Under threat of a lawsuit, Pro-Life Wisconsin pulled a news release accusing HospiceCare of murder in removing the feeding tubes of severely injured Marine Staff Sgt. Chad Simon, but the group has not, as requested, issued a public apology or retraction.
Simon, 32, of Monona, was injured by a bomb in Iraq in November. The father of a 6-year-old son, Simon never recovered from his war injuries and his family followed the wishes laid out in his living will that he not be kept artificially alive with food and water if he became permanently incapacitated.
On July 20, the Dane County Circuit Court ordered Hospice to follow the directives of Chad’s surrogate decision-maker, wife, Regina Simon.
On Aug. 11, three days after Simon’s funeral, Pro-Life Wisconsin issued a news release condemning the removal of Simon’s feeding tube.
“Sgt. Simon was a victim of two different faces of the culture of death,” Hamill said in the news release. “He was certainly a victim of international terrorism, but he was also a victim of America’s rapidly decaying system of ‘hospice’ care. Sgt. Simon died of dehydration, not from any sort of brain injuries. Sgt. Simon was rendered handicapped by the bomb in Iraq, he was murdered by those who were in charge of his medical care.”
Hospice responded aggressively the next day.
“The content of your press release is per se defamatory and subjects both Pro-Life Wisconsin and Peggy Hamill to legal liability,” Hospice attorney Pitz wrote. “It is readily apparent from the press release that you intentionally have sought to falsely disparage Hospice."