National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse
For immediate release
November 11, 2009
For more information,
contact Annie McKenna, Media Liaison
Veteran’s Day 2009
On this day, we pause to honor our nation’s Veterans – the brave men and women who have served our country, past and present. We marvel at the depth of their sacrifices and height of their great accomplishments. We owe them our unwavering appreciation.
Our Veterans of past wars are aging. Many Veterans of our present war have been disabled, some totally. NASGA's focus is on those Veterans whose youth or strength have gone and those suffering from mental disability who may now find themselves recipients of unlawful or abusive guardianships as a result of their vulnerability.
Gary E. Harvey served in the Army as a Special Forces Ranger during the Vietnam War. He was honored with a National Service Defense Medal and as an expert M16 rifleman. He was honorably discharged in 1971.
Over three years ago, after surviving a serious injury, he became a ward of the state. Chemung County was appointed as his guardian. He has been institutionalized ever since – even though his wife pleads to be allowed to take him home and care for him.
All medical decisions, including those of life and death, are made by strangers – instead of Mr. Harvey’s wife. His wife is only allowed to visit him on a strict schedule – and always “under guard.” She recently learned even supervised visitation is in jeopardy; she may not get to see her husband at all. She is not given timely and complete medical information regarding Mr. Harvey’s condition and not allowed to view his medical records. In effect, the county has "divorced" the previously happy couple.
This spring, the County attempted to terminate Gary Harvey’s life, putting him on DNR status and removing his feeding tube, in effect to kill him by starvation and dehydration. Mrs. Harvey was informed of the decision, and when she asked for her husband’s medical records and for a second opinion, her request was denied.
She then took her husband’s plight to the court of public opinion: the media. Her husband rallied and the County was forced to relinquish. She saved her husband’s life but has been unable to change his circumstances. He remains under the control of the very people who attempted to end his life. All she wants to do is bring her husband home where he can spend his final days in the comfort of familiar surroundings, with the love of his wife and friends. But the County won’t allow it. Why?
Today, NASGA asks that you remember and pray for Gary E. Harvey and the other Gary Harveys who suffer the same nightmare.
Pray for Gary Harvey’s life, his wife’s strength, and for justice to prevail.