Much needed good news: Baby Joseph beats the Canadian death panel with the aid of Priests for Life

TmT and I have both written about Baby Joseph’s fight to have the tracheotomy which would allow him to die in peace at home.  

Via Fox News, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life answered the prayers of many, a chance for this boy to fight for his life rather than bureaucratic doctors to predetermine its worth:

Under cover of darkness, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, arrived in Ontario, Canada, Sunday night to rescue Baby Joseph Maraachli from the London Health Sciences Centre. For two weeks, doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, have been delaying the baby’s transfer to a hospital where efforts to save his life will not be officially labeled “futile.”

“I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety,” said Father Pavone. “He needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time.” Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.

Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.

“If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option,” said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.

Fr. Pavone fought the Canadian system that tried to stall him at every turn and won. Clarity:

The medical board overseeing his case is apparently convinced that giving proper care to Baby Joseph is futile. They don’t mean that the medical care won’t help him. They mean his life in its current condition isn’t worth the trouble.

Or the expense. 

Pictures available here.


The next day: “Wasteland”

There are no words.

Tens of thousands of missing and 45,000 told to evacuate due to nuclear emergency.

Explosion at one nuclear power plant, five others in state of emergency.

Iodine distribution.

Quake moved earth’s axis by 4 inches and Japan’s coastline by 8 feet

Want to help? Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To give more, head here.

And pray.

“There is really nothing to say, but in this first Friday of Lent, a day of abstinence, let us offer up our prayers and sacrifices for the stricken nation of Japan and the people living in anxiety as the water moves…”

So says the Anchoress of the massive 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan. She’s right, though it feels woefully inadequate.

I’ve dashed off emails and prayers for friends whose entire families are in Japan and one to a very pregnant friend in Hawaii who is most likely still awake now, still crying, still nervous with the evaucation sirens blaring on the hour.

From the WSJ:

The inside of The Wall Street Journal newsroom wasn’t immune to the raw shock. Workers in the office, located on the 19th floor of an Otemachi district skyscraper, quickly moved from business-as-usual handling of typical quakes to a startled realization that the building across the way was moving from left to right. In a few seconds, the swaying became so violent that staff had to hold on to desk and chairs. Knuckles tightened, and faces grew pale.

Tokyo is over 200 miles from the epicenter. 

A passenger train missing? There are no words.


CMR: A Prayer Request from Japan 

Hot Air has amazing coverage with video and pics. The whirlpool horrifies me. And the second-order effects, namely the nuclear reactor problems, will continue to pose myriad dangers. Pray and donate if you’re able.

“All will be well”: Pray for Marizela Perez and family

Michelle Malkin’s cousin, Marizela Perez, was last seen Saturday. Perez is a UW student in Seattle.

Keep all in your prayers. If you’re in the Seattle area, help find her.

At last: Wesley J. Smith weighs in on Baby Joseph

Joseph Maraachli’s parents continue to fight for the right to take their son home

Additionally, they now have some aid from Fr. Frank Pavone–noted for his involvement in trying to save Terri Schiavo–and Priests for Life, who have volunteered to cover the costs to bring Joseph to the United States for a tracheotomy to enable him to go home to die as Maraachli’s daughter did eight years ago.

This CNN article, highlighted by bioethicist Wesley Smith, gives more history to Baby Joseph’s plight. The kicker:

If he is beyond hope, they want him to be able to receive a tracheotomy, where he can be transferred home and die in the care of family instead of in a hospital. Experts say even if the family is granted this request, caring for a child in this condition is an arduous task. Dr. David Casarett, director of research and evaluation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wissahickon Hospice, says patients at home with tracheotomies need monitoring to make sure the airway is clear of secretions, the skin is clean and dry and someone can make sure the incision at the tracheotomy site does not get infected. “A child’s care would be much more complex if a home ventilator is required, since the parents would need to manage the ventilator with the help of a nurse and respiratory therapist,” he said.

