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5 Bumps

Would you want the Government to decide? Or would you want to decide? Aren't you glad you don't live in Canada?


A father who has been battling to stop a London, Ont., hospital from removing his terminally ill son from a ventilator stood his ground Monday and defied a court order requiring him to give consent.

Moe Maraachli says he and his wife Sana Nader are happy the breathing tube keeping their 13-month old son Joseph alive has not yet been removed.

But their fight to get the boy a tracheotomy so they can take him home to die isn’t over.

“I’m very excited because my son doesn’t remove his tube today,” said Maraachli, who has been sleeping at the hospital since Friday.

“All my family is happy. We are happy. We feel it’s really Family Day today.”

The Windsor, Ont., couple has been fighting for months against doctors at Victoria Hospital in London who say their son should be removed from life support because he will not recover from the rare neurological condition that has left him in a vegetative state.

The family fears Joseph will suffer a painful death if the ventilator is removed, and prefers that a tracheotomy be performed so they can take him home to live his remaining days surrounded by people who love him.

The couple’s 18-month-old daughter died almost nine years ago from a similar medical condition. She had a tracheotomy and lived at home for six months before she died, said Maraachli.

But, last Thursday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady ordered the couple to agree to take Joseph off the ventilator by 10 a.m. Monday.

The judge was upholding a decision already made by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board.

Because the London hospital could not get consent to remove the breathing tube from Joseph’s parents or other family members, it has the right to seek consent from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, said Mark Handelman, Maraachli’s lawyer.

But Maraachli is hoping his son Joseph will be transferred to Michigan’s Children’s Hospital in Detroit.

Joseph has been treated there before — under the Ontario Provincial Health Insurance Plan — and the family feels they would have another chance at persuading doctors to perform a tracheotomy if he returns there.

The couple’s friends recently contacted the U.S. hospital about a transfer and the London Health Sciences Centre, which Victoria Hospital falls under, was asked to send Joseph’s medical records there on Sunday.

The London hospital sent Joseph’s medical chart by courier to Detroit on Monday, said spokeswoman Laurie Gould.

“At this point in time we have not received any request for transfer,” said Gould.

If a transfer request is made, Gould said her hospital would contact the public guardian and “wait for their direction.”

The London hospital would not need permission from the public guardian to transfer Joseph to Michigan, said Handelman.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, called the baby Joseph case sad and tragic.

Schadenberg questioned why doctors, not parents, should have the final say over their baby’s care.

“Is it right that the doctor has now so much power?” asked Schadenberg.

“I think the balance of power has shifted in Ontario too far, and I’m getting very concerned about who has the right to decide.”

Gould said the case is certainly “emotionally charged.”

The hospital has received calls and emails from the public, some offering prayers for the baby, who’s been at the hospital since October, she said.

As cars honked their horns, a couple of dozen people holding signs and photos of the baby held a vigil outside the hospital Monday morning, an hour before the baby was to be removed from the ventilator.

Maraachli’s sister-in-law Samar Nader said the family is “relieved and thankful” for all the support they’ve received from the public.

“It’s true that miracles do happen and I would never have expected for my nephew to live past 10 o’clock without the people’s help,” she said


Asked by grlygrlz2 at 2:40 PM on Feb. 22, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (50)
  • Yall can argue this all day long but imo it should ALWAYS be up to the parents in these situations.I think it is really cruel not to allow the parents this decision..the child is in a veg. state which means it won't be any harm for the parents to take their child home with him for the remainder of his time here.Does not matter if someone thinks it's selfish or whatever else it is their child.The choice between keeping someone o nlife support or not is hard enough for anyone to have to make..ow in the world can it be ok for THIS situation for anyone other than the parents to decide!

    Answer by tnmomofive at 3:34 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • I would move heaven and earth before I would allow someone to kill one of my babies. And a court ORDERED a parent to allow it! Just....NO.

    Answer by lovinangels at 2:43 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • My answer won't be a favorable one so I expect the down votes but honestly, sometimes WE make choices based on our hearts. They aren't necessarily the best choices though and sometimes someone has to step in. What kind of life did their daughter have at home for 6 mos.? Was she in a vegetative state in a bed or was she able to interect with her parents? How would their son be if if were to have the procedure done and went home? Was their daughter in pain and suffering those 6 mos. just so that her parents had more time with her? Would their son be in pain? To me those are factors in making the decision.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:45 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • The government didn't decide this. The hospital, doctors and courts decided this. It happens in the U.S. as well.

    Answer by SuperChicken at 2:52 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • This child is going to die and there is nothing modern medical science can do about it, so why should the state have to pay for an expensive medical procedure that will neither give any guarantee of an extension of life nor improve the child's condition? Yes, it comes down to money, but the outcome for this child is known and the procedure is not medically necessary, so if the parents want the tracheostomy that bad, then let them pay for it and I bet nobody will object to doing it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:23 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • That would give the Government way too much power!!!! All my prayers for Joseph!!!

    Answer by dancer at 2:44 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • the Quinlan and Cruzan cases define what would happen in the US clearly. It has nothing to do with politicians.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 3:04 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Families have to fight to keep loved one's on life support all the time, even here in the US. This is a tragic case yes. Both outcomes result in the boy dying. So there is no positive light to it. But it's not fair on your part to call out the Canadian government and solely blame them for something that happens in the very country you're living in. This boy is in a vegetative state, meaning he's not here. The machines are him, that boy's soul is long gone. And the country is being forced to pay to keep his body from turning blue so the parents can pretend he might get better. I agree, let the parents pay the medical expenses to get him a trach, because its not going to improve his quality of life if he's vegetative, only the quantity. What's best for the boy is for the parents to let go. It's sad yes, but that's the reality.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 3:45 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • It happens here as well.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 2:50 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • To answer your question, OP, I do believe that if the quality of life is NOT going to be good then yes, sometimes someone does have to step in and make that decision. Humans think with their hearts, we don't always make the best decisions because of that. I also believe in euthanasia, I believe that we should have the right to choose if someone who no longer has a good quality of life is allowed to die. We put animals out of their misery when they are suffering and I believe that we should have the same right to do so with humans. I am also deeply religious and have a VERY strong Faith in God.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on Feb. 22, 2011