UPDATE: Posted Jan. 1, 2017
by Lonnie Brennan
On Friday morning, December 23, 2017 – essentially Christmas Eve for working people – lawyers for Jewish Family & Children’s Services presented an 8-page document to Cambridge Probate Court Judge Maureen Monks requesting permission to terminate the life of widow Mrs. Beverly Finnegan, recently of Newton, Mass., now residing in the Intensive Care Unit of Framingham Union Hospital, on life support, following a cardiac arrest incident on November 30, 2017.
Our view outside the locked Framingham Union Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit
– Boston Broadside photo
In the lawyers’ filings are several admissions. They admit that Beverly was malnourished prior to having a cardiac arrest (one court-produced document shows a body weight of 61 pounds) and they admit that Beverly was under the direct court-appointed guardianship of Jewish Family & Children’s Services who worked in lock-step with Springwell protective services. This filing and prior filings detail that Beverly had been malnourished while she was under the direct control of the court-appointed guardian, Marissa Levenson of Jewish Family & Children’s Services. Further, court filings implicate many others in the deterioration of Beverly, including Jewish Family & Children’s employee Pamela DeColo.
Guardian Marissa Levenson of Jewish Family & Children’s Services – Facebook photo
Hanging On To Life
Some names/agencies to remember:
Atty. Wendy K. Crawshaw, Framingham, Mass.
Atty. Lawrence K. Glick, Needham, Mass.
Atty. Gary Zalkin, for the Metro West Medical Center
Marissa Levenson, Pamela DeColo, David Schwartz, and Julie Kefi – of Jewish Family & Children’s Services.
Mikala Viscariello, Sarah Phillips, and Adrienne Mosey – of Springwell, Inc.
Dr. Anne McKinley, Mount Auburn Hospital
The Kathleen Daniel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Framingham, Mass.
If you see any of the above names and agencies on any documents related to your loved ones, run. Run as fast as you can. That’s the hard lesson Janet Pidge says she has learned.
Janet is Beverly’s sister. Until the spring of 2017, the pair shared a condo unit in Newton, Mass. All that changed when key individuals involved with Springwell, Inc., the Kathleen Daniel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, and others stepped into their lives.
Beverly now “faces imminent death,” according to multiple court filings (reference Middlesex Probate Court Docket No. MI17P0937GD) and court testimony.
Court documents detail that Beverly was ripped from her Newton condo by police officers and agents of Jewish Family & Children’s Services and Springwell. She put up a hell of a fight, including throwing a vase at one of the government-enabled abductors who had broken down her door to gain entrance to her unit (and cracked the door frame in the process, related her sister, Janet). According to court documents, Beverly’s snatchers termed her over-aggressive in her response.
Door frame broken during the struggle to legally abduct Beverly Finnegan, according to her sister Janet – Boston Broadside photo
When Beverly was taken under force from her home – on an order of Middlesex County Probate and Family Court Judge Maureen H. Monks – she could walk, talk, converse, argue, read newspapers, magazines, pay her bills, handle the sisters’ finances, and was able for months to plead for her release from involuntary commitment to a nursing home. Yet she was deemed paranoid.
Flash forward eight months and Beverly now clings onto her life in an ICU unit at Framingham Union Hospital. Sadly, by the time you read this, she might have lost her fight to choose life.
I spent hours in the Framingham hospital learning about widow Beverly Finnegan as she laid in the ICU. Her life-support consists of assisted breathing and a feeding tube. A photograph of her, provided by a friend (not an employee) at the hospital is shown above.
Beverly was confined to the Kathleen Daniel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Framingham, Mass. after the taking from her condo. She was conversing with her sister, Janet, when Beverly complained of chest pains on the morning of November 30, 2017.
“I screamed at them to do something,” her sister Janet related. “It seemed to take forever. They didn’t want to call . They didn’t give her oxygen. Why didn’t they give her oxygen? They wanted her to die,” she said.
Older photo of Beverly Finnegan – courtesy photo
An ambulance from American Medical Response (AMR) was alerted at 11:41 a.m. on Nov. 30, and arrived at Beverly’s bedside at 11:45. AMR departed the nursing home enroute to Framingham Union Hospital 21-minutes later at 12:06 p.m. The Boston Broadside is currently seeking details to a reported lack of communication with the hospital during this time period, and other details beyond the time log to confirm statements by witnesses.
Why the Taking from the Condo?
A review of copious court documents, filings, and statements from individuals associated with the case details that Dr. Anne McKinley, a primary care physician, filed a protective order with Springwell to force the taking of Beverly from her Newton condo. Why? Because McKinley wrote that Beverly had Mycobacterium kansasii, a lung infection which required immediate and prolonged attention to cure, and that Beverly was refusing treatment. Beverly was deemed incapable mentally to care for herself and make decisions (crazy) because she refused treatment.
Hey Doc: How About a Second Opinion?
