by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
As the icy blast of the historic “bomb cyclone” chilled the heart of Boston and flooded her streets, an even more chilling battle was taking place over the life of 69-year-old Beverley Finnegan.
The fight to get court-appointed guardians and attorneys to allow her to receive life-saving medical treatment has ended with her death just before noon on Friday, January 5, 2018.
See Beverley’s story here:
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Her tragic death follows the one day that her sister and advocate Janet Pidge were not able to be by her side at Framington Union Hospital. The brutal snowstorm kept Janet, as well as many other residents in the greater Boston area, home and off the streets on Thursday.
“A Turn for the Worse” – During a Crippling Snowstorm
Beverley’s condition was largely unchanged during the last several weeks, so the Friday morning phone call came as a shock.
Gary Zalkin, attorney for Framington Union Hospital, left a voicemail at 8:30 a.m. saying that that she had taken “a turn for the worse” and would likely pass within the next hour or so.
Janet was already en route to the hospital to be by her sister’s side. Advocate and journalist David Arnold told Health Impact News that he joined Janet in Beverley’s hospital room. He reports that her heart stopped several times, while doctors kept saying that her brain had shut down. Finally, her heart stopped beating for the last time, and she was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m.
Janet’s attorney Lisa Belanger calls it “euthanasia” – the hastening of Beverley Finnegan’s death. Belanger attempted to file a criminal complaint on Saturday, since euthanasia is illegal in Massachusetts. However, the police denied her request, telling her to file medical malpractice instead. She told Health Impact News:
This is worse than the Twilight Zone.
Kidnapped and Denied Civil Rights over Medical Disagreement
For months, Beverley Finnegan and her sister Janet Pidge have been battling the state of Massachusetts to bring her home. The sisters owned a condo together, and they relied on each other. Several years ago Ms. Finnegan named her sister as her proxy if ever she needed someone to make decisions for her. Her wishes were completely ignored.
A doctor diagnosed her with an illness that, in hindsight, she may never have had. Dr. Anne McKinley said that she had a lung infection called Mycobacterium kansasii and that she would die without treatment. When Ms. Finnegan chose not to go back to that particular doctor, Dr. McKinley filed a protective order with the courts.
Police and social workers broke into the condo and seized her. Because she fought against her kidnappers, she was deemed mentally ill and violent. She was bodily seized and forced against her will into a nursing home and forced onto psychotropic drugs.
For months, she begged and pleaded to go home, saying that they were going to kill her. The presumably imaginary infection that was used as a pretense to deprive her of her liberty was never addressed – not once.
Stranger Named as Her Guardian, While Sister Fights Back
Lawyers petitioned for, and won, the ability to override Ms. Finnegan’s wishes, and a judge appointed a guardian with Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Under a draconian legal construct known as “guardianship,” Marissa Levenson was granted the authority to make life-altering decisions for a woman she had never before met.
According to Lonnie Brennan of the Boston Broadside, who met with Janet Pidge and has attended some of the court hearings:
Beverly’s sister, Janet, is hysterically desperate: she’s fighting daily to get anyone to help. Janet can’t stop talking about her sister, non-stop. She’s anxious, desperate, and determined to get someone to listen. She’s spent her savings, she’s knocked on seemingly every door of every lawyer or politician she could find.
She’s been lied to along the way in the same way her sister was lied to. She is called delusional and paranoid for not believing the state.
She can’t stop. She fights on. She’s determined and gets into rants about the shock of the taking of her sister, long-term problems at her condo with certain neighbors, and the tragic history of her family (for which a movie should be set).
Her money is gone and she’s stuck asking for rides daily or help to pay for the trains to take her from Newton to Framingham each day where she prays at her sister’s side.
Life-Saving Medical Measures Denied
Lisa Belanger says that the decline in Ms. Finnegan’s health was directly related to fact that the state placed her under guardianship. Under that guardianship, she was forced into a nursing home that did not properly care for her. Due to their alleged neglect and possibly actively harmful practices, Ms. Finnegan wound up in a coma on November 30, and doctors have neglected basic medical care that could have saved her life.
On December 18 and again on December 22, Belanger went head to head in court with a gaggle of attorneys and guardians who were determined to pull the plug and end Beverley Finnegan’s life, against the adamant wishes of her sister.
On one side were the guardian and attorneys for Framington Union Hospital, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Springwell – a non-profit organization utilized by the state of Massachusetts to implement Adult Protective Services policies.
They all argued that it would be more compassionate to pull the plug than allow her to live life under the current circumstances.
Lisa Belanger argued for Ms. Finnegan’s basic Constitutional right to life. She presented an affidavit from renowned medical expert Dr. Paul Byrne dated December 22, in which he stated that she did “not fulfill any set of ‘brain death’ criteria.”
