*In Southern California a judge has ordered an independent medical evaluation of ailing Etta James after the veteran singer’s son’s attorney contended that she could be in “very serious danger” under the care of a live-in doctor.
The 72-year-old James suffers from dementia, leukemia, kidney problems and other ailments. Her son’s attorney, James E. Deering Jr., said at a Thursday court hearing that Dr. Elaine James, who is not related to the singer, put feeding tubes into James’ stomach at home – a procedure that should have been performed in a hospital.
Deering compared the singer’s situation to that of Michael Jackson, who died while under the care of a live-in physician. Dr. Conrad Murray has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.
A report by a confidential investigator that was released to attorneys Thursday raises “significant questions” about whether Etta James is receiving proper medical treatment at her home in the Woodcrest area of Riverside County.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Cahraman ordered a court-appointed attorney representing the singer’s interests to arrange for independent physicians to examine the singer.
Last month, Cahraman ordered $60,000 taken from the singer’s bank account to pay for her medical care. On Thursday, he ordered the singer’s accounts frozen after another $30,000 is released to pay for her care.
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