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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

Judge orders baby off life-support

By JANE SIMS, QMI Agency
Last Updated: February 18, 2011 12:24pm

Click here to watch the videoVIDEO: A court appeal to stop doctors from removing Baby Joseph Maraachli's breathing tube has been denied, ending the tragic fight by a Windsor family to take their child home to die. Play Video
LONDON, Ont. - Moe Maraachli keeps the snapshots of his dying baby boy in an envelope in his jacket pocket.
He pulls out the photos of the son he's about to lose, trying to understand how a hospital, an Ontario health-related board assigned to judge consent issues, and a London, Ont., court could say he and his wife can't take their baby, Joseph, home to Windsor, Ont., to die.
"I do my best for my baby. I do my best," he said Thursday outside the London courthouse, tears in his eyes.
"This is killing, this is criminal ... I'm sure this is murder."
This Monday, on Family Day in Ontario, Joseph Maraachli, who's in a vegetative state from a neurodegenerative disease, will die after his breathing tube is removed from his tiny body at a London hospital, ending an ethical and legal dilemma that tried to balance unwanted suffering with the needs of a child and his family.
"I lose my baby," Maraachli, 37, who came to Canada from Lebanon 11 years ago, said. "They take him from me.
"I don't lose my baby like God take him. They take him. They want to take him."
"It was basically our family's word versus the medical system's world," said Joseph's aunt, Samar Nader, who's sure she saw Joseph respond to her this week when she touched his head.
"I think in medicine, they're just looking at the world from a black and white point of view.
"The family understands the child and for us to witness his death on Monday ... I don't know."
An emotional Superior Court Justice Helen Rady, who called it "heartbreaking" and "such a sad and difficult case," decided Thursday not to allow the family's appeal of a decision last month by Ontario's Consent and Capacity Board to have the child's breathing tube removed and put in place a do-not-resuscitate order and palliative care.
The baby's father and mother, Sana Nader, 35, wanted the same treatment for Joseph as was given to their daughter before she died, eight years ago at 18 months -- give Joseph a tracheotomy and ventilation, and allow them to take him home to die what would be a peaceful death.
But Joseph's doctors say while a tracheotomy -- an incision is made in a patient's airway, to help breathing -- may prolong the baby's life, it's futile in this case and would likely cause much discomfort. It would certainly also increase the risk of infection and pneumonia, they argue.
"The medical officials would not want this little boy to suffer," Rady said.
When born in January 2010, Joseph, now 13 months, was a beautiful, normal baby.
But five months later he started having seizures like his sister. By June, he couldn't swallow.
In October, he stopped breathing while travelling with his parents. He was taken to an Ingersoll, Ont., hospital, then rushed to the London Health Sciences Centre's pediatric critical care unit where he's been ever since.
His father has stayed in London, Ont., to be with his son.
His mother is in London, Ont., every weekend and returns to Windsor, Ont., to look after the couple's other son, Ali.
Joseph's on a ventilator and fed through a tube. He's in what the doctors call "a persistent vegetative state." The doctors say he's blind and deaf. He's missing all five brain stem reflexes considered necessary for life -- gag, cough, eye movement, pupil and cornea responses. His brain deterioration is irreversible.
A team of doctors, including a world-renowned pediatric expert from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, has examined Joseph and agrees he's dying of the same progressive neurodegenerative disease that claimed his sister.
Joseph's doctor told the adjudication board that doctors "reluctantly" gave the couple's daughter a tracheotomy. Since then, doctors have learned "substantially" more about the procedure and determined it isn't right for Joseph.
The board agreed with Joseph's attending doctor that the baby has "no hope or chance of ever recovering."
"While we feel a great deal of empathy for the parents, we held that their view was not in any way realistic," the board said, adding Joseph's parents "were blinded by their obvious love" for their child.
His parents fear Joseph will choke to death once the tube is removed. They say he responds to their touch and wanted the board to see him in hospital before deciding.
Rady said it's unclear what the board would have seen had its members agreed. And she noted that while Joseph's head and body have grown, it doesn't mean the medical assessments are wrong.
The case digs deeply into the delicate balance of life vs. suffering.
Ethicist Margaret Somerville of McGill University's Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law said the case is "a judgment where the parents are giving priority to the prolongation of life and the doctor is giving priority to the quality of that life."
"I'm sure there's no doubt in this case that this child has a very poor quality of life, but we do know that health-care professionals judge quality of life much lower than people themselves do."
Somerville said such quality-of-life decisions are delicate and often at odds. What needs to be examined is why the family doesn't agree with the decision and if their reasons are acceptable, she said.
The board had ordered Joseph's breathing tube be removed Friday, but Rady said that wasn't sensitive to the family's need.
Instead, she ordered they comply by Monday -- a statutory holiday in Ontario, to celebrate family -- "to afford the whole family adequate time to say their good-byes."
Rady's voice broke when she addressed the family. "I hope that in time you'll find peace," she said.
Joseph's father wasn't satisfied. "It's not help," he said later.
His lawyer, Geoff Snow, said he understands Rady's decision but added, "the loss of a child in any circumstances is tragic and it's unfortunate that there's not more that could have been done."
Lawyer Julie Zamprogna Balles, who acted for the doctor, said Rady's decision was "well-reasoned and compassionate."
While the case had "very sad and unfortunate circumstances," everyone involved, she said, have "focused on little Joseph's best interests."
But a grieving Moe Maraachli said there's "no humanity" in Canada. He expressed a desire to die himself.
"I stay with him until the last moments and hopefully I go with him," he said.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canad.../17322476.html

