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Arline Lester

January 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Arline Lester, the 91-year-old woman from Long Island whose son recorded a video of her pleading for her life, died yesterday after being removed from her ventilator and feeding tube.

The killing of Arline Lester was shrouded in secrecy after judge Julianne Capetola allegedly issued a secret gag order forbidding the parties, attorneys or witnesses from communicating any details of the case. 

The gag order, which was never made public, was reported to have been issued out of concern for the privacy rights of Arline Lester, but sources close to the family tell LifeSiteNews that the gag order was simply a way to cover up the inevitable killing of a woman against her express wish to live. Attempts, including in-person visits to the court of Judge Capetola by the Personhood Alliance to obtain the gag order in order to verify its existence, content, and scope were unsuccessful.  

LifeSiteNews can also confirm that the secret gag order was used to threaten pro-life organizations such as LifeSiteNews and the Personhood Alliance who had re-posted the video recorded by Ed Lester and first published by local NY media outlets. Neither the NY Post nor the Personhood Alliance took down the distressing video, not having been able to confirm the existence or scope of the alleged gag order.  Parties, witnesses and attorneys related to the case that were contacted refused to comment for fear of the secret gag order.

Family sources, who refused to give any details of the court proceedings and who requested anonymity for fear of being held in contempt of court, told LifeSiteNews that Arline Lester died yesterday after having her respirator removed while being put on aggressive “palliative sedation,” a term that refers to aggressive pain medication that inevitably leads to the death of the patient.  

The case of Arlene Lester is especially alarming at a time when NY's Democrat control legislature is considering openly legalizing assisted suicide.  Many pro-lifers worry that if the courts are willing to enforce an old “living will” against the express wishes of an elderly woman who was conscious enough to orally communicate them, then what guarantee will there be that people who change their mind at the last moment about assisted suicide will have their right to life respected and protected?

For the last weeks, Arline Lester's two sons had engaged in an acrimonious battle in the Nassau County Supreme Court over two competing “living wills”.  The first will, signed decades ago, directed that no life support be administered in case she was incapacitated.  The second will was drafted recently after Arline suffered medical complications for which she required the insertion of a feeding tube and ventilator at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.  

The son who was taking care of Arline, Edward, told ABC7 NY that his mother had asked him for help to revoke her “living will” seventeen times after which he helped her hire a specialized attorney who drafted the new living will.  In other comments to News12, Edward stated that “My mother's perception of a living will was, 'If I'm a vegetable, if I'm brain dead and I'm laying there…pull the plug,' but that's not the situation we have now.”  To support his claim that his mother's clear wish was to live, Ed released a video where Arline clearly communicates that she did not want to die, but instead wanted to live.  

As the NY Post reported, the other brother, Kyle Lester initiated the lawsuit asking a judge in Nassau County Supreme Court to declare him Arline's sole guardian, acknowledging that he hoped to take her off life support — but maintaining this is what their mother wanted.

Once the dramatic video of Arline mouthing the words “I want to live” was published by the NY Post and other publications, the court issued the secret gag order, prohibiting any of the parties, witnesses or attorneys from sharing details of the case with the press.

From that point forward, the repeated attempts from the Personhood Alliance to be shown the gag order or be given any information on the status of the case or medical condition were denied by Judge Julianne Capitola's court.