Patrick Craine

Hospital threatens to remove baby Joseph’s life support anyway - parents denied private visitations

Patrick Craine
Patrick Craine
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To join a Facebook page in support of the parents of Joseph Maraachli, click here.

See excellent Feb. 22 Fox News video report on this story.

See second Fox video report with Baby Joseph’s father and Alex Schadenberg.

LONDON, Ontario, February 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - While things were looking up for the parents of Joseph Maraachli this past weekend, the picture has now become bleaker. In the latest twist in the case the London hospital where their dying son is being cared for is seeking to remove the parents’ decision-making power after they refused to have him taken off life support. Hospital security is also denying them private visitations.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, which has been offering support to the parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, says they are now only allowed to see their son with a security guard present.

“They fight my family. ... they put security for me.  They never give me private to pray with my son,” Moe told Fox News this afternoon.

“Security watch me and security stay with me,” he added.  “When I go to hospital I feel I am not in Canada.  I feel I’m in jail or they kidnapped my baby.”

“It’s ridiculous.  It’s not like they could pick the child up and take him home.  The baby would die,” said Schadenberg.

Schadenberg said that Moe tried to bring him in to see Joseph on Monday, but security denied him access to the room, and told him to leave the premises.  “It’s become crazy.  The hospital’s going overboard and it makes no sense,” he said.

With the help of pro-life and anti-euthanasia advocates, Joseph’s parents have been trying to have their son moved to a hospital in Michigan.  London’s Victoria Hospital, where Joseph has been treated since October, sent the records to the Michigan hospital Monday and the parents are still waiting to hear back.

But hospital officials now say that they may go ahead with removing Joseph’s life support even if the Michigan hospital or another agrees to the transfer.  Because the parents refused to have Joseph’s life support removed Monday, the hospital has asked the Office of the Public Guardian to assume decision-making power.  That office is expected to take a couple days, but could order his life support removed at any point.

The hospital originally appeared set to remove his life support on Monday at 10 a.m. after a Thursday ruling by the Ontario Superior Court.

“Monday at 10 am. they will kill my baby,” Moe had told LifeSiteNews shortly after the ruling.  “There’s no more humanity.  There’s no more chance.  I’ve tried everything for him.  No more appeals, nothing.”

But that was delayed over the weekend after the parents hired expert lawyer Mark Handelman, with the financial backing of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

To make a donation to cover the legal costs please click here.

At that point, they learned that they could refuse to consent to the life support removal, which they did, prompting the hospital to go the public guardian.

Though Joseph has been at Victoria Hospital since October with a severe neurological disorder, his specific condition remains undiagnosed.  Nevertheless, doctors have given him no chance of recovery.  Moe and Sana have asked doctors to perform a tracheotomy so that they could take Joseph home, but the doctors refused, saying the procedure was too risky.

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.

But in January, the Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario sided with the hospital, and a date for removing Joseph’s respirator was set.  The family was able to hold it off by filing an appeal with the Superior Court.

Superior Court Justice Helen Rady also sided with the hospital, saying that Joseph is in a permanent vegetative state with no brain stem reflex.

The hospital says nine specialists have confirmed he’s in a “persistent vegetative state,” but the family and their close supporters disagree.  Family members say Joseph is fully responsive to touch, particularly that he hates being touched by cold hands, tickles easily, and moves his head when his hair is brushed.  They also say he responds to loud noises by turning his head toward the sound.

The hospital has warned the family that they will be banned from the hospital if they try to take videos, which is preventing the family from documenting Joseph’s responses and movements, said Sam Sansalone, who had to fight with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children for his own daughter’s life nine years ago, and is now helping Joseph’s family as a media representative.

Over 5,000 people have rallied behind the parents through the Facebook page “Save baby Joseph”.

“This would be a second tragedy for the parents,” said Schadenberg.  “Not only must they accept that their child is terminally ill, ... but their power to even decide how to care for their child is going to be removed from them - only because they love him.”

“Because of love they’re going to have their ability to make decisions for their child removed from them - in order for the hospital to take control,” he continued.  “That’s a tragedy.”

To join a Facebook page in support of the parents of Joseph Maraachli, click here.

To make a donation to cover the legal costs please click here.