It is now more than 13 months since that diagnosis. However, according to court filings, as of the day the medical people placed Beverly on a feeding tube and life support, she had never, ever, ever received treatment for the mystery illness.
You did read that, right? Beverly was assigned a court-appointed guardian, her finances locked down, her freedom terminated, her health apparently destroyed, because she refused treatment for an infection which the state said she had, and for which they never, ever treated her. How a very petite woman, could become so emaciated while under the guardianship of an employee of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, will obviously play out in future court actions.
Are We in the Twilight Zone?
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.
Janet Pidge – Left, Beverly Finnegan – right – SISTERS, earlier photo – Courtesy photo
According to the first couple of hundred pages of court filings we’ve secured and reviewed (before they disappear mysteriously like others in Middlesex Probate Court – see Mary Frank article of December 2017), we’ve noted a clear, delineated path where the powers-that-be managed to keep Beverly locked up on a Section 12 mental order, claiming that she was “paranoid” and not trusting of the medical providers and others. Hmm, they tell her she has an ailment which they don’t treat her for, and she’s the paranoid one? Well, she might have issues, but she certainly functioned and thrived outside of the care of government-sanctioned guardianship, and apparently presented a danger to no one, according to the filings contained in Docket No. 2017-J-0465 and others.
Lawyers for Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Springwell Inc., and Metro West Hospital spent multiple days before Christmas repeatedly arguing in Judge Monk’s court on 3rd Street in Cambridge that the judge should grant them the power to pull the plug on Beverly.
Surprisingly, despite lugging apparent reams and reams and thick binders of legal documentation into court, the lawyers did not think of bringing Beverly’s medical records. Instead, they presented a two-page generic document signed by a staff member at the ICU, that there was no hope of recovery and recommended they provide hospice care for her. (Note to readers, that means remove the breathing tube. And, once the breathing tube is removed, her stay in hospice care is expected to be less than an hour before transport to the morgue.)
Janet and Beverly’s new lawyer, Lisa Siegel Belanger (readers of this newspaper can note her column elsewhere in our pages), questioned why, on the very day she took on the case (a week prior to the court appearance), the doctor who signed the affidavit was changed, and a new doctor was now presenting Beverly’s position. She was told that it was just a coincidence: doctors change all the time in ICU. (Later, after court, she contacted the state’s medical board and discovered the affidavit had been signed by an intern who was in training. Apparently, other issues with the intern are being looked into at this time.)
It was Monday, December 18, 2017 when Atty. Belanger went on for 32 minutes demanding a copy of all medical records, in a court session where she faced off at the front table in front of Judge Monks against six sworn-in representatives from Metro West, Springwell, and Jewish Family & Children’s Services, and was beaten back at every request (Why bother reviewing medical records? – Mrs. Finnegan is brain-dead, it’s time to pull the plug: That is essentially what was argued against her).
At one point, Atty. Gary Zalkin – representing Metro West, finally conceeded that Atty. Belanger could go to the hospital and look through the medical records. Atty. Belanger persisted; she needed copies.
Atty. Zalkin expressed concerns about how long they would take to produce, how costly they would be, and other such objections. Atty. Belanger persisted as the two battled back and forth with Judge Monks. At one point Judge Monks admonished Atty. Belanger for her actions of constantly objecting and refusing to let Atty. Zalkin, Atty. Glick, Atty. Crawshaw, and others finish their statements. Judge Monks threatened at one point that Atty. Belanger could be made to sit down, and submit her questions to the judge in writing.
In the end, Judge Monks, noting the emotionally-charged courtroom and the clarity of the request for medical records, issued a hand-written order for the hospital to provide Attorney Belanger with copies of the medical records. The records were made available before noon on Wednesday. The clock was ticking. Atty. Belanger had to physically retrieve the records (a 2+hour round-trip, minimum), and get them scanned and electronically transmitted to an expert doctor for review.
Now 69-year old Beverly Finnegan – December 2017. In September she was begging for newspapers and magazines.
Less than 48 hours later, Atty. Belanger was back in court. This time seven lawyers and representatives for Metro West, Springwell, and Jewish Family & Children’s Services swore in against her. The session did not go well.
Lawyers seeking to pull-the-plug presented a new document, stating that Beverly had deteriorated, and urged the judge to allow doctors to remove the breathing tube. Faced with a new document, Atty. Belanger requested a delay, which Judge Monks granted. They would re-convene within an hour. As the “gang of seven” – as one court observer noted – turned from the judge to take their seats (as Atty. Belanger walked out of the court room), six of the seven smiled and smirked as they exchanged glances with one another. This writer witnessed this first-hand. “I was disgusted,” one of the observers we questioned shared.
When the group re-convened before Judge Monks, the arguments continued. Atty. Belanger had provided a detailed analysis by her expert of the medical care provided to Beverly, including recommendations for proper treatment (in short, the expert detailed how one drug that was being provided to Beverly was at a fraction of what should be provided, akin to giving a dehydrated man a thimble of water, when he needs a pitcher.)
