Sadly, a World War II veteran spent the remainder of his life suffering amid insufficient medical care while his family was entangled in a nasty custody battle with the state of New York. Julius Corley, who served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1950s, was medically kidnapped by New York's Montefiore Hospital in the spring of 2015.
The problem began when Corley was transferred from the Laconia Nursing Home to its affiliate, Montefiore Hospital, after the veteran's family filed a complaint against the nursing home citing inadequate care of the elderly patient. Corley's family observed him having swollen hands, which caused him to withdraw in pain when touched by loved ones. He also suffered from bruxism, an uncontrollable grinding of the teeth often caused by dementia medicine.
Laconia maintains that the reason for the transfer (which occurred 48 hours after the complaint) was due to Corley's loss of appetite, but his family says the hospital was unable to confirm the allegation after caring for him for one week.
Corley would not receive treatment for bruxism until the day of his death
The hospital conjured up their own list of medical conditions for Corley, without ever reviewing any of his records from Laconia, reports Medical Kidnap, which stated the man suffered from diabetes, dementia and blindness due to glaucoma. Instead, the hospital began treating Corley for Parkinson's, a disease his family insists he never had.
Corley's grandson, Laredo Regular, was denied access to his grandfather after a series of meetings with city, state and medical officials. Regular's mother, with whom he shared medical custody of Corley, was also denied access to her family member, despite the state having no legal authority to hold the man.
Four months later, pneumonia and extreme weight loss plagued the veteran, prompting a judge to rule that he have an eating tube inserted. Corley refused, demonstrating his capability to eat.
His grandson wrote:
I was served with court papers on Thursday September 3 around 1pm at my office.
According to the court documents, my grandfather has continuously verbally refused having a feeding tube (PEG) placed in his stomach. Montefiore Wakefield Hospital is stating that it's medically necessary because he has dementia and Parkinson's disease.
I have contacted nearly every possible agency including Adult Protective Services, Department of Health, District Attorney's office and various politicians with no results.
I have contacted various law firms and the majority don't return my calls and one claimed that they are of "limited resources" and can't represent everyone.
The first hearing date is on Wednesday September 9 at 10:30am at the Montefiore Wakefield Hospital (not at a court house).
Hospital refused to relinquish custody of veteran to his family
Desperate for help, the District Attorney referred Laredo to the Health Department, which referred him back to the DA's office, reports Health Impact News. Laredo visited more than 30 lawyers, all of whom were unwilling to help.
Disinclined, Laredo pressed the hospital to release his grandfather, which refused, providing "vague and inconsistent" reasons for why Corley couldn't be let go.
On May 28th we told them we wanted to take him. They told us he had issues and Parkinson's. I told the physician he didn't have Parkinson's. My grandfather has glaucoma, dementia, and diabetes. None of these should keep him in the hospital. We asked why and they said he needed a feeding tube, because he was having a reaction to the medicine.
After the Regular family provided official documentation of their medical authority over Corley, including proof of power of attorney, the hospital agreed to let them take him another facility to be evaluated.
But after spending four hours in the waiting area, the hospital's medical director, Purvi D. Shah, appeared, accompanied by police and said taking Corley with them would be illegal. Security and staff physically blocked the family from taking action.
That was one of the Regular's last efforts in getting Corley home. After being on life support for several weeks, he passed away on Thanksgiving Day, never able to return home to his family.
"My grandpa never got to come home," said Regular. "He died in pain in the Montefiore main branch. It was painful. We had hopes, but to know that he was in pain like that and passed away is awful. The entire situation played out so awfully."