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
"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
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)
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