Contact Information:

Bonnie Adamson
President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre
800 Commissioners Road East
London, Ontario Canada N6A 5W9
Phone: 519-685-8462
E-mail: bonnie.adamson@lhsc.on.ca

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Fax: (416) 325-3745
E-mail: Use this form.

Tim Hudak, Opposition Leader
The Ontario PC Party
19 Duncan Street
Suite 401
Toronto, ON M5H 3H1
Phone: 416-861-0020
Toll-free: 1-800-903-6453
Fax: 416-861-9593
Email: tim.hudakco@pc.ola.org

See Composing Effective Communications in Response to LifeSiteNews Reports.

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The Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision was nearly two months ago, but the issue as hot as ever, as was demonstrated yesterday when Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, D-FL, urged constituents to boycott a Hobby Lobby store in her district.

In a press conference one lot away from the Hobby Lobby location in Davie, which opened in April, Wasserman-Schultz said that she wanted “people to know that this Hobby Lobby is here and they should vote with their purses and their pocketbooks, and women should not shop here."

"If you didn’t know this Hobby Lobby was here before, know it now and don’t shop here. They don’t deserve women’s business because they are the ones that all across the country have made it harder for women to get access to birth control,” she said.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Wasserman-Schultz said that Hobby Lobby's corporate ownership "doesn’t support its employees” and “wants to be able to get in the personal business of their employees and make health care decisions and replace their own values, replace their employees’ health care decisions, with their values…."

She also criticized the Supreme Court's late June decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had sued the federal government over the Obama administration's HHS Mandate.

The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, say it violates their conscience to pay for coverage for the four abortifacients and potential abortifacients that the mandate required them to cover.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case was not only disappointing, it was dangerous," said the Democrat. "No boss should have the right to dictate and employee’s health decisions because [they] don’t belong in the bedrooms, doctor’s offices or pharmacies of their employees.

“A woman and her doctor know what’s best for their body. Not an insurance company. Not a politician. And certainly not a manager at a Hobby Lobby."

The Supreme Court's decision allowed closely held corporations to not fund coverage of contraception or abortion drugs and devices.

Wasserman-Schultz's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Through a spokesperson, the Green family declined to comment about the Congresswoman's statements. 

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According to a new Northwestern University study, American attitudes about abortion are trending more conservatively than other contentious social issues, a phenomenon the authors credit to the simple fact that pro-lifers have more kids.

“We find evidence that the abortion attitudes have lagged behind a liberalizing trend of other correlated attitudes,” the authors wrote. Using GSS data collected between 1977 and 2010, “We test[ed] the hypothesis that the comparatively high fertility of pro-life individuals has led to a more pro-life population.”

The authors wrote: “Support for abortion rights has turned flat after a period of increase following Roe v. Wade, and in recent years there are even indications of a reversal toward more restrictive attitudes. This U-turn is evinced particularly among younger cohorts, and is happening despite liberalizing trends in several ostensibly related issue domains.”

The authors speculated that the reason for the increase in pro-life attitudes among young people is that their parents had more children than their pro-abortion counterparts. When they examined the data, they found that pro-life individuals had, on average, 27 percent more children than those who considered themselves “pro-choice.”

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“[E]ither pro-life beliefs are always more faithfully transmitted than pro-choice ones; or, there has been a cultural shift towards more pro-life beliefs that is being reflected in the parent-child correlations,” the authors wrote.

The study concluded that it wasn’t for the higher fertility rate among pro-life people, the nation as a whole would favor abortion by about five percentage points more than it does currently – and researchers predict the pro-life trend will continue.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

“Taken together, these findings suggest that fertility has had at least some part in leading the population in a more pro-life direction over time,” the authors wrote. “Further investigation into this pattern indicates that not only are abortion attitudes associated with fertility, but in proportional terms—which is what matters for cultural change—the gap is widening.”

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A declaration that PP is an 'enemy of the Church' would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication. American Life League
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The Catholic pro-life organization American Life League (ALL) is launching a campaign calling for the Catholic Church to declare Planned Parenthood an “enemy of the Church.”

Using prayer and education, ALL’s Defend the Family campaign seeks to expose the nation’s largest abortion provider for contribution to the destruction of human lives, as well as the family. 

