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Monday, March 14, 2011

Priests for Life Gives Baby Joseph New Hope...

Baby Joseph and Fr. Frank Pavone
In a story that has gotten very little attention on mainstream media, a one-year-old baby that was on the brink of being disconnected from life support in a Canadian hospital is getting a chance to live a little longer after being taken to a children's hospital in St. Louis early this morning.

Fox News reports today (see story here), that Fr. Frank Pavone, of Priests for Life, was able to negotiate the release of Baby Joseph Maraachli, who was caught in a bureaucratic tug-of-war between the doctors in Canada's socialized health care system and his parents. reports:

Baby Joseph has a severe neurological condition doctors at the Ontario hospital said is fatal and they decided to remove his breathing tube.

The baby's parents objected, saying they believe removing the tube would cause him to choke and die violently.

They want Joseph to receive a tracheotomy, which would open his airway and allow him to die at home.

Joseph's parents fought the hospital's decision in a Canadian court last month, but the court ordered them to consent to the withdrawal of the breathing tube, at which point the parents sought to have the child transferred to the United States.

A press release  by Priests for Life stated:

For two weeks, doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, have been delaying the baby's transfer to a hospital where efforts to save his life will not be officially labeled "futile."

"I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety," said Father Pavone. "He 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." Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.

Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.

"If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option," said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.

"Priests for Life staff toiled through the night for many nights, working in concert with dozens of people to make this possible," Father Pavone said of the nighttime rescue mission. "Now that we have won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada, the real work of saving Baby Joseph can begin."

Baby Joseph and his mother, Sana
The baby's parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, who lost a girl to the same illness several years ago, say all they want is to give the boy a chance to be loved and, if he must die, then die with dignity and not be forced into taking his last breath because he was refused treatment.  

When it comes to the moral teachings on life, the Church is clear: God is the giver of life and therefore only God can choose when to end it.

In fact, the Catechism states:  "Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted." CCC 2279.

Regardless of whether it is God's Will that Baby Joseph's life will end, at least at the non-for-profit Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, he will get the proper medical attention, without his parents having to deal with the bureaucracy of a system that, according to Fr. Pavone, is more concerned with making "value judgements" and decisions on a life that they determine is not "worth the trouble."

Fr. Pavone says, "There are such things as worthless treatments but there is no such thing as a worthless life."

Let us keep Baby Joseph, his parents and doctors in our prayers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Good to hear that Baby Joseph will receive the care his parents desire.