Part 6: The 1998 United States Supreme Court Law. Cleland’s Manipulation of that Law.
In late 1997 The United States Supreme Court rules that food and water can withdrawn* from human beings if--and only if --
certain conditions are met. (Cruzan v. State of MO, Vacco v. Quill)
The person must be terminally ill and have a living will.
All family members must agree to the proposed withdrawal.
Three physicians must evaluate the person, for an extended time, to confirm the existence
of a persistent vegetative state. (PVS) Two physicians must be neurologists.
*The term withheld applies in Dotty’s case since she was not attached to life support which could be withdrawn. Her food &
water were withheld. Either by incompetence or intent, Cleland blurred two definitions, a fatal, revealing error.
1. No conditions are met in Dotty’s case. The law was in place in late ’97 but not yet on the books when Cleland main-
pulates it in early ’98. Even if they had been met, Cleland could not legally order actions that would harm his ward.
2. As part of his strategy to legitimize murder, Cleland structures testimony from two local doctors who are not
neurologists. (Gary Anderson, MD, Linda Rettger, MD, facility doctors). Cleland then holds an Emergency hearing.
3. Anderson testifies (by phone) that he visited Dotty for 10 minutes, at 9:30 PM, the night before the hearing. Based
on that limited data, he diagnoses PVS. Rettger testifies similarly. Emanuel Hipolito, MD, patient’s doctor, also test-
ifies by phone. He falsely represents his patient’s status as PVS due to Alzheimer’s. He subsequently contradicts
himself on Dotty’s death certificate. (This patient was misdiagnosed in order to justify a decision to kill her).
4. Dotty was not PVS. She had been deprived of food & water intermittently for over 2 mos. She was weak from
extended deprivation, not PVS. Few people understood how she endured the magnitude of her deprivation for so
long. It was later learned that friends & staff secretly slipped water & morsels of food to her whenever possible.
Their compassion and Dotty’s will to live (in spite of the obstacles placed against her) extend her life.
5. Her endurance forces Cleland to restrategize often during the next 2 mos., further incriminating himself & others.
6. Greta Jacobus, guardian, who, w. Cleland’s approval, ordered the ward’s food withheld, is excused from the hearing.
**A key contrast marks Greta’s allegiance to Cleland: She also directs care for H.B., a maiden aunt in another facility. H.B.,
unresponsive due to final stage Alzheimer’s, is 14 yrs older than Dotty. Greta does not deprive H.B. of food & water.
**Two doctors stated that Dotty did NOT have Alzheimer’s. Her daughter cites evidence. On that basis, Cleland could
have restored food & water. He refuses. He is only interested in evidence that justifies his death decision.
7. Cleland structures testimony for Dotty’s son (his friend) who also testifies by phone--his phone number is program-
med on Cleland’s speed dial, evidence of ex parte communication and collusion. The son disagrees with petitioners
and testifies, “Mom is a vegetable--who wants to die”. Cleland then cites “family disagreement”.
8. His goal: deflect attention from the law. People are not fooled. In the case of a ward, it makes no difference legally
if family agrees or not. One last time for any remaining skeptics: Judges make decisions for a ward, not family.
Judges must follow the law. This case is not a family matter, it is a matter of PUBLIC law. Cleland violated the law.
Part 7: The Difference Between Being Allowed to Die (Right to Die) and Being Forced to Die.
Healthy bodies need food & water to survive--without it they dies. Terminally ill bodies reject food, their systems are shutting
down--dying of terminal disease. The terminally ill receive water (comfort death) as they die--water does not stop the dying
process. Dotty was healthy. Cleland forced her to die by depriving her of food, then denied her the right to comfort death,
because water would extend her life. His action is no different than common murder.
Terminally ill patients die within minutes after withdrawal from life support. Dotty lived 5 days after Cleland’s order, evidence
that her body was healthy. Another fatal miscalculation that would later incriminate Cleland and the others.
Part 8: A State Ward is Murdered by the People Who Are Obliged to Protect Her. You Could Be Next.
1. Mrs. Jacobus died 5 days after the hearing. She weighed 48 lbs at time of death. Her healthy body digested its own
internal organs and muscle tissue, and drew moisture from its cells to quench the agony of thirst. Witnesses confirm
her last words, spoken in faint, halting whispers: “I……………am……..thirs….ty”.
2. Dotty, an artist, a Ms. Georgia finalist, finished college in post depression GA, then opened kitchens for the hungry
long before the idea was in fashion. A ‘lady’ who insured that others were fed, was starved to death--without water.
3. It is well known in health care that morphine injections hasten death for certain patients. Injection sites are photo-
graphed on Dotty’s body. RN Schreckengost, LPN Davidson, are on duty, under DON Starner, at Dotty’s death.
4. Hipolito lists a treatable condition (NPH) as COD on Dotty’s death certificate. He perjures himself under Cleland’s
protection; then is forced to tell the truth on her death certificate. (Falsifying public documents is a Federal crime).
5. Left untreated, patients with NPH develop symptoms that mimic advanced stage Alzheimer’s.
6. Dotty did not have Alzheimer’s. She was intentionally misdiagnosed in order to justify her murder.
7. Her sister & daughter hire Dr. Cyril Wecht for an autopsy. In a 2nd contrived hearing, Cleland blocks the autopsy.
8. A final disrespect: Dotty’s body is hastily buried without grave service. Even her priest ignores her spiritual last rights.
9. Four months later, the Lutheran Home of Kane breaks ground for a multi million dollar Alzheimer’s wing.
10. Three months, later a Pittsburgh woman starves to death in her daughter’s ethnic district home. (A glass of water by
her bed). Wecht rules on cause of death: starvation & gross wonton neglect. Police charge the daughter with murder.
Part 9: Almost Legal: The Power of Justice is Found in the Simplicity of the Law.
Cleland almost “got away with murder” but for one factor: had Dotty not been a ward, family would have decided her fate. As
a ward, she was protected by law. The plot’s success hinged upon the expectation that obscure law would be unknown to most
people. Cleland’s complicated plot was undone by the law’s simplicity: a ward’s protected, legal status. Justice Brandeis
wrote, “Nothing is so keenly felt nor so finely perceived as injustice”. Dotty’s family & friends were unwavering their respect for
justice and for the words that appear in every courthouse: IN GOD WE TRUST.
Part 10: The Hidden Danger in Living Wills.
1. People who want to die want to end their suffering not prolong it. In a world of rapidly evolving medical and legal
advances, a living will now could mean death by slow starvation, without water, later.
2. In this chapter, ethicists, enlightened families, US & Israeli doctors, resolve the dilemma through logical discussion.
Conspiracy Deals with the State of Men’s Minds. The Heart of Dotty’s Case.
Murder is an act of hatred. What could Dotty have possibly done to Cleland to cause him to hate her so passionately that he
willfully signed an illegal order that resulted in her death? Cleland’s most heartless order restricted Dotty to only one 45 min.
visit per month with her daughter--for years. When her husband died & she desperately needed the love & comfort of her child,
Cleland refused to rescind his order. The state of Cleland’s mind is reflected in his cruel, draconian orders. Book incl. orders.
What Conveys Moral Worth on an Action?
Some Kane residents were afraid to help Dotty for a range of stated reasons: threat of job loss in Cleland’s hometown, blind faith
in authority, lack of self confidence, etc. A friend ignites their courage with three words: “Everybody loves Dotty”. One by one,
a rainbow of memorable people engage their humanity. When Cleland restricts Dotty’s visitors, actors dress as nuns to evade
barriers. A lady who lost her home to a tornado places Dotty’s health before her own. Others drive 30 miles during a blizzard
alert to testify for her life. A former student guards her last hours. Petitions circulate. An Eritrean lawyer researches laws that
U.S. lawyers overlooked. For years, a London psychiatrist evaluates the character of the multiple co-conspirators. Someone leaves
roses between the Jacobus graves. Yes, murder is an act of hatred, but love is woven thru the tapestry of this case. Without love,
a book about murder by intentional starvation (without water) would be too horrific.
Co Authors’ Premise: All that Is Required for Change Is that Decent People Choose Justice and Mercy.
A narcissistic, psychopathic judge orchestrates murder to cover 7 years of corruption, shield himself from prosecution, and
advance his professional agenda. Others are enlisted via self interest, collusion, ignorance of the law, or deceit, to lend the
appearance of legality to murder. Theme: It is a cowardly act to kill a defenseless, innocent person.
Epilogue: 12 Years Later: Cleland Is Dismissed by The PA Supreme Court
2008 PA Sen. Joe Scarnatti, (R) President Pro Tem, nominates Cleland (also R) to fill a vacant seat on PA’s Superior Court.
(Both men sit on the board of Pitt’s Bradford Campus). Governor Ed Rendell, (D) appoints Cleland as a political favor to
Scarnatti. However, Rendell, aware of Cleland’s illegal order, restricts Cleland’s term to one year and bars him from seeking
election. Cleland’s contract ends Dec. 09. Yet Cleland states to The Kane Republican that the other judges might recommend
him for a (lifetime) position as a senior judge.
2009 With his term about to end, Cleland sidesteps Rendell’s restrictions by volunteering for a 9 mo. fact finding panel. Now
it will be necessary to extend his contract. Rendell declines. Cleland re-engages his strategy of cultivating powerful people. PA
Supreme Court Chief Justice, Ron Castille (a Viet Nam Vet) appoints Cleland to the panel. Cleland now has more time to lobby
for the lifetime seat which carries full salary, benefits and status.
2010 Instead of welcoming Cleland, the judges dismiss him. It is very rare that a senior judge is not allowed to remain on the
Superior Ct. Cleland is the only judge to be fired from that court in 100 years. The reason? The words of Judge Jack Panella
offer insight: “Judges must separate themselves from any and all impropriety”. Through letters, films & websites, PA’s Supreme
Court Justices learn of the improprieties in Dotty’s case and vote to dismiss Cleland.