Update at bottom: video of father speaking to Megyn Kelly
A couple from Canada is seeking asylum in Detroit to protect a 13-month old baby.
The toddler, one Joseph Maraachli, is currently on life support at a hospital in London, Ontario. He has a severe neurological disease which has rendered him unconscious and will eventually take his life.
Doctors at the London hospital recommended immediate removal of the ventilator so Joseph can end his life in the shortest amount of time. His parents refused, claiming the sudden suffocation would amount to torture. They want Joseph to get a tracheotomy, return to their home, and pass away through less drastic circumstances.
Apparently thinking parents’ wishes are no longer sacrosanct, the hospital sought legal action. There is no logical reason for the parents’ plan to be rejected other than money. This is not a Terri Schiavo case where parents want to keep a child alive indefinitely. This is a couple wanting to settle for a more humane way of accepting death.
Yet the case went to court, and a judge ruled February 17 that the parents were legally required to give consent for the hospital’s recommendation.
You read that correctly – a judge decided that courts can legally force parents to relinquish medical decisions for their own children. The Maraachlis, to their credit, were not intimidated and refused to comply.
Now the hospital finds itself in a legal standoff. Doctors are afraid to remove the ventilator without getting that consent, and the parents are vowing to disobey the court order as long as they physically can.
They have sought help from Children’s Medical Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Joseph’s parents claim the American hospital had treated him before and done a better job than those in Ontario. The Detroit hospital has been contacted by the family asking for them to admit Joseph as a patient. Doctors in Ontario refuse to release Joseph until he has an invitation.
For now Joseph’s parents can only wait for word from Detroit as they run out the legal clock in Ontario. If an American hospital does not agree to take the case, authorities in Canada will eventually take further action to enforce the court order.
To donate money for Joseph’s legal battle, please visit the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, which has an online fundraiser.
*****Update: Joseph’s father spoke to Fox’s Megyn Kelly about the situation this afternoon. LINK
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