Terminally ill Canadian baby in Missouri hospital

Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:10pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Bruce Olson

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - A Canadian baby on the brink of death was being evaluated by doctors in St. Louis on Tuesday after he was refused treatment in Ontario and airlifted to the U.S., officials said on Tuesday.

The baby, 13-month-old Joseph Maraachli, was brought to Missouri by his father and Frank Pavone of the New York-based Priests for Life and taken to Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center for evaluation and possible treatment.

The baby suffers from a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is fatal, according doctors in Canada.

Doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, said efforts to save the baby's life were futile. The hospital said in a statement its staff recommended sending the baby home "on a breathing machine, and then placing him in the arms of his family before withdrawing the machine."

The hospital, the London Health Sciences Center, said it allowed the transfer of the child "despite the strongest possible medical advice to the contrary."

Baby Joseph "needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time," Pavone said.

Several other U.S. hospitals declined to treat the child.

The child's parents had urged the Canadian doctors to perform a tracheotomy, a hole cut into the throat, on their son. The Canadian hospital said the invasive procedure was not appropriate in Joseph's case. He had been in the London hospital since October where he was connected to breathing machines and a feeding tube.   Continued...