The details of that court appearance would take many pages to properly document. Suffice to say, it ended with no ruling by the judge that day. Judge Monks attempted to establish telephone communication with Beverly’s sister at the hospital, saying that she wanted to very much to talk to Janet Pidge, but was unsuccessful. Janet explained an hour later – when she arrived in court – that she couldn’t hear the guy on the other end of the phone, had been placed on hold for 20 minutes, was frustrated, and finally told the ICU staff that she was heading into court to testify in person. In court, we listened as a member of the ICU staff said Janet refused to come back to the phone, and was outside waiting for a ride to head into court to testify in person.
Janet arrived at the courthouse as the judge was at lunch. She checked in with the judge’s clerk and I listened as he told Janet: “I’ll let her know, but I can’t say what she will do about it. I can’t promise she will see you.”
Later, Janet was informed that the judge would not see her, as opposing counsel from Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Springwell, and Metro West had gone home. Janet stayed all afternoon, until a court clerk announced that the building was closing for the Christmas break, and she had to leave. Her lawyer and others accompanied her out of the courthouse. Before leaving, Atty. Belanger had attempted to have the court clerk take a hand-written ex-parte motion to the judge at the bench. The judge witnessed the rather loud exchange in the courtroom between her clerk and Atty. Belanger, but did not acknowledge it, picked up her belongings and exited the courtroom.
Janet provided the hand-written documentation to a clerk in another office, before being broomed out of the courthouse.
On Dec. 26, 2017, with no notice to Atty. Belanger, Wendy K. Crawshaw, one of the attornies for Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Inc., filed a new motion with the judge, which read in total:
“Petitioner, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, request that the Petition to appoint a guardian for Beverly Finnegan be expanded to include authority to remove the ventilator placed on the Respondent and authorize end of life care and hospice only. As grounds therfor Petitioner states that the Respondent, Beverly Finnegan, has been hospitalized following cardiac arrest and has been intubated.”
Judge Monks affixed her signature allowing the motion, but in a confusing addendum, she also affixed her signature to an order appointing Joanne C. Moses (617) 547-3324 of Cambridge, Mass. as a Guardian ad Litem/Next Friend (GAL) to investigate Mrs. Finnegan’s condition. The two orders appear in conflict.
Who was involved in the taking and detainment of Beverly Finnegan? The list is long, and includes but is not limited to the following:
Marissa Levenson, Court-Appointed Guardian and employee of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 (781) 647-5327
Wendy K. Crawshaw, attorney for Marissa Levenson of Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Inc., maker of motion to terminate Beverly’s life, 494 Union Avenue, Framingham, MA 01702-5817 (508) 665-4188 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawrence K. Glick, Atty. for Springwell Inc., elder protective services Lawrence K. Glick, 200 Highland Avenue, Suite 302, Needham, Mass., 02494 (781) 247-4260 email@example.com. Springwell, Inc., 307 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 305, Waltham, MA 02452 (617) 926-4100
Gary Zalkin Atty. for Metro West Hospitals, Zalkin Law Firm, 8 Pleasant Street South, Suite C, South Natick, MA, 01760 (508) 650-0501 firstname.lastname@example.org www.zalkinlaw.com
Atty. David Schwartz, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Inc., 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 (781) 647-5327
Pamela DeColo, Supervisor of Court-Appointed Guardian Marissa Levenson, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Inc., 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 (781) 647-5327
Augusta G. Dickson, court-appointed counsel for Mrs. Finnegan who appeared before that court in that capacity, and promoted death by removal of breathing tube, repeatedly. 55 Middlesex St., Unit 213, N. Chelmsford, Mass., 01863 (978) 937-2666; Attorney for Springwell, Inc., 307 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 305, Waltham, MA 02452 (617) 926-4100
Dr. Anne McKinley, Primary Care Center, Mount Auburn Hospital
Nancy McCoo, social worker, Metro West
Elman Martin Urbina Meneses, medical intern, Metro West, 115 Lincoln St, Framingham, MA 01702-6358 (508) 383-1000
Dr. Aba Somer, Metro West
Kathleen Daniel Health Care Nursing Home, 485 Franklin Street Framingham, MA 01702
Sarah Phillips, Springwell, Inc., 307 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 305, Waltham, MA 02452 (617) 926-4100
Elizabeth H. Nasser, Clinical Psychologist, 22 Fairway Drive, Northborough, MA 01851 (one court filing by opposing counsel Coreen Goodwin details a “side-by-side analysis of the three fraudulent and defective medical certificates filed by psychologist Elizabeth Nasser between April 24, 2017 and September 28, 2017”)
Mikala Viscariello, protective service worker at Springwell, Inc., 307 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 305, Waltham, MA 02452 (617) 926-4100
Julie Kefi, case worker for Jewish Family and Children Services, Inc., 1430 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451 (781) 647-5327
Adrienne Mosey, protective service worker for Springwell, Inc., 307 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 305, Waltham, MA 02452 (617) 926-4100 ♦