WINDSOR, Ontario, October 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Baby Joseph Maraachli’s father has called for the Ontario provincial government to launch an investigation into his son’s treatment at the London hospital that tried to have his ventilator removed against his parents’ wishes. Moe Maraachli says he is considering a lawsuit against the doctors who refused to give Joseph the simple procedure that allowed him to spend his final five months at home.
“I will go after them,” Maraachli, 37, told the Windsor Star on Tuesday. “I made promise to Joseph: ‘I will give you back your human rights and dignity if you pass away or not.’”
Joseph passed away in the care of his family on September 27th after an ordeal that sparked an international outpouring of support for the family, culminating in the decision to airlift Joseph to St. Louis, Missouri in March.
There, doctors performed a tracheotomy and Joseph began breathing on his own. He was able to go home in April.
“The [London] doctor said if they take the ventilator off he will die,” Maraachli told the Windsor Star. “So let us take it off and we will give him some shots . . . no pain. I say, ‘This is killing, like you squeeze his neck.’”
“If these people had listened to me in October, I would be at home and spend more time with my baby. But they refused,” he continued. “My baby was in jail, not in hospital. … Joseph was not allowed visitors with him. Joseph was not allowed to be private with Mom or with Dad. Security was always there watching. I cannot close the door to be private if I want to pray or talk with him.”
Maraachli says the ordeal cost him $46,000 in legal fees, and he still owes $20,000 despite the outpouring of support.
Baby Joseph’s story began in February of this year when the Ontario Superior Court rejected an appeal by his parents to bring him home where he could die under their care. He had previously been diagnosed with severe neurological issues, for which doctors said there was no hope of recovery.
The family contested claims that their son was in a “permanent vegetative state,” offering footage showing him flailing and reacting to tickling.
“The doctor (in London) said he will be in a vegetative state, but he wasn’t,” Maraachli said Tuesday. “The doctor said he will be suffering and in pain and his bed will have blood. But there was no blood, he wasn’t in pain, he wasn’t suffering.”
After the decision of the Ontario court, doctors immediately scheduled the removal of Baby Joseph’s life support, meaning almost certain death for the young child.
However, anti-euthanasia and pro-life advocates rallied around the Maraachli family, and effected a dramatic 11th-hour rescue.
The Ontario Ministry of Health says they have no intention of investigating the case, and the matter should be taken to a body such as the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“There are mechanisms for patients to complain about a hospital, both within a hospital itself, through the patient-complaint process, and also through regulatory colleges for health-care professionals,” spokesman Andrew Morrison told the Windsor Star.