Baby Joseph’s Father: Why Did Hospital Refuse Medical Care?

International   |   Wesley J. Smith   |   Apr 28, 2011   |   5:38PM   |   London, Ontario

Baby Joseph is home, and apparently not as unconscious as the London hospital representative stated. From the story:

Baby Joseph napping at home in his crib on Easter Sunday is all the proof his father needs that his Ontario doctors were wrong. Only months ago, the fate of 15-month-old Joseph Maraachli was a question mark. Doctors at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ont., sought to take the infant off life support as he battled a progressive neurological disease. But on Sunday, the round-cheeked baby was home in Windsor, resting in a cradle packed with plush toys. Now and then he opened his eyes or wriggled a little, or moved his arms beneath father Moe Maraachli’s occasional touches and kisses. When Maraachli held out a finger at one point, Joseph’s own stubby fingers curled around it.

Love. Comfort. Touch. These are important to every baby.

Joseph’s father wants answers:

“I feel victorious,” Maraachli said, smiling broadly as he stood by Joseph’s crib. “I feel I won and my baby’s alive.” But he’s also been left with questions about why he and wife Sana Nader had to go to the U.S. for help. “That’s what makes me mad,” he said. “Why I have to travel to St. Louis?”

That’s a good and important question. Joseph clearly was not on the verge of death when the hospitals wanted him off life support and refused a tracheotomy.  The tracheotomy obviously provided him great benefit, and in fact, is apparently a normal palliative procedure in cases such as this.  Indeed, he’s off of machines and home where he can die peacefully in his own time.

So, why was Joseph and the family treated so badly? Why did the family have to go the USA to obtain proper care for their baby? Will Canada Medicare pay for the procedure that so clearly should have been provided to Joseph in his home hospital?

Don’t expect answers to come readily. I have noticed that when a case goes against what the futilitarians predicted, they generally hide behind closed doors–until the next time they boldly assert that wanted, efficacious treatment for a dying or profoundly disabled patient is “inappropriate.” That shouldn’t be allowed to happen.  The Canadian authorities should investigate.

Perhaps a good place to start to right the wrong would be a sincere apology from Joseph’s doctors and the hospital administration to the family.