The campaign, said Jim Sedlack, vice-president of ALL, is quite simply “a way of calling attention to the fact that this is a very bad organization.”

“Planned Parenthood is attacking the family, either by killing preborn children or by robbing the souls of the older children,” he said. 

A declaration that PP is an "enemy of the Church" would mean that Catholics who work with, advocate for, or support Planned Parenthood, incur automatic excommunication.

Such a declaration would not be unprecedented. Popes in the past have identified and condemned organizations that posed a grave threat to the Church, most recently Pope Pius XII in 1949 with Communism and Pope Clement XII in 1738 with Freemasonry.

While specifics would depend on the wording of the Papal pronouncement, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews if the Holy Father makes the declaration there would be no mistaking its intent.

“When the pope makes the declaration it becomes crystal clear,” Sedlak said. “There’ll be no shades of gray, it’ll be black and white, it’ll be clear to the world.”

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'Now is the time'

There are still people who are not fully aware of the extent of the societal damage inflicted by Planned Parenthood, said Sedlak, including members of the Church hierarchy. He said it’s important to emphasize the truth of what the abortion giant does.

“That’s why we’re focusing on the enemy,” said Sedlak. “When people really stop and focus on Planned Parenthood, they realize it’s the enemy.”

ALL cites Planned Parenthood’s targeting of children to sexualize them as a major cause of the destruction of the family and a fundamental reason for the Defend the Family campaign.

“They really push for getting young people into lives of sexual sin,” Sedlak said. “Young people who aren’t pulled into sexual activity do not provide a cent of income to Planned Parenthood, but young people who are pulled in provide millions of dollars to the Planned Parenthood empire.”

ALL compiled a comprehensive report on Planned Parenthood titled, “The Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood,” as part of the Defend the Family campaign.

“The document builds the case,” said Sedlak. “Why Planned Parenthood, why now is the time.”

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that for its part Planned Parenthood has always recognized that its greatest enemy is the Catholic Church, even working to have the Church lose its status at the UN.

“They fight anybody who wants to take sex away from the kids in any way possible,” Sedlak said. “That’s one reason why Planned Parenthood is the sex mafia.”

And when Sedlak uses the term "mafia," he means it literally, pointing out that the Holy Father condemned the mafia in his June 21, 2014, homily in Calabria, Italy, denouncing its, “Adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Planned Parenthood kills far more people than the mafia,” Sedlak said.

Also underscoring the need for the Vatican to act on declaring Planned Parenthood an enemy of the Church, is the convening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family this October in Rome, which will lead into the general synod in 2015.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that these, along with the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, are events that ALL will rally around to raise awareness of the Defend the Family campaign.

Preliminary response to the campaign has been very positive, he said.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that the “Vatican can help save souls from Planned Parenthood” report was so well received upon initial presentation to Vatican officials, that ALL was asked to translate it into three more languages.

“The support we’ve gotten from talking to bishops has been overwhelming,” Sedlak said.

Prayer is priority #1

The Defend the Family campaign consists first and foremost of prayer, Sedlak told LifeSiteNews.

“Our approach is that we need prayer support,” he said. “The only way that we’re going to succeed is through prayer to the Blessed Mother; the only way it will succeed is if God wants it to succeed.”

Participants are asked to say regular prayers after Mass, to offer prayers for the pope and to initiate communication with local bishops about the dangers that Planned Parenthood poses to the faithful.

Sedlak also added that The Defend the Family campaign is for everyone, not just Catholics.

He said pro-life supporters of all faith traditions are invited to contact ALL for assistance in encouraging their religious denomination or church leader to declare Planned Parenthood an enemy.

In addition to prayers for the campaign, ALL is asking people to sign and submit ALL’s Declaration of Encouragement to the Holy Father, enroll in the Spiritual Bouquet for the Holy Father and to share ALL resources on Planned Parenthood.

Information, links and resources are available on the campaign website, defendthefamily.org.

Sedlak told LifeSiteNews that ALL is giving the success of the Defend the Family campaign up to God.

“This is all happening in God’s time, and so far he’s been blessing us mightily,” Sedlak said. “And we’re going to go wherever God takes us.”

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