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Casey Kasem’s Children Chose to Withhold Food, Hydration From Famed DJ

Casey Kasem at Fred Segal's birthday charity event on Aug. 29, 2009
Casey Kasem is being denied food, water, and medication thanks to a new court order. Michael Bezjian/

Radio legend Casey Kasem’s health has severely declined in recent weeks. The 82-year-old, who suffers from Lewy body disease, which is a form of dementia with similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease, has been caught in a messy battle between his current wife Jean Kasem and his oldest daughter Kerri Kasem and her siblings. 

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On Monday, June 9, Jean won out in a court ruling saying the radio DJ had to be fed, hydrated, and medicated, but on Wednesday, June 11, the judge reversed his decision and gave Kerri the authority to withhold food, hydration, and medication.

This is part of the elderly patient’s transition into comfort-oriented care at a Washington state hospital, where he has been in hospice care. 

“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 to Reuters.

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Kerri’s lawyer Martha Patterson added that feeding Casey could cause him to contract pneumonia while water was flooding his lungs. 

Kasem’s children also produced a health directive, stating that the Top 40 radio personality desired no form of “life-sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration.” 

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His wife Jean plans to fight the new court order, saying the healthcare directive is out of date and that her husband is being “starved and cut off from medicine until he dies.”

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Kerri posted a message about the trying time on her Facebook page, writing, “For the last 11 days, our father has been surrounded day and night by love and care by his daughters Kerri and Julie, his son Mike, his brother Mouner and sister-in-law Mary, and his dear friend Gonzalo Venecia. We continue to hope that Jean and [his daughter with Jean] Liberty will come join his family during this time.”

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