State Backs Down, Won’t Euthanize Baby Whose Father Shook Her So Hard He Put Her in a Coma

State   Steven Ertelt   Sep 9, 2014   |   5:38PM    Augusta, ME

After the governor of the state of Maine stepped up to the plate to go to bat for a little girl whose life was in peril, bureaucratic officials have backed off an attempt to end the life of a baby victimized by her own father.

Last week, Gov. Paul LePage vowed to protect a little baby whose life is at stake and who state officials wanted to kill by putting a DNR order in place without her parents’ consent.

baby35Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in support of a mother pleading with the state for her child’s life after the father allegedly shook her and caused significant injury. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is fighting the mother in court because she wants to give the baby a fighting chance to live while the state wants to hasten her death by withdrawing critical life support.

LePage vowed to defy the state Supreme Court if necessary to protect the little girl, named Aleah Peaslee.

Now, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven Aden tells LifeNews that the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has decided to no longer withdraw critical life support from a brain-injured baby and allow a mother to make medical decisions on her daughter’s behalf.

He said: “Everyone deserves a fighting chance to live. We are pleased the health department is affirming the mother’s parental rights and the right to save her daughter’s life. This decision also reaffirms Mainers’ interest in life and the integrity of the medical profession. The state should dismiss its appeal with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to avoid setting a dangerous precedent which risks violating parental rights.”

The father, who has been indicted on charged of aggravated assault, originally told authorities he had dropped the six-month-old girl while the mother, Virginia Trask, wasn’t home but later admitted to shaking the baby. Because doctors told the parents at one point that the child, who went into a coma, could die within minutes, they agreed to a “do not resuscitate” order.

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Hospital staff placed the child in the mother’s arms to die, but the child continued to breathe on her own and opened her eyes. After days went by in this fashion, the parents cancelled the DNR order, and the child later came out of the coma and became alert. Despite this, medical personnel wanted to reinstate the DNR order because they said the baby’s condition was still grave, but the parents would not agree.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services then sought and obtained authority from a state judge to implement the DNR order, contrary to the parents’ wishes and without terminating the mother’s parental rights. The judge concluded that it would be in A.P.’s “best interest” to endure “a cascading series of events that would inevitably lead to her death.”

LifeNews Note: File photo.