Monday, December 17, 2007

Elder Pleads for Wife's Life "Help Stop Euthanasia.- Don't Let Her Be Killed"

Letters To Editor : Arthur Manthorne Writes on 12-16-2007


My name is Arthur Manthorne I am 74 years old. My wife Terri, who is now 90, has advanced stage Alzheimer’s; I have been her primary caregiver for the past 15 years. I live in Woodstock, CT with my wife of the past 25 years; she has lived here for the past 45 years. Since the time she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she has been the victim of abuse and estate theft. I have made numerous complaints to the State police troop D as well as the CT department of public health without response. I am writing this in the hopes that my information can be directed to the proper individuals for review.

Here is some information surrounding my case.

For more than 15 years my wife and I have experienced a rash of vandalism to our vehicles, threats, equipment destruction, broken door locks, to multiple buildings on our estate, including our Nursery business building on the estate. We have had material stolen also including check registers, keys, money and antiques that have been removed from our property unlawfully.

In 1989 my wife Theresa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and eventually required 24 hour care. Caregivers were hired privately and eventually through agencies. Caregivers were being harassed on the road and their vehicles were being vandalized and items stolen in the attempt to compromise my estate. While I was away from the estate, antiques were stolen from the property. Files and Statements were removed from the business office. I have also documented through photographs and employee logs evidence of abuse to my wife. A restraining order had been issued against a suspected abuser in 1992 but not properly enforced.

I have sought help from the state police and Social Services in Hartford and Norwich including protective services under Marilynn Fox. The investigation was started then was ordered stopped at the request of the probate judge, Nancy Gale. A Department of Social Services agent Marlyn Doughrity has come to the house, made statements that she was concerned and I have not heard back from her. She also stated that I need to “prove” that abuse exists because I may be “making it up”. I have faxed Mr. Larzo from the Elder Abuse Unit of the Chief State’s Attorneys office my information and was never contacted. I have filed many local police reports. I have had many lawyers and investigators employed by me, under great expense, to have a case opened to get justice for something that I should not have to fight for.

My question to you is: I have a case of Abuse and Estate stealing, who can help me when all of the proper channels refuse or fail me? I have seen document w-410 Form which states that any social, health, or law organization must report abuse and open an investigation. Why is there no ongoing investigation regarding my case when I am filing claims over and over with no attempt at an investigation?

If you are able, please do something to have my case looked into. Here is my contact info:

Arthur Manthorne
422 Roseland Park Road
Woodstock, CT 06281

For more information in this case please see comments.


Anonymous said...

Regretably, I think that there were certain things that Arthur did not do that he should have done. Arthur indicates that he had an injunction of some sort but it was not enforced properly. Why not? Was he not calling the police every time the injunction was violated? He should have been . . . and if the police were not responding properly, the he should have been taking it up the chain of command, not in some hysterical way but with calm, documented evidence. There is an elder abuse ombudsman in most states and certainly the state senator or representative's offices for any complaints that can not be handled at the local level.

Also when he noticed that his wife was not doing well, but the doctors and/or nurses were not responding either, he should have called in his own expert, someone that he trusted, who could evaluate his wife. Or he should have transferred his wife to another facility or hospital. There are also ethics boards at hospitals and facilities that he can complain. And he should have absolutely attended the meetings that the ethics committee held, even if he attended by phone.

A swallowing test is routine in the elderly, to make sure that they can be released to a less restrictive environment without aspirating food and/or liquids into their lungs and developing pneumonia. I can not imagine that a facility would be withholding food from a patient. Certainly whis wife is being hydrated. If she is not, he needs proof and then take that proof to the ombudsman/facility administator/ethics commitee/whatever agency that he needs to. But just can not imagine that this would be happening with nursing home/medical malpractice lawsuits so common.

I agree with Dr. Johnson that a feeding tube is inhumane. This is intrusive surgery and no small thing for anyone, especially a 90+ year old woman. Of course, the feeding tube decision is a family decision that must be considered with his wife's quality of life the primary focus.

As far as not being able to leave the house for fear of the estate being raided, he needs to hire a trusted love one to watch the premises while he visits his wife. After all, SHE is the most important person in all this.

