By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Some of the country’s top pro life organizations are rallying to the aid of baby Joseph Maraachli in an attempt to get him into a hospital in the United States where he can escape attempts by a Canadian hospital to remove his ventilator and let him die.
LifeSiteNews.com is reporting that several leaders of the U.S. pro-life movement are taking serious steps to help a year-old Canadian infant with a terminal neurological disease who is currently being kept in an Ontario hospital where doctors want to remove his ventilator against his parents’ wishes.
The parents, who are Lebanese immigrants, want to bring Joseph home to die, but the hospital refuses to perform the tracheotomy he would need in order to survive after the ventilator is removed. The hospital is willing to release Joseph, but refuses to perform the procedure because it believes efforts on behalf of Baby Joseph are futile. A court decision has supported the hospital’s decision. The parents are now seeking a second opinion from an American institution.
Priests for Life, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network are all pitching in to try to get Joseph to a medical facility in the U.S. as soon as possible.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has erected a team that has been calling hospitals on Joseph’s behalf. He says that “for the most part, [the hospitals] have shown compassion but unfortunately, so far, not one has agreed to take Baby Joseph. The family is asking only to have a simple procedure performed to allow their son to breathe on his own.”
Priests for life has even gone so far as to hire a jet that is standing by, ready to fly Baby Joseph and his parents anywhere in the U.S. at a moment’s notice.
“We need one hospital with a sophisticated neo-natal unit and the courage to actually agree to take this child,” Fr. Pavone said in a press release on Friday. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to explain to the public why it is that not one has committed to do this yet.
“I am urgently calling on any U.S. hospitals or administrators who are willing to help to contact my team at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,” he said.
While these efforts continue, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a constitutional law firm, has been retained by the parents of Baby Joseph to explore options to get their son medical treatment in the United States.
“This has been a tragic case where the parents desire only to receive proper family-centered care and medical attention that will allow ‘Baby Joseph’ to live out his final days at home naturally with his family,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We are exploring all options with the parents and are representing their interests in the United States only. We’re working with the parents to determine the likelihood of bringing their son to the United States to receive the medical treatment he needs and deserves.”
Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schindler Schiavo whose life was cut short after losing a similar battle in 2005, has also thrown the weight of his organization’s considerable contacts behind Baby Joseph.
“Baby Joseph is a frightening example of how vulnerable patients suffer when the dignity of their life is not respected,” Schindler said, and urged people to lend their support to this family who only wants to give their terminally ill child an opportunity to die naturally at home.
Anyone knowing of a medical facility that would accept baby Joseph can also call the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network at 1-855-300-HOPE.
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