If the family wishes to undergo the “arduous task” of caring for Joseph at home, the family should have the option as they did for their daughter.  They know what’s involved in the “arduous task” and want to bring the “arduous task” home, so be it. Why should experts care how much of a burden their child will be at home? The Maraachli’s don’t care. They’ve done it before. Why? Because that’s what parents do.

Smith responds:

This is a very hard thing, and I see both sides to this aspect of the case.  But the request for a tracheotomy raises different ethical issues than requesting that life support be maintained in hospital. In my view, refusing the tracheotomy surgery is not a futile care imposition, since the surgery is not primarily intended to maintain the baby’s life, but rather is an elective procedure, to allow the parents to bring him home to die. That is a completely understandable, nay, laudable, desire on their part, but it presents a different wrinkle to the situation than the usual futile care dispute.  And let me emphasize: It wouldn’t be an issue if the hospital weren’t trying to force the baby off life support.

Read the rest and continue to pray that the Maraachli’s are able to bring their son home.

Miracles do happen

Teachingmytwo highlighted the plight of the Maraachli family’s fight to take their baby home to die in peace, surrounded by family. To do so, Baby Joseph would have to receive a tracheotomy, which the Canadian doctors death panel deemed “too risky.” The family took their fight to court. They lost. The baby would die in the hospital upon removal of his breathing tube.

In more direct terms: Joseph would suffocate in front of his helpless parents.

The Maraachli family knew Joseph had no chance of recovery.

They wanted to bring him home to die on his own terms, surrounded with love. Why? From Life Site News, heartbreak:

The Maraachlis’ daughter died from similar complications eight years ago, but in that case doctors performed a tracheotomy and they were able to take her home.  Joseph’s parents want the same for him.

Now he might have the chance.  From the Toronto Sun:

A dying Windsor, Ont., baby who was likely to be taken off life support this week at a London, Ont., hospital might instead be moved to a Michigan hospital.

The family wants to take Joseph home to die. Let’s pray doctors in Michigan help that happen. Pray. If you’d like to donate to help defray their legal costs, go here. For more updates, join the Save Baby Joseph Facebook page.

Praytell, how does one define “risky?” UPDATED: Justin Bieber would be shocked!

I’m not sure what to title this – I also kicked around “How I hope this is a misquote #2”

From LifeSiteNews

LONDON, Ontario, February 18, 2011 ( – As thousands rally behind one-year-old Joseph Maraachli after the Ontario Superior Court ruled that his life support will be removed Monday against the wishes of his parents, a group of locals from London have organized a silent prayer vigil for Joseph and his family.

The vigil will take place at 9 a.m. on Monday outside Victoria Hospital, at Wellington and Commissioners.

The family’s struggle has drawn international headlines in the last 24 hours amidst fears that the court decision facilitates a system where doctors are authorized to force life and death decisions on patients.  Over 1,300 people have joined a Facebook page to “Save baby Joseph.”

Joseph has been on life support at London’s Victoria Hospital since October.  The doctors gave him no chance of recovery, so his parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, asked them to perform a tracheotomy, which would allow them to take Joseph home. But the doctors refused, saying the procedure was too risky. 

So ummm… pulling the respirator and ensuring death is somehow less “risky?”

The parents know he’s dying – they want the dignity of having their baby die in their arms in their home, in God’s time. The hospital REFUSES and the COURTS agree. Pray for this family.

Be vigilant, America – this is what we are facing with Obamacare.

UPDATE: RS McCain brought us the wit and wisdom of prepubescent wonder Justin Bieber earlier this week:

The Canadian-born Bieber never plans on becoming an American citizen. “You guys are evil,” he jokes. “Canada’s the best country in the world.” He adds, “We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. . . .”

Hey, Justin: you don’t worry about paying the doc as long as he decides you’re worthy of treatment. Who’s evil now, kid?