Arthur should turn down the rhetoric (it undermines his credibility) and replace it with well-chosen words, the limited, important facts and the supporting evidence to prove same.

Anonymous said...

To the best of my knowledge here is a detailed recollection of the events that have recently transpired which resulted in my loss of conservertorship of the person and my wife subsequently being starved in a nursing facility:

My wife Terri had a persistent cough for a week. Being a cautious husband and legal caretaker (president AM/PM Care LLC) to my wife I thought it best that she see her doctor. She was not bad off as she was eating heartily and aware of her surroundings, and acting her usual self, but I thought it best she see someone for the cough and low grade fever.

She was taken to Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam CT. She was brought straight to the emergency room. She had a low grade fever and a cough. They did blood work and found that she did have a low grade fever and was a possibility of pneumonia despite her lungs being clear. She was admitted at this point and administered an antibiotic for a possible bladder infection.

Terri was being fed and this point and alert and good spirits. She had and IV and was receiving fluids as well as being fed orally. The hospital told me that she had the beginning stages a bladder infection and that they would be treating her for this. Later a nurse on staff told me that there was no mention of pneumonia on her chart and that she showed no signs of this. It was discovered that Terri in fact had a bladder infection and did not have pneumonia; I was given incorrect information from many people several times and could not assess my wife’s current illnesses.

The hospital knew that Terri had Alzheimer’s but nurses on staff remarked at how remarkable she was compared to other Alzheimer’s patients that they had “treated” Terri is an alert woman, speaks and recognizes friendly faces. She is not considered a Final Stage Alzheimer patient by their accounts and anyone who knows Terri’ knows this.

Protocol in the hospital must have dictated that she be given an Alzheimer’s evaluation, it may also have been directed by her doctor at the time Dr. William Johnson (Medial Center of Northeast Connecticut in Dayville CT) This is when all of the problems started for Terri.

It was found that one of my caregivers Stephanie who I have had problems with in the past had told the physical therapist that on numerous occasions she had seen Terri aspirate and turn blue and throw up from her mouth and nose and it had been going on for 6 months by her account.

This was written on the physical therapists person log but never translated to the hospital logs. None of this was ever logged on Terri’s AM/PM Care LLC. logs and Faith Johnson (R.N.) on duty had never made any mention of this upon her numerous assessments.

She was never called about any issues with choking or aspiration. It is simply untrue. This day more than seven pages of Stephanie’s logbook had disappeared but the parts that remained stated that Stephanie had been fed that day. This makes me believe that she re wrote logs to reflect her personal beliefs. It is by Stephanie’s remarks that seem to me to have facilitated the issues with dysphasia and certainly influenced Dr. Johnsons and others decisions to change her diagnosis without proper assessment.

None of the proceedings were discussed with me and I was never kept informed as to decisions made on behalf of dr. Johnson and hospital staff regarding Terri’s diagnosis and treatment. I was simply not informed and was not asked about her care, I was being told was going to happen.

Terri was given a swallow test from a physical therapist and it was determined that she was aspirating and was ordered by Dr. Johnson to stop being fed based on the swallow report from the physical therapist. I was told that outside parties could not be allowed to review Terri’s condition unless they were Board Certified. I thought this was odd as there was no prior evidence of Terri not being able to eat and swallow foods properly, as a matter of fact (and this is in the daily log book ) Terri was a very hearty eater often giving verbal and physical prompts when she was hungry. It later came to my attention, when I asked for a re-evaluation of the decision, that the initial test was done by a physical therapist and not a certified speech therapist that was trained to do the test.

When I spoke to the nurses about this, I was confronted in a hostile accusatory nature by the physical therapist that informed me that she was very good at her job and that Terri defiantly had dysphasia. This was all spiraling out of control at this point and I was getting very nervous as it was decided for me now that my Wife (91 years old) was now NOT being fed in any way, just hydrated by IV. To think that I just wanted Terri’s cough looked at and now all of this was happening. I tried to get in touch with Dr. Johnson and have a re-evaluation with Terri’s swallow test.

It was my belief that she was being treated and Final Stage Alzheimer’s as part of some protocol and not as her as a person, and completely disregarding my wishes as to her care.

