Update:Enroute to US!Could cost as much as $150,000 for #BabyJoseph care in US pediatric intensive care unit! #prolife #tcot #pa
Posted Mar 14 2011 12:57am
Thanks to Father Pavone and Priests for Life there is finally a glimmer of hope for Baby Joseph of Canada to get the tracheotomy he needs and medical care he needs to live a longer life. God willing his life is not as short and terminal as the Canadian doctors and hospital allege, considering other medical doctors have said he should have received the tracheotomy months ago. Keep Baby Joseph, his family and all those helping to care for him in your prayers. Contact Priests for Life to donate and help save more lives!
Baby Joseph, 13-month-old Joseph Maraachli from Windsor, Ont., was transported to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Miss. Sunday night. (handout)
LONDON, Ont. - A dying Windsor, Ont., infant's five-month odyssey in the spotlight took a dramatic turn Sunday, when his parents accepted an offer to fly him to the U.S. against the advice of a London, Ont., hospital.
Thirteen-month-old Joseph Maraachli, who doctors say is in a vegetative state without any hope of recovery, was flown out of London at 10:20 p.m. Sunday on a private plane, bound for St. Louis, Miss.
The London Health Sciences Centre, where the infant had been in care since October, revealed the transfer in a late-night e-mail.
Against the "strongest possible medical advice" from experts in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, LHSC said, Baby Joseph's parents accepted an offer to transport him by air to the faith-based Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
"His parents exercised their legal right to have him discharged after LHSC exhausted all its legal options in attempting to deliver Baby Joseph the best possible and most appropriate medical care," the hospital said, noting an LHSC team transported the infant to the London International Airport with his father.
The plane transfer and any U.S. care provided, "will be paid for by U.S. interests and not by LHSC," the hospital said.
Maraachili's parents and their lawyer weren't immediately available for comment late Sunday.
Joseph's plight placed him at the centre of a right-to-die battle that drew international media and medical attention, including by vocal special interests in the U.S.
The infant's family had wanted the London hospital to perform a tracheotomy, an incision in the child's breathing tube, so that they could take him home to Windsor to die. A breathing tube keeps him alive.
Doctors, backed by Ontario's medical Consent and Capacity Board, declined to perform the procedure, triggering a court appeal by the family and a storm of Canada-U.S. attention, including from American activists such as the group Priests for Life, which had offered to pay for the infant's transfer to an American hospital.
It wasn't immediately clear Sunday who was paying for the U.S. transfer and care, but Priests for Life had urged its supporters to e-mail the LHSC doctor in charge to urge him to release the sick boy.
"What I need you to do right now is to contact by e-mail ... the attending physician for Baby Joseph at the Canadian hospital," Rev. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, wrote to supporters Saturday.
"It is our understanding that he has the ultimate authority to permit the release of Baby Joseph or to deny it. In other words, the fate of Baby Joseph is in (the doctor's) hands. We all must urge (the doctor) to do the right thing and allow Baby Joseph to get the care he can receive in the U.S. hospital which we've already lined up and is ready to go."
Pavone also for the first time noted the costs of paying for Baby Joseph's care in the U.S.
Pavone called the cost "significant," noting the specially equipped plane and medical team that would take the baby from the LHSC together cost thousands of dollars an hour.