Pro-Life Legal Group Now Helping Parents of Baby Joseph

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2011   |   12:26PM   |   London, Ontario

The American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life legal group, is now helping the parents of Baby Joseph Maraachli, who is suffering from a terminal illness that will soon take his life.

Unable to get a hospital to perform a tracheotomy so they can bring him home to die, supporters of Joseph Maraachli and his parents are helping them find a hospital that will accept him as a transfer and perform the procedure so he can go home. The hospital wants to remove his breathing tube but his family wants the boy to be able to die peacefully at home with his family.

The family asked Ontario’s Consent and Capacity board for permission to remove the breathing tube and a judge recently agreed with the doctors’ position.

Baby Joseph’s family had an attorney who had been negotiating with London Health Sciences Centre but he was not retained for undisclosed reasons. Yesterday, ACLJ officials told that its firm has been hired by the family.

“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,” Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the pro-life law firm, told “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.”

Sekulow said he agrees with Joseph’s parents “as they pursue the possibility of securing medical evaluation and treatment at a hospital in this country so that the child may spend the remainder of his days at home with his family, instead of a hospital.”

“A Canadian hospital, where Joseph Maraachli is a patient, reportedly has said it will permit the child to return home, but would remove Joseph’s breathing tube from a ventilator without applying standard of care techniques required to keep him breathing – a move that would result in immediate death,” he explained.

The CBC indicates the ACLJ will rely on CeCe Heil, an American attorney who is focused on getting Jospeh care at a U.S.-based hospital and says she has already contacted several hospitals across the Unite States about caring for the child.

“I can’t imagine a hospital telling me when and how my child will die. It’s really unconscionable,” she told the Canadian news outlet. “We’re pretty confident we will find a hospital. Time is of the essence.”

Heil told the CBC she doesn’t think London Health Sciences Centre would ultimately object to a transfer of Maraachli, saying, “It would almost be a situation that they have dug in their heels and they want to kill the baby.”

“I don’t think an Ontario hospital will be prepared for that,” she said of the massive media onslaught the hospital would face if it prevent Joseph from leaving.

This weekend, pro-life and disability rights advocates will be banding together to support rallies and prayer vigils at the hospital in support of Baby Joseph and his parents.