News

Ailing DJ Casey Kasem to stop receiving food, water

Ailing DJ Casey Kasem to stop receiving food, water

A RADIO LEGEND: Kerri Kasem and her brother and sister, the "American Top 40" host's children from his first marriage, chose to transition Kasem back to comfort-oriented, end-of-life care at a Washington state hospital where he has been in hospice care. Photo: Reuters

By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The daughter of ailing 82-year-old deejay Casey Kasem has decided to withhold food, hydration and his usual medication from him following a Los Angeles judge’s decision on Wednesday to let her do so, her spokesman said.

Kerri Kasem and her brother and sister, the “American Top 40” host’s children from his first marriage, chose to transition Kasem back to comfort-oriented, end-of-life care at a Washington state hospital where he has been in hospice care.

Kasem’s care has been the subject of a legal tussle between Kerri Kasem and Casey Kasem’s current wife, Jean Kasem, who initially won a court order on Monday allowing Kasem food, water and his usual medication. Kasem’s wife has opposed withholding food and water from her husband. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy determined that giving Kasem food and water would be detrimental to his health, agreeing with the deejay’s physicians and daughter Kerri Kasem, who is in charge of her father’s healthcare.

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

The statement included part of Kasem’s health directive, which stated that he desired no form of “life-sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration.”

Kasem, who also voiced the character Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” cartoons, had been on comfort-oriented care, which manages pain and withholds food and water that could be harmful to his health, Kerri Kasem’s attorney Martha Patterson said.

Patterson said food was running a risk of giving Kasem pneumonia while water was flooding his lungs.

Kasem’s court-appointed attorney, Samuel Ingham, supports putting his client back on comfort-oriented care.

Gregory Young, an attorney for Jean Kasem, said they would pursue all legal options and that Kasem was being “starved and cut off from medicine until he dies.” Young also alleges that the healthcare directive presented by Kerri Kasem is out of date.

Kasem – who suffers from Lewy body disease, a form of dementia with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease – is also suffering from an infected bedsore, an ulcer on the skin that is often difficult to treat.

(Editing by Will Dunham and Jim Loney)

Recent Headlines

4 hours ago in Entertainment

REVIEW: ‘How To Be Single’ feels the same while trying too hard to be different

22-overlay-9

"How to Be Single" makes a valiant attempt to send up rom-com clichés but it borrows so much from other, better movies that you start to wonder if the film’s title should be "How to Commit Larceny."

7 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Star Wars’ producers face charges in Harrison Ford’s on-set accident

18-overlay-7

The "Indiana Jones" star broke his leg when the door of the Millennium Falcon fell on him during filming in 2014.

10 hours ago in Music

Janet Jackson preparing to restart tour

11-overlay-4

The "No Sleep" hitmaker had to take a break from touring for health reasons but now she is ready to hit the road again.

11 hours ago in Entertainment

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ headed for Broadway debut

mockingbird

Harper Lee's classic novel is coming to Broadway for the first time in a new stage version written by "West Wing" writer Aaron Sorkin.

11 hours ago in Entertainment

Charlize Theron gearing up for ‘Fast 8’

charlizetheron

The "Mad Max: Fury Road" star is in early talks to play the villain in the eighth installment of the hugely successful street racing series.