When I finally saw Dr. Johnson at the hospital 3 days later he spoke to me in front of Terri (who’s feelings were not considered) We spoke of my wishes to start feeding Terri and if this could not happen, despite my inquiry of a re-evaluation, that she needed to be given some nourishment because it seemed inhumane to me to starve a 90+ year old woman, and someone that I love dearly that is my wife.

Dr. Johnson was very cold and confrontational toward me at this point and I though it inappropriate to be speaking in front of Terri. He had had past issues with me not wanting a DNR order for Terri and in his opinion personally thought it was inhumane to revive a patient like Terri if anything were to happen. I asked him if I could change my decision at a later date and that Terri was in good health, he said yes. We agreed to not agree on this matter, she is my wife and I know Terri’s wishes, we have been married over 20 years and I certainly know Terri’s wishes better than Dr. Johnson. Upon my asking Dr. Johnson if Terri could possibly be fed orally and met coldly by Dr. Johnson at this notion he threatened to quit as my doctor, when I asked if there was someone else in his practice that I could use, he said he was the only one and he would stay on for the time being.

I know about elderly care and asked if a feeding tube was a possibility because he had given me no direction of how to feed my wife or at the very least, get some nutrition into her. I certainly was not going to sit and do nothing while my wife starved. Terri was now chewing on her oxygen tube and grinding her teeth out of hunger that resulted in her losing all of her crowns on her teeth. Dr. Johnson thought the notion of putting in a feeding tube was barbaric and that he would only send her home under hospice to die. A registered nurse was always on call paid by AM/PM Care LLC. for monthly assessments and for on call care as needed. The nurse would have picked up on any swallowing issues that Terri had during her assessments.

At this point I was filled with sadness, how could this be happing? These were not my wishes and I did not want my wife to starve to death and they were talking in front of her as if she were not human. Like I said before, Terri was vocal and alert and at Dr. Johnson’s statement about sending her home to die, Terri, started crying and was very vocal at hearing this. Dr. Johnson’s ruling was a definite “no food to be administered to Terri”

This is now day 4 and the only thing that came from my concern and questioning was a re-evaluation to the swallow test which was scheduled for Saturday (12 days after her admittance) and the permission to bring terry home with hospice under the strict order to not feed her and care administered under they Connecticut VNA.

This was not acceptable for many reasons. Connecticut VNA was responsible for Terri’s care about 10 years ago, at this time we had problems with stealing and abuse to Terri under their “care” which is documented and eventually resulted in Terri having a broken hip caused by a caregiver employed by HomeCare Inc. (Gloria Green) which later became Connecticut VNA and was also formerly known as Masonicare.

The other issue I had was Dr. Johnsons insistence on not giving Terri nourishment as a way of “letting her die”. Terri was not a Final Stage Alzheimer’s patient and letting her starve to death was not my wish as she was alert and aware of her surroundings, there is a breakdown when my wife is now being starved for eleven days with no nourishment and now biting her fingers and trying to eat anything that gets near her mouth, starving my wife is not my idea other dying naturally.

Why is no one listening to my wishes!? Terry on the 12th day was given another swallow test by a speech therapist which I was not there for and it was determined that she was aspirating. My care giver (Pat Dyer) was present and told me that her first hand account was that Terri was trying to bite down on the swab and coughing as a result.

Pat, who knows Terri well, thought the test was not a true swallow test and if pat had been given he chance could show them that Terri could in fact eat and swallow as she had done before she entered the hospital. Pat was very upset at the fact that she is also watching Terri waste away due to not being fed. Please understand that it had now been eleven days since she was fed and often her adult diaper was not being changed by the hospital staff unless my caregivers were there to change her. There were skin tears on Terri caused by the hospital staff not using the gait belts appropriately, even though they knew that Terri was fully capable of walking on her own.

Often times I would show up to see Terri and she would be the chair at the hospital slumped down in the same chair the caregivers had left her in that morning. Why was she not moved or checked on!? Where was the concern for the woman that I love, how they could be so unwilling to treat her as a person, like I said Terri is very high functioning and is not a Final Stage Alzheimer’s patient. How could my wishes for my wife’s care be as backwards and as misinterpreted as it has gotten. It almost seems illegal because I am being treated with hostility and no one is responding to what I consider care for my wife!