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 06:54 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

And that's different from not having health insurance and not being able to get get medical attention in the first place or having your lifetime benefits reached......how?


It's very sad that it is a baby, but I don't think the point you're trying to make.......is applicable in this case.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

I don't know, you think in America if a healthcare provider like say Blue Cross wanted to pull a childs life support a Judge here would order that?

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:36 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

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Originally Posted by AK Gandy View Post
And that's different from not having health insurance and not being able to get get medical attention in the first place or having your lifetime benefits reached......how?


It's very sad that it is a baby, but I don't think the point you're trying to make.......is applicable in this case.
.
This is rationing, and "death panel"...

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:41 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

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Originally Posted by ducatirider944 View Post
I don't know, you think in America if a healthcare provider like say Blue Cross wanted to pull a childs life support a Judge here would order that?
Probably not, once the baby was actually in the hospital.

Do you think a judge would require a hospital to take the baby in the first place....... if it wasn't an immediate life/death situation?

Or require the insurance company to keep paying after benefits expired?

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

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Probably not, once the baby was actually in the hospital.

Do you think a judge would require a hospital to take the baby in the first place Whitout a doubt....... if it wasn't an immediate life/death situation? So now we get to change the scenario to fit what you want? BTW the child showed up at the hospital not breathing (read the article) which I would think would be considered a life/death situation. Every single hospital in this country would have taken that kid in even without Obamacare.

Or require the insurance company to keep paying after benefits expired?

.
The insurance company paying after benifits expired would have to be a legal battle. Do you think that there would be grants for this child in the USA even if the parents wouldn't of had insurance in the first place?

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:09 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

Interesting......there was a local case here a few years ago. A little girl was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. Her parents were "faith healers" (let's don't get into that one) and refused to admit her to the hospital. A judge ordered them to do so....a legal battle ensued.....she died in the meantime.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

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Interesting......there was a local case here a few years ago. A little girl was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. Her parents were "faith healers" (let's don't get into that one) and refused to admit her to the hospital. A judge ordered them to do so....a legal battle ensued.....she died in the meantime.
This scenario is the polar opposite, the judge ordered in the best interest in the kids survival, clearly pulling the plug doesn't help this kids survival chances.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:27 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

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This scenario is the polar opposite, the judge ordered in the best interest in the kids survival, clearly pulling the plug doesn't help this kids survival chances.
This is what rationing is. It isnt about the kid it is about money. Was it the correct choice....probably, but it's who made the choice.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 08:47 PM
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Re: What Gov't ran healthcare gets you

This isn't something unique to "government run healthcare". It's actually a more common occurrence than some people think. And yes, it happens here in the U.S., where we don't have government run health care.

Here's an example: Brain-dead NYC boy at center of care controversy dies - USATODAY.com

There are an infinite number of scenarios that can pop up. Money is only one, like what was brought up if health insurance coverage expires or reaches the limit. However, that is not the ONLY reason for something like this. Medical professionals battle with patient's families regarding what they think is in the best interest of the patient. In both the Canadian baby case, and the 12 year old New York boy from the link I posted... that's what it boils down to, medical professional opinion vs. family opinion. It's not an issue of money, and it's not an issue of government health care.

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