Baby Joseph’s flight to US from Canada

Baby Joseph Maraachli all of one year of age, is in a vegetative state with a severe neurological condition and will not recover, Canadian doctors say. His parents Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, have transferred him to a US Catholic hospital after an Ontario court ruled doctors could remove a breathing tube keeping him alive. An Ontario hospital had refused his parents' request for a tracheotomy they say will prolong his life by six months and allow him to die at home. A Catholic hospital in the US city of St Louis will review his case, according to the family’s lawyer.

Joseph is a 13 month old, the son of Lebanese immigrants, was born on January 22, 2010. After he was born, his parents noticed he couldn't eat or breathe properly and wouldn't open his eyes or cry. The family, who lives on the Canada, took him to a Michigan hospital in June 2010, where he was diagnosed with a metabolic brain disease, which the doctor said would make him developmentally delayed. Joseph was treated and returned to normal after a month. However, in October 2010 he developed a fever and was breathing rapidly and was rushed to the emergency room and later transferred to the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario.

Baby Joseph has been at London Health Sciences Centre since October, where doctors say he will die as soon as he is removed from a ventilator. However the family had said that removing Joseph from the ventilator would cause him to choke painfully to death. Instead they asked doctors to perform a tracheotomy that they said would allow him to die more comfortably and slowly. The hospital has said the procedure is not medically necessary and will not treat the boy's condition and refused to authorize it.

This Sunday, Joseph was flown to the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St Louis in the US state of Missouri. His flight on a private jet was sponsored by Priests for Life, a US anti-abortion group whose head said in a statement he had “won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada”.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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