I cannot imagine why Dr. Johnson and the hospital was so confrontational until the 12th day when I called and an old man answered the phone, he sounded very disoriented and confused. I was very confused by this, who was this man answering Terri’s phone? When Pat arrived at the hospital, Billy, Terri’s Son was in the room. The privacy curtain was pulled and the room was not in direct view of the staff. The hospital staff was given instructions not to leave Billy alone without supervision because of past instances in the hospital when Terri had broken her hip and was treated roughly by her son.

In the past when Terri was in the hospital there were instances of abuse toward his mother. Billy’s interest in the past has been solely in Terri’s Estate. He rarely visited Terri at home and was responsible for taking items from our home in the past when I was not there. Billy has always wanted to see Terri in a home in the hopes that she would die and he would be awarded the Estate.

I am not judgmental of Billy as a person; my judgment of him is dictated by his actions. Billy is an EMT and has an affiliation with Day Kimball Hospital and Dr. Johnson. Now not feeding my wife started to make more sense to me as Billy most likely conveighed his thoughts to Dr. Johnson. Billy had been trying through legal means to have me removed as conservator of Terri’s person for years.

He was adamant about seeing Terri in a nursing home and told me in the past that if I did not conform to his wishes that he would see to it that I would get nothing from his estate. It would only make sense as they have been starving my wife against my wishes now for well over a week and Terri was now showing signs of weakness and non response, something I have never seen from her. I am now scared to death of what might happen next.

On November 19th I was in a meeting at my house with my attorney when I received a phone call from Day Kimball Hospital stating that there was an ethics committee meeting on 12:30 that day and that I was invited. I told them that I was in a meeting and was never told what the meeting was pertaining to.

At this point I thought it best to press a lawyer the I had been dealing with for a few weeks for some action because of legal action I was fearing from Billy. Billy had not been around for years and now and now that Terri is in the hospital he shows up and is starting to be active in her life. If feels fishy to me. I hired Michael Keenan to help me get my affairs in order. Two days later it was brought to me that there would be a probate hearing on Terri’s case.

Even though I had a lawyer I was railroaded in probate court, I lost conservitorship of the person and lost Terry to a care facility, this was one of the darkest days in my life. My wife whom I love and cherish dearly was now systematically being starved, and now I had no legal say for her care. How could all of this transpire from being concerned about a cough?

I know from my research that Connecticut has a D rating pertaining to elder care. It troubles me that with such a low rating that I would be in this situation and be reading about scandals in nursing homes and accusations of abuse.

The system is failing me and the entire social and care facilities are failing me and my sweet innocent wife. This letter is a cry for help to anyone who will listen. There are may other things that surround this case that need to be told. If anyone can help me please know that this is an urgent matter as my wife’s life hangs in the balance as a pawn for her wealth an property. My wife’s life means more than money or land, she is a wonderful person who needs to be honored and this is not an honorable way for her life to end.

Pleas, if anyone can intervene, please know that I am not alone and know of many similar stories out there that ended badly. I don’t want Terri to be just another story.

Enclosed is information pertaining to Terri’s story. There may be too much information to digest but I can be contacted at any time for clarity or direct questioning. I am now afraid to leave my house for fears that when I visit my wife or go into town that evidence of past investigations and my personal and business property will be taken or compromised. This has happened in the past and I do not want to fall victim again to this type of behavior again.

It seems that my elected officials, police, hospital and social agencies have failed me. It has affected me in many ways like me not receiving mail, telephone problems, vehicle and property vandalism and all have been reported to the proper authorities and no one has done anything about it.

Now I will act as an angry citizen if I do not get some help for my pleas. I will vote against my elected officials and local continuances that have not helped me in any way. I will be a strong advocate for Elder Abuse as a person whose wife was failed by my elected system. I demand as a citizen and upstanding person heard or my vote and the large group of internet able people that I can affect will know my story and thus know the parties that have failed me and will fail them in the future if change on these matters are not brought about.

Arthur E Manthorne. E mail me :