Dr. Byrne laid out specific medical protocols that should have been taken already but hadn’t. He said that if they would initiate such treatment immediately, Beverley’s health should improve.
Since that time, Lisa Belanger engaged in a life and death struggle to get the hospital to do the basic medical treatments that could have saved Ms. Finnegan’s life. She sent numerous requests to the newly appointed Guardian ad Litem Joanne Moses and to the various attorneys involved, including the hospital’s attorney Gary Zalkin.
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Her every attempt was rebuffed.
Even though Beverley’s sister and her attorney were clear that they wanted such measures being taken, Zalkin reportedly said that they would have wait until the new Guardian ad Litem approved of the tracheostomy and they were all able to go before the judge again for approval.
Lisa Belanger countered with:
EVERY SECOND THAT GOES BY YOU AND YOUR CLIENT ARE OVERTLY DEPRIVING MY CLIENT’S SISTER OF WHATEVER RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE.
To confirm, Judge Monks expressly stated that Metro West HAS AUTHORITY to perform emergency necessitated procedures–that such procedures do not require a court order. Again, the emergency procedures are laid out by Dr. Byrne in his provided affidavits that you have received.
As already substantiated from the documentation I provided you, you and your client’s FAILURE TO ACT continues to be knowingly and deliberately causing overt harm to my client’s sister, Beverley Finnegan.
None of the life-saving procedures were initiated. On the day that Beverley’s sister could not be with her at the hospital due to the massive snowstorm, her health suddenly declined. By the time Janet Pidge and Lisa Belanger got word of her demise, all of the government offices to which they could have turned were closed due to the storm.
They were completely helpless to stop what they see as Ms. Finnegan’s needless death. Because of the guardianship, Beverley’s trusted loved one was powerless to intervene to save her life.
This woman who was functional, in full control of her mind, and able to walk and care for herself on her own just a few months ago is gone – another victim of guardianship.
David Arnold has written several articles on the dangers of guardianship. He told Health Impact News:
Guardianship is a form of slavery, but it is actually far worse than slavery. It needs to be abolished.
With guardianship, they want to rob them and kill them.
Conflicts of Interest: Psychotherapist, Jewish Family and Child Services All Complicit in Death
Even though the sisters lived in a large metropolitan area, the small group of players involved in their case have worked together in a number of similar guardianship cases, according to public records.
Jewish Family and Child Services seems to be a major player in the region. They played a significant role in the decisions leading to the rapid decline of Beverley Finnegan’s health.
Attorneys Gary Zalkin, Lawrence K. Glick, and Wendy K. Crenshaw each appear on the dockets of many guardianship cases in various roles – alternately as counsel for the ward, counsel for the petitioner for guardianship, the petitioner, or guardian.
There are cases where the same attorney’s name shows up in the record in more than one role. In a case from 2016, Case #BR16P0649GD, Gary Zalkin is listed as the attorney for the ward, the petitioner on behalf of the facility wanting to place the ward under guardianship, and as the guardian himself. That is three conflicting roles – all represented by the same attorney.
Zalkin practiced for 14 years as a psychotherapist (Source) before attending law school. He has lectured and written on the practice of guardianship, and has apparently found his niche. According to his website:
Attorney Gary Zalkin wrote the chapter in the Mental Health volume of the Massachusetts Practice Series that explains the new guardianship and conservatorship laws. He has additionally pioneered the affirmation of health care proxies for mental health issues in Massachusetts. He has served as chair of the Riverside Community Care Human Rights Committee and as president of the Board of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Massachusetts, MetroWest affiliate.
In 2005 Attorney Zalkin was honored by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of fifteen “rising stars – Massachusetts lawyers who have been members of the bar 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in some manner and appear poised for even greater things.”
Attorney Gary Zalkin received his B.A. in psychology from Brandeis University in 1989 and his M.S.W. from Simmons College School of Social Work in 1992.
Gary Zalkin is also “a member of the Harvard Medical School’s Program in Psychiatry and the Law.” (Source).
Cover-up of Medical Malpractice?
How is it that a person can lose every Constitutional and human right, including the rights to make personal and medical decisions, refuse medical treatment, live in her own home, be autonomous, and choose to live – based on a letter from a doctor not backed up with evidence?
What really happened to Beverley Finnegan – both in the nursing home before her hospitalization and in the hospital during the snowstorm, during the time that her sister could not watch over her and try to protect her?
Is there a cover-up happening of medical malpractice?
What kind of benefit is there to those parties networked together? Why are there so many entities and individuals working to take away the basic human rights of senior citizens?
How can citizens protect themselves from the tyrannical overreach of people operating under the color of law to take all their worldly goods as well as their very liberty? Is anyone safe?
Beverley Finnegan’s voice has been silenced. Will her death go unnoticed, or will it mean something? Who will speak out for justice for her and for countless others whose lives are being stolen?
*Article originally appeared at Health Impact News.