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Illinois Federation

For Right to Life

Daily News

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Husband Saves Wife from Forced Starvation as Sister-in-law Sought to Remove Food and Hydration


A man seeking to protect his disabled wife from having her nutrition and hydration removed by his sister-in-law succeeded in having the court name him as guardian Tuesday when the sister-in-law withdrew her application for guardianship. Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney Joel Kirkpatrick represents Robert Lavers, the husband of Heather Lavers.


"Everyone deserves a chance to recover. We are pleased that Heather will be given this chance," said Kirkpatrick. "Robert Lavers is the rightful guardian of his wife and simply desires to take care of her. He did not want a death sentence for Heather."


Heather Lavers went into a coma after suffering a heart attack in September and had been receiving medical care, nutrition, and hydration at a Florida hospital not far from her and her husband's home. Robert Lavers later agreed to the request of Heather's sister, Heidi Kaczala, that Heather Lavers be moved to Ohio where she could receive better medical care and be close to her family. He moved to Ohio when his wife was transferred to a Toledo hospital.


After the transfer, Kaczala applied to be appointed as her sister's legal guardian. At that time, Kaczala did not agree with Robert Lavers that his wife should be kept alive because she believed that her sister would not want to live in her current condition. For that reason, Kaczala indicated to Robert Lavers that she would consider the option of withdrawing food and water if given guardianship.


Kaczala consented to withdraw her application for guardianship prior to a formal hearing Tuesday (


A copy of the letter of guardianship issued Tuesday by the Probate Court of Lucas County naming Robert Lavers as legal guardian over his wife in the lawsuit In re: Lavers is available at



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Publish Date: November 25, 2008

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The IFRL is the largest grassroots pro-life organization in Illinois. A non-profit organization, that serves as the state coordinating body for local pro-life chapters representing thousands of Illinois citizens working to restore respect for all human life in our society. The IFRL is composed of people of different political persuasions, various faiths and diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Since 1973 the Illinois Federation for Right to Life has been working to end abortion and restore legal protection to those members of the human family who are threatened by abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. Diverse though we are, we hold one common belief - that every human being has an inalienable right to life that is precious and must be protected. IFRL is dedicated to restoring the right to life to the unborn, and protection for the disabled and the elderly.   Click here to learn more about the IFRL.