The Casey Kasem situation.
I don't know how many of you are following the situation with former DJ Casey Kasem, but it's very sad, and a good lesson for all of us to have our affairs in order before our own demise. Also, if you're a caregiver for a loved one, you should make sure they have theirs in order to avoid this sort of thing.
In a nutshell, Mr. Kasem's wife Jean seems to be a little mentally or emotionally unbalanced. There has been a major court battle recently over guardianship of Mr. Kasem, and power over his medical decisions. Turns out that Mr. Kasem set up a Power of Attorney for his daughter to make his medical decisions a long time ago. That speaks volumes to his relationship with his wife - he felt his daughter would make better decisions on his behalf than his wife, obviously. The court battle ended with the judge upholding the POA for the daughter and she took him out of his wife's home and to a hospital, where he was found to have Stage 3 Bedsores, a lung infection and a bladder infection, along with his existing blood pressure issues and Lewy Body Dementia.
Life support has been withdrawn from Mr. Kasem, based on the POA document that he has in place, which very clearly states he does not want any "heroic life-saving measures" taken, including nutrition, water, or medications if it is clear that he is mentally incapacitated and there is no possible hope of rehabilitation or recovery to a functional life. So he is no longer being fed through a tube (or otherwise), receiving fluids orally or via IV, and all medication has been withdrawn.
Some people have called this cruel, saying he's being "starved to death", because of the withdrawal of nutrition & fluids. However, if you've ever been closely involved when a loved one passed away, you already know that's not true. The human body is an incredible machine. It knows instinctively when the end is near, and that it no longer needs nutrition or fluids, and cannot process them, because the internal organs are shutting down. A dying body cannot process food and/or liquid, and forcing a dying person to accept nutrition or fluids usually causes more harm than good. In addition, Mr. Kasem's specific wishes were *not* to have food/fluids continued if it was apparent that he was dying - so his wishes are being followed. However, his wife continues to fight to have life saving measures reinstated, including tube feeding, IV fluids, and medications to support his blood pressure, etc.
The long and short of it: take care of your affairs now, while you can. Don't leave these decisions up to chance. You will not like the outcome.