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'Care and Competency'

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Editor:

Just as I'm finishing my estate plan including a directive for my end of life care, I read your excellent but horrifying article on Dick and Judy Magneys' cruel treatment ("Calculated Deception," June 24) by the county's misnamed Adult Protective Services Department. Not only has an appellate court pronounced APS' actions "profoundly disturbing" but the County has paid $1 million to settle the resulting lawsuit. Just as disturbing is Humboldt County's Public Guardian Office forcing Mr. Magney, when he was desperately ill, to testify alone before a judge, to defend his last wishes for his care. Topping it off is the possible suspension of two attorneys' licenses to practice law for their conduct in representing Humboldt County and the agencies involved.

Mr. Magney's advance care directive, in part, states, "I want to live my life with dignity and for my loved ones to have pleasant memories of my final days." My own advance care directive will express a very similar wish. But unless there's a thorough shakeup in the county departments involved, as well as in the Board of Supervisors who set the standard for justice, care and competence in county governance, I wonder if I will have to move to a different county to assure my end of life wishes are granted.

Jeff Knapp, Arcata

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