Family of Terri Schiavo Comes to Defense of Baby Joseph

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 25, 2011   |   12:47PM   |   Washington, DC

The family of Terri Schiavo knows something about having the power of medical decisions taken away from them — as they confronted the man who decided to take the live of their beloved daughter and sister.

Now, they are coming to the aide of the parents of 13-month-old Joseph Maraachli as they are fighting a hospital that wants to remove his breathing tube.

Baby Joseph has been at Victoria Hospital in London, Ontario, in October with a rare deteriorating condition that is not improving.

The doctors who have cared for him want to remove his breathing tube but Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader took their battle to court to allow the tube to be removed at home, so the boy can die surrounded by his family. A Superior Court judge in London, Ontario, last week, dismissed the request of the Canadian couple to overturn a decision requiring the removal of their baby’s breathing tube in a hospital instead of at home.

Baby Joseph’s parents want a tracheotomy performed on their son so they can take him off the respirator and bring him home to live his last days surrounded by family. The London hospital has refused to perform the procedure.

Yesterday, Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, appeared on behalf of Joseph’s parents at a press conference as they responded to the latest developments in the case.

“We are fully supporting (the family) in their efforts to bring Baby Joseph home, which is what our family was trying to do with Terry,” he said, according to the London Free Press.  “Unfortunately we weren’t able to do that. My father could never forgive himself for not being able to protect his daughter.”

Schindler appeared at the press conference with Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defence Coalition and Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri’s sister, yesterday told that the Schindler Family strongly supports Baby Joseph’s parents.

“The Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network stands with the family of Baby Joseph Maraachli,” she said. “It is unacceptable for Canadian Health Allocation Officials and/or the Canadian government to make decisions for baby Joseph and his family. Every patient, regardless of age, has a right to proper and dignified health care. It is frightening to once again see government usurp the God given rights of parents to love and care for their child at home, especially when the child is dying.”

Vitadamo went on to say “this is alarming. No hospital has the right to end the life of a child. It’s the parent’s right to bring Joseph home and care for him if they choose. How do parents lose their choice in such a tender matter?”

“Terri’s Network urges everyone to keep baby Joseph and his entire family in their prayers,” she added. “An infinitely precious innocent life hangs in the balance, as a family is pitted against the medical establishment in a battle for the life of their little boy.”

The Schindler family also understands the pain of being told that their loved one is supposedly in a persistent vegetative state — even when they are able to interact with the patient and see the loved one respond. [related]

Doctors at Children’s Hospital say the neurodegenerative disease has left Joseph in a vegetative state, but they have released video footage showing the child responding.

The baby’s parents want doctors to fit Joseph with a tracheotomy so they can bring him home — and that’s the same thing they did for their daughter Zina, who was born with the same condition. She received one and went home, where she died six months later.