Casey Kasem: Judge intervenes in hospital care of 'critical' DJ

Family of ill Scooby-Doo voice actor have been in legal dispute
  • @lizziedearden

Casey Kasem must be hydrated, fed and kept on medication while a court lawyer assesses his health, a judge has ruled.

The DJ, who was the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoons and hosted the American Top 40 radio programme for decades, is in a critical condition in hospital.

The 82-year-old was diagnosed with Lewy body disease last year, a form of dementia with similar symptoms to Parkinson's disease, and his care has been the subject of a legal dispute between his wife and children from a previous marriage.

His daughter Kerri Kasem, who is in charge of his care, removed him from artificial food and water on doctors' recommendations, her attorney Martha Patterson said.

But on Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel Murphy ordered it to be reinstated after Kasem's wife, Jean Kasem, said in a sworn declaration that her husband was not receiving food, water or his usual medication over the weekend.

“The hospital had recommended comfort measures only,” Ms Patterson said, which includes some medication to lessen pain.

The lawyer claimed food was causing distress for Kasem and running a risk of pneumonia.

The DJ and musician was admitted to Saint Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington, last week suffering from an infected bedsore.

A spokesman for Kerri Kasem said last week that her father was near death.

A lawyer, Samuel Ingham, will evaluate Kasem's well-being and treatment and is scheduled to present his findings at court in Los Angeles on Friday.

Additional reporting by Reuters