The death of actor Gary Coleman last week has raised questions on exactly what happened to him in the hours before his death and whether his ex-wife, Shannon Price, had the right to make the decision to take him off of life support. Coleman was hospitalized last week after a sudden fall at his home and was taken off of life support after slipping into a coma. What rights- if any- did Shannon Price have regarding Gary Coleman’s medical decisions?
With the release of Price’s 911 call, many are wondering if she was just in shock at the sight of an injured Coleman or if she was uncaring. According to PopEater, the 911 transcript on the night of Coleman’s fall has a helpless Price freaking out over the sight of blood and saying she doesn’t want to be traumatized.
Indeed, Price was first introduced in the media as Coleman’s wife back in 2007. Even after their stint on Divorce Court back in 2008, many fans believed that Coleman and Price had reconciled and were still married. And last summer the NY Daily News reported that Price had been arrested for domestic violence for trashing Coleman’s belongings and even then she was still reported to be his wife.
But on Wednesday it came to light that Coleman and Price were divorced nearly two years ago. Yet she described herself on the 911 call as Coleman’s wife and also told hospital personnel that she was his wife. Price made the sole decision to take Coleman off of life support, without consulting any of his family members.
Here are some of the unanswered questions regarding Gary Coleman’s death:
Why was Coleman and Price’s divorce kept a secret? According to People, divorce lawyer Randy Kester said Coleman wanted the divorce kept private. And others aren’t so sure that the couple didn’t secretly remarry.
If they were divorced, why was Shannon Price sleeping at Coleman’s house the night of his fall? Divorce lawyer Randy Kester said the couple continued to live together after their 2008 divorce, according to the NY Daily News. As for Price referring to herself as Coleman’s wife Kester said, “She might have subjectively felt she was still his wife.”
How exactly did Gary Coleman fall? This is the question that no one has been able to answer. Price claims she was upstairs and heard a thud in the kitchen. She has not said that she was in the same room with Coleman when he fell.
Why was Price so unhelpful when talking to 911 dispatchers? The 24 year old could have just been in shock, which is a natural response to seeing such a violent injury. But some feel she may have resisted help because there was something more behind Coleman’s accident.
Why weren’t Coleman’s parents contacted regarding taking him off of life support? Coleman was 42 years old and had been estranged from his parents for years. Indeed, Price could have been the bigger person and called them, but she chose not to. Either she wanted complete control of the situation or she knew that Gary wouldn’t have wanted his family involved.
Did Price have the right to make the decision to pull Coleman off of life support? According to the NY Daily news article, in the end, a previous Advanced Health Care Directive completed by Coleman- which gave Price permission to make decisions on Coleman’s behalf- was in effect even though the couple were no longer married.
You can listen to Shannon Price’s Gary Coleman 911 call HERE