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Casey Kasem near death

U.S. television and radio personality Casey Kasem appears on the "American Top 40 Live" show in Los Angeles April 24, 2005. REUTERS/Lee Celano
U.S. television and radio personality Casey Kasem appears on the “American Top 40 Live” show in Los Angeles April 24, 2005. (Lee Celano/Reuters)

At the request of some family members, ailing radio personality Casey Kasem will no longer receive food, water or medication, Reuters reports.

In a statement, Kasem’s family announced the former “Top 40″ host’s health directives permit withholding care.

“If the extension of my life would result in a mere biological existence, devoid of cognitive function, with no reasonable hope for normal functioning, then I do not desire any form of life sustaining procedures, including nutrition and hydration,'” the directive said, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The decision came after Kasem’s disappearance, re-appearance and dramatic family disagreements made headlines for weeks.

Kasem, 82, suffers from Lewy body dementia, which causes progressive mental decline, and has an infected bedsore. Jean Kasem, Kasem’s wife, took him from a medical facility in California to Washington state in May without permitting other family members to see him. After a court battle, Kerri Kasem, the radio personality’s daughter from another marriage, was named temporary conservator — legal status not unlike a guardian — of her father. She moved him to a hospital on June 1 — and her stepmother threw meat at her when she did.

“In the name of King David, I threw a piece of raw meat into the street in exchange for my husband to the wild rabid dogs,” Jean Kasem said after the incident, citing a King James Bible verse.

The radio personality’s condition continued to decline, and a court approved the decision to withhold 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.

Jean Kasem objected to the decision.

“We’re really deeply disturbed by the court’s ruling today,” Jean Kasem’s attorney Steven Haney told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s just wrong. Jean Kasem is broken-hearted.”

As the end nears, the family extended an olive branch to their stepmother and her daughter with Kasem.

“We continue to hope that Jean and Liberty will come join his family during this time,” the family’s statement said.



Justin Wm. Moyer is a reporter for The Washington Post's Morning Mix. Follow him on Twitter: @justinwmmoyer.

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