of us excitedly waited for the weekly Top 40.

A lot of pets are treated more humanely at the end of their life than many humans are. My dog was suffering from cancer and peacefully died in my arms at the vets. On the other hand, my mom lingered and suffered horribly up until the end. We can do better than this, can't we?

AJ said...

@MadLyb
+1
Had the utter same experience with both my beloved mother & pet.
Hugs to you. Never easy going through either of those types of deaths.

auntliddy said...

Big hugs to all of us who have had to go thru this with our parents. Huge hugs.

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ said...

@AuntLibby TY and yes hugs to all who've gone through this and have joined the special club. I'd revoke my membership in a heartbeat if it'd bring her back without the suffering she had in life towards the end.
Cancer is such a bitch.