Baby Joseph Maraachli Baptized, Family Pleased with Tracheotomy

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2011   |   11:36AM   |   St. Louis, MO

Baby Joseph Maraachli, the infant who escaped Canada to come to the United States for a tracheotomy procedure his parents wanted so he could breath easier as he dies from a debilitating disease, has been baptized.

Moe Maraachli, Joseph’s father, commented on the developments: “It’s a miracle.  My son now has freedom.  I’m very happy.  My wife and I will respect the second opinion from the hospital in St. Louis.  We will accept it with all my heart because Joseph got his human right to get a chance to get a second opinion.  When God wants to take his life He’ll take it and nobody can say ‘No’ to God.”

Father Frank Pavone, the director of Priests for Life, talked about that and gave an update in an email to, saying Joseph’s parents are pleased following the procedure.

“Wednesday he underwent surgery for the tracheotomy that Canadian officials refused to allow doctors to perform,” Pavone said. “His parents are so happy that he received a fresh evaluation and second opinion, and they now feel that their baby has been given the proper kind of medical care.”

“Also, Baby Joseph was baptized just the other day, and Jerry Horn of our Priests for Life team is now his godfather,” he added.

“No matter how long Baby Joseph lives,” Pavone added, he thanked the “tens of thousands of pro-life activists who took a stand” allowing him to “receive the dignity and treatment he deserves as a human person. So even though we have no idea how much time we have won for Baby Joseph and his family, we have delivered a clear and powerful message to the world. That message is While there is such a thing as a worthless treatment, there’s no such thing as a worthless life.”

“Let me assure you, none of us at Priests for Life is saying that Baby Joseph – or anyone else, for that matter – should be given every treatment no matter what.  Nor are we imposing any specific treatment on the child,” Pavone explained. “All we wanted to do was give the child reasonable care and provide the parents with a second opinion.  Period.  And thanks to you and the incredible support from pro-life activists all across the country, Baby Joseph got that chance.”

Pavone also gave a recap of the events that led to Joseph coming to the United States:

As soon as I learned about the plight of Baby Joseph and his family, I knew Priests for Life had to get involved.  I wasn’t exactly sure how, or what God wanted us to do.  But I knew we had to do something.

The first thing we did was issue a public call to hospitals here in the U.S. to open their doors to Baby Joseph.  Next, we launched a grassroots campaign asking individuals to express their opposition to the philosophy, prevalent worldwide, that says some lives are not worth caring for. As I mentioned, tens of thousands of people responded to that call and demanded that proper care be given to Baby Joseph…

As it turned out, I was in Cleveland preaching a pro-life mission when word finally arrived that the Canadian hospital finally caved in to the enormous amount of pressure that they were feeling as a result of Priests for Life’s actions.

Fortunately, we’d had a medical jet on stand by for almost two weeks.  And once I got that phone call from the hospital, I changed my plans and was on that air ambulance headed to Canada.  Once there, we whisked Baby Joseph from the hospital that refused to treat him and, along with his elated father, were on our way to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

In the interview Moe Maraachli and I did with Fox News’ Megan Kelly the next day, she called what happened a “major victory” and “an incredible shift in events.”  And she was exactly right.  Three weeks ago the Canadian health care system had given this child the equivalent of a death sentence.

Today he is alive and battling for life thanks to the quick and determined action of Priests for Life and the tens of thousands of pro-life activists who heard my call to action and responded. And because they did, Baby Joseph has had his dignity restored.

Pavone said the medical costs for the family are building up and could reach as much as between $100,000-$150,